Making The Case: Ingenieur Automatic AMG Black Series Ceramic

April 10, 2016 Off By admin

How much inspiration can be derived from a set of brakes? A glance at your own car might yield an answer of “not much”, but when IWC Schaffhausen takes a look at the carbon ceramic brake discs of an AMG Black Series vehicle, the answer turns into “quite a lot”. IWC has a history working with ceramic material (black zirconium in this case) that dates back more than 25 years. It should come as no surprise then, that IWC shares a fondness for AMG cars donning the Black Series badge fitted with some serious stoppers in the form of carbon ceramic brakes. What makes ceramic so attractive to AMG and IWC alike? Let’s take a look.

Da Vinci Ref. 3755

Since the late 70’s IWC has been no stranger to exotic materials, employing the use of anodized aluminum in a compass watch from 1978 and titanium in the Ref. 3700 from 1980. In 1986, IWC took this a step further, offering watches with cases made of zirconium oxide, which is technically ceramic. Zirconia, as it’s called, is prized for its light weight yet considerable strength when compared to steel. Its durability and resistance to impact made it an easy choice for the cases of watches like the Da Vinci Ref. 3755, Pilot’s Ref. 3705 and the TOP GUN models. In the case of AMG, ceramic offers extreme heat resistance, a quality that makes it perfect for brake discs, as they will not succumb to fade. Great for consistent lap times on that track, even better for keeping you out of the row of hedges along the route to the grocery store.


Pilot’s Ref. 3705

The process of developing ceramic cases is a complex one, requiring many special tools and detailed baking instructions. The base material starts life as zirconium-oxide powder, which, when combined with other materials, colorants and binders, is baked and molded into a preform. The preform is cut with a polycrystalline diamond cutting tool to form a case blank. After baking at super high temperatures the blank is carefully cooled to preserve the lattice structure which gives it its strength. A series of staged grinding and polishing processes continue to form the case to its end state. What you’re left with is a light-weight, super-hard case that took five times longer to create than your typical gold case. Think about that as you check out the images.


The newest member of the ceramic family of watches at IWC is the Ingenieur Automatic AMG Black Series Ceramic. As the name suggests, the watch takes visual cues from the AMG Black Series line of cars, and material inspiration in the ceramic case. The defining qualities of both car and watch come together in quality, reliability, everyday practicality and long service life. The case of this new Ingenieur, including the bezel, crown and shoulders, is made entirely out of black zirconium oxide, and has a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale. This case blank is machined with diamond-tipped tools which register 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, for obvious reasons.

 Ingenieur Automatic AMG Black Series Ceramic Ref. 3225

The Gerald Genta based design, seen and loved on Ingenieur watches, is not lost on the Ingenieur Automatic AMG Black Series Ceramic. The five bores in the bezel reference the classic pentagon shape seen on the Ingenieur collection since the 70’s. Inside the watch resides the IWC caliber 80110, whose ruggedness is on full display around back. The watch comes in two flavors of black and brown, both with the same black ceramic case.


The Ingenieur Automatic AMG Black Series Ceramic represents a step forward in a watchmaking tradition in Schaffhausen. In the process the watch builds on a partnership started in 2004 with Mercedes-AMG, and honors the spirit of that relationship with advanced materials, design and execution. We love a relationship that goes beyond a logo on the dial, and this Ingenieur embodies the technological innovation that drives both Mercedes-AMG and IWC. All this from one powerful set of brakes.

– HODINKEE for IWC Schaffhausen