Creative Director Christian Knoop kicked off the day at the hotel, alongside Lord March, unveiling the expanded Ingenieur 2017 line, building on the updated three-piece range from Goodwood 2016. The new collection covers the bases with three automatic models, four IWC-manufactured chronographs and a limited-edition reference with perpetual calendar.
Starting at a shade under £4,000, the Automatic 40mm occupies the entry-level spot and draws most heavily on the original ’55, with a classic silver dial and black leather strap. However, a 18-carat red gold case is beautifully understated, complemented by a stylish black alligator leather strap.
The IWC Ingenieur Chronograph starts at over 5k and comes in three 42mm styles: a 18-carat red gold and two stainless steel dials, with a hefty 120m depth rating on an all-new movement called the IWC Caliber 69375.
Finally, the top-of-the-range model is the £34k IWC Ingenieur Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month. Based on the IWC Caliber 89800 movement, this limited-edition version of just 100 pieces, features a perpetual calendar and digital indicators for the month and date.
My personal favourite was the Automatic 40mm, though. Clean, classy and sat rather nicely on my relatively small wrist. Sadly, I was unable to sneak it out of there, despite my best efforts.
It reminded me in many ways of the Bremont Solo – a watch I was planning to get this summer. But, the iconic racing heritage tied up in the Ingenieur may have tipped the scales in favour of the Swiss offering. Only downsides being the £1,200 difference and mooted September release for the revamped 40mm, we’ll see…
Anyway, individual preference aside, this trip wasn’t just about watches.
IWC brand ambassador and former Formula 1 driver David Coulthard took an exquisite Mercedes-Benz 300 SL – Gullwing for a spin, once the herd of photographers had cleared, that is.
Following the pit walk and Coulthard’s hot lap, I ventured out on the hunt for some original ’80 BMW M3s, luckily they didn’t take too long to find….
Unsurprisingly – it was Goodwood, after all – there were a bevy of beauties I could wax lyrical about, including a stunning Jaguar XJ220, but clay pigeon shooting at the far end of the estate was calling.
I’ve never done it before, but if you’re even slightly competitive, this is the sport for you! Who knew taking aim at flying objects was so enjoyable?
And, though I’m no gun expert, legendary manufacturer Purdey was in town and had brought along a selection of its wares, with one pretty special 120k model taking centrestage. (I’m having a go on that below…)
9/12 hit rate – but who’s counting?
Perhaps even more impressive is the fact Purdey, the only British manufacturer to be awarded three royal charters, handbuilds all its shotguns to order from the ‘Fort Knox of West London’ in Hammersmith. Which goes some way to explaining the monumental outlay.
So with that, and a final glass/bottle of Perrier-Jouët, we were back off to London. Thanks again to IWC and Mercedes Benz.