My First Watch - IWC Ingenieur Automatic
For the most part of my life, watches did nothing for me. Growing up in the digital world, I thought of watches as relics, a bunch of out-dated instruments about to be rendered obsolete by technology. Everything watches do, my phone does it better. The only time I ever handled a watch was during my high school exams, where I borrowed my father's Swatch chronograph to time my progress as phones were not allowed for obvious reasons. Even then i thought to myself: gosh i wish i had one of those casio digital ones just for that tiny bit of extra efficiency in reading the time. It wasn't until 2018, the year I got married, that I realised what I have been missing out on.
In many countries, there is an unspoken custom for a groom to acquire a timepiece to celebrate the occasion, so I began looking for one. At the time, I had only heard of two brands: Rolex and Patek. The former didn’t bring me much appeal because somehow, I associated it with the image of a semi-bald middle-aged businessman. While the latter, apart from the fact that they are way out of budget, I simply could not contemplate me, a kid in his mid twenties, can pull off the Vladimir Putin kind of gravitas to carry a piece like that.
One day, I came across this strange octagonal shaped watch on a website, it caught my eye and I was like: oh, that’s interesting, it’s not like anything i’ve seen before. I like the way the case flows through to the bracelet, it’s a very coherent design. The fact that it is metal must mean it’s durable and sweat resistant. Neat, I thought. I looked at the dial to find the brand name, it says “Audemars Piguet”. I thought, well, if it’s a brand I've never heard of, it’s probably not as famous as Rolex or Patek, and logic follows, it’s probably not as expensive either.
Of course the disappointment was immense when my naive self realized what the name Royal Oak really means, it means i couldn’t afford one. But at the same time, the high price tag spiked my interest so I began to read more about it. This is how I learn about the great Gerald Genta and his legendary designs. I looked at some of his other works such as the Bulgari-Bulgari, Omega Constellation and eventually, the IWC Ingenieur, which really spoke to me.
I was especially interested in the blue dialed 40mm Ingenieur Automatic Laureus Edition, it ticked a lot of boxes. I liked the beautiful blue dial and the multi-faceted indices. I also enjoyed the solidity of the bracelet and the case. It is a strange satisfying feeling that something as small as 40mm can hold so much mass. I wish this had an exhibition case-back with a nicer finished movement but like most things in life, it was not perfect, but it was the perfect piece for me for that stage of my life. I wore it everywhere. It accompanied me on the wedding altar where I married my beautiful wife. I dove in the pool with it during our honeymoon in the south of Italy. I really enjoyed the fact that I did not have to worry about damaging half my net worth with a careless swing of my arm, which allowed me to be able to enjoy the moment. And you can tell through all those scratches and dings on the case and bezel, that enjoying those special moments was what I did.