IWC: The Art of Being an Engineer

IWC has posted a superb article on the art of being an engineer by Swiss author and writer Rolf Dobelli. At SIHH this year, IWC launched its stunning Ingenieur collection (dedicated to the engineer), after declaring 2013 “the year of the Ingenieur.”

In the IWC article, Dobelli opens with: “The engine faltered and cut out. Hunched over his metal baby, Benz wiped the sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand. He twisted a screw here, a bolt there, topped up the fuel and made sure both cylinders were nicely greased. For the hundredth time, he cranked the starting handle. The engine spluttered into life, chugged longer than it ever had before and kept on chugging…”

IWC EngineerDobelli explains that the engineer stretches the boundaries of known territory “No skipper steers him, no pilot guides him.” He says: “Plainly, everything you can see in your room is the result of countless thousands of hours of engineering work – from your ballpoint pen to the design of your table to the light bulb above your head. The programs that run on your computer, the apps on your iPhone: all are inventive work. So what has become of our admiration for these feats?” he asks.

With IWC’s new partnership with Mercedes AMG, announced at SIHH 2013, Dobelli explores the art of engineering in FORMULA 1. “Take a look at a FORMULA 1 race car. There is an engine, a cockpit, a nose, axles, tires, a steering wheel, a gear change, a braking system and much more. In an ordinary car, such as you or I drive daily, the individual components are assembled rather like Lego bricks. If you are an engineer, you can modify the chassis without affecting the engine capacity. You can modify the tires without affecting the ignition.

“A racing car is very different. A FORMULA 1 vehicle is no Lego construct, but an organic whole. If you are its engineer, and opt for a different type of paintwork, you now have to adjust the acceleration from standstill and the tread of the tires. If you increase the engine speed, you now have to modify the fuel injector. Alter the injector, and you have to rethink clutch performance. Tinker with the clutch, and you have affected the optimum wheel slip – the ratio of speed of rotation of the drive wheel to speed of travel. Everything hangs together. Everything interacts. Or, to borrow a quotation from biology, ‘you can never just change one thing’.”

To read the full article, head over to IWC>>


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