This week we would like to highlight some watches that were extremely innovative for their time. Circumstance and necessity created the perfect climate for these watches to be developed, and their engineers weren’t sparing with aesthetics either. The Omega Marine, the IWC Ingenieur, and the Airain Type 20 meld beauty and (pretty impressive) brains into some very compelling watches.
1963 IWC Ingnieur Reference 666A
This is the earlier iteration of the Ingenieur; it’s known as the “pre-Genta” design as it predates the Gerald Genta redesign of the Ingenieur in 1976. Though it was available in 18k yellow gold, or with a black dial, this particular reference in stainless steel with a silvery sheen and a slash-and-dot-dial layout is particularly classy. Not to mention that it was one of the first super-antimagnetic AND waterproof watches available, making it a perfect companion for, well, an engineer (or anyone working around high intensity magnetic fields). Take a look here.
1930s Omega Marine
Okay, now this is an unexpectedly (for most) very cool watch. It’s the first waterproof wristwatch ever tested for diving, and was successfully immersed in Lake Geneva (one of many Swiss lakes that had watches dropped into their murky depths) to a depth of 73 meters in 1936 (a casual 239.5 feet for those of us who are not well-versed in the metric system). It remains in incredible condition after three-quarters of a century, and you can read all about its rich history in the HODINKEE Shop blog post here. Or you could save the history lesson for later and buy it here.
1960s Airain Type 20 For The French Army
Though perhaps not as well-known as Breguet, Airain was also chosen to supply military wristwatches to the particular specifications of the French army. The caseback bears the three stars from the Cthor (Centre Technique de l’Industrie Horlogre) in Besanon, often associated with being issued to the helicopter pilots of the ALAT units (Aviation Lgre de l’Arme de Terre). The flyback complication is the cherry on top. Check out this particular watch here.
The Full Set
We have a variety of other fantastic watches on offer this week, including a Universal Genve 60-second stopwatch retailed by A. Cairelli, a 1930s Mido Direct Time Jump Hour, a1970s Breitling Top Time reference 2002-33, a1970s Bulova Chronograph D,” and a1970s Hamilton Fontainebleau Chrono-Matic. You can check out the entire selection over on the HODINKEE Shop.