Two Year Review of
International Watch Company
Ingenieur Chrono Alarm
Through this review, I will compare my new comments to those I offered after the watch was one month old. That review can be found on the timezone.com Watch Review Board, or by clicking HERE. The old comments are listed in brown type, the new in black type.
I downrated it by two points for lacking the "soul" of a mechanical movement, although I believe it is a finer piece of engineering than many mechanical movements.
I am still in love with this movement, it has proven to be totally reliable and completely problem free. I did replace the battery about six months ago, but I am unsure how old the watch was when I bought it in 1999. IWC claims 4 year battery life. My wife has the same movement in her IWC Ladies DaVinci, and has had no problems with hers either.
Case, Crystal and Crown
At 34mm, some would rate this watch as small. Having just sold a 40mm chrono to buy this, personally I think the size is a breath of fresh air. I am only 5'8", and 165 lbs, and those monster watches are just too darn big for me; I don't care about current trends. I wore a 34mm Rolex Air King for a few days a couple of months ago and realized that a 34mm watch is a nice size for me.
Plus with the extra crown and pushers, it looks a bit bigger than it really measures.
Here are the exact measurements: case diameter at the smallest dimension side to side 34.2mm, height is 9.3mm. The case has held up remarkably well, considering that I do not baby the watch at all, and wear it at least five days a week. I have taken the watch into the shower, ocean, swimming pool and hot tub without any deleterious effects at all.
Dial and Hands
I downgrade the watch one point because the chrono displays are a bit small (naturally, on a 34mm case), and another point because the alarm hand is tough to set while the watch is on the wrist.
Regarding the alarm hand, here's how it works: Pull the 10 o'clock crown out, and rotate the crown. There are little 5 minute clicks, so you can set the watch in 5 minute increments (in theory, practice is a bit tougher). Set the watch to the alarm time, and press the crown in. Beep-beep, alarm is set, push the 10 o'clock crown again, beep, the alarm is off. There is no tritium on the red alarm hand.
Somehow, I have managed to put a scratch on the sapphire crystal running from the center pinion to 1 o'clock on the dial. Not sure how I managed to scratch a sapphire crystal, but I told you I don't baby this watch!
Still running incredibly accurately, no further comments.
Strap, Buckle or Bracelet
The bracelet has proven to be incredibly comfortable, certainly the best built bracelet I own. When summer and the hot weather come, I take out a full link and put in my 1.5 size link (see the first link above the IWC flip lock above) and in the winter I go back to the full link. This takes maybe five minutes, and works fine for me. I have heard that the 1.5 size links are no longer available, if so that's a pity, because the 7mm size of the full links does not provide much fine adjustment, and the 10.5mm 1.5 link does the trick. The bracelet is quite flexible, yet rigid side to side, and has not stretched one bit in two years. It has sustained a few scratches, especially at the flip lock. The flip lock snap loosens up every six months or so, I squeeze it ever so slightly in a vise, and it then snaps in tight again.
User Manual and Packaging
Nothing to add.
Again, nothing to add two years later.
This watch has been the best watch I have ever owned. It has become my every day watch, and I really wear it almost every day. It has been tough, accurate and solidly built. Although these have been discontinued, they can still be found in the secondary market for around $2500 give or take. In my opinion, they are well worth the money, and will give the owner many years of satisfaction in every regard.
Send me an email.