Saturday, 22 June 2013

My Battle Hardened, Sleek Industralist- IWC Ingenieur Mission Earth

Unlikely as it may seem but this nondescript, unassuming little monster is the culprit that got me started on big watches. I've had this guy for a number of years. It is precisely its simplicity that caught my attention. It was my daily beater until I got distracted by more affordable, value for money offerings.

This little number comes in a 46mm stainless steel case with brushed surfaces. Five rivet holes adorn the brushed bezel. Under the sapphire crystal lies a graph-paper dial with stick markers except for the 12, 6 and 3 o'clock markers. The Mission Earth is designed to withstand hi levels of magnetism. sitting pretty within this block of steel is IWC's 80110 calibre.

Despite its diameter, the case is relatively slim. It tucks in rather neatly under shirt sleeves. Particularly French cuffs. The large screw-down crown is easy to operate and is shouldered by a pair of crown guards. In the chrono (flyback) variant, the crown guards are replaced by pushers on the same shape and design. The grooved and raised ridges on the engraved crown also adds to its ease of use. However, the crown emits a squeaking sound when wound that seems synonymous with the 80110.

Unlike conventional cases, the lugs are located in the centre rather than the sides of the case. They are also steeply angled, thus ensuring a wrap-around feel and minimising overhang on smaller wrists, such as yours truly's.

The Inggy ME uses a similar system as the Panerai 1950's case (based on what I was told). the straps can be detached by means of a push-pin. I have yet to try it out myself, though as I do not have any reason to do so yet. However, such proprietary systems would mean very limited after-market strap options.

The brushed stainless steel case back features the usual IWC spartan minimalism.

The lume is okay by my low standards. Decided to show a shot in semi darkness as I reckon it captures the industrial utilitarian essence of this particular brute.

On the wrist, it looks just right with no overhang. The rubber straps that comes with this model are supple and relatively durable. It's been more than 3 years since I bought this and it has yet to show any signs of serious wear.

This is a rugged piece that is equally aptly named. It's versatility is a real draw. It is equally at home under shirt cuffs as it is partially covered by a cycling glove. This chunk of steel is one mean brute and bears it's battle scars well.

Case diameter : 46mm.
Case material : Stainless steel.
Lug size : n/a.
Crystal : Sapphire.
Movement : IWC 80110 calibre.
Power reserve : +/- 44 hours.

- Sleek industrial, utilitarian looks.
- Soft, supple and durable rubber straps.
- Relatively long power reserve.
- Relatively affordable price for an in-house movement from a reputable house.
- Unique lug design with little overhang.
- Versatility.
- Rugged.

- Squeaky noise when winding.
- Proprietary lug design.
- Too plain and simple for some.


  1. Great review and as a fellow owner I concur with the above. Second hand residual values are also strong especially in light of the newer (more expensive) range IWC has introduced. It's an underrated watch given the "same-look" of so many other sports watches. I like its relative exclusivity and anonymity.

    1. Thanks. As for residual value, It really depends on how you look at it. If its in comparison against the current offerings, then in a way yes. But IWC's particularly the Inggy, does not command very good resale, IMHO. Just my take.