An increasing number of technical appliances were making their way into ordinary households. These generated magnetic fields that adversely affected the accuracy of wristwatches. Engineers, in particular, often worked in areas subject to magnetic fields. By this time, IWC had perfected protection against magnetic fields with the help of a soft-iron inner case including a soft-iron dial to the point that making a new watch line especially for this profession seemed like a good idea. The lightning bolt, a physical symbol for electricity, became the signature for a new watch class named after its main target group: the Ingenieur.
The first Ingenieur, unveiled in 1955, was in several respects a quantum leap for watchmaking. The developers’ aim was to make a perfectly protected, high-precision watch, wound solely by movements of the wearer’s arm. IWC had already made the leap from hand-wound to automatic movements 4 years previously. However, it was only with the Ingenieur watch that IWC catapulted itself into the vanguard of Swiss manufacturers. No wonder Edmund Hillary chose the Ingenieur to accompany him on his conquest of the worlds highest peaks.