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WATCH REVIEW IWC Grande Ingénieur Zinedine Zidane

Editor's opinion
70 / 100
Following the French team's performances in South Africa, the nostalgia of a team captained by Zidane gained on us... IWC had even dedicated a model to him...Review of this V.2 of this Big Ingenieur.
Straight to the Point

IWC Grande Ingénieur Zinedine Zidane

Ref.: IW500508
$10,700.00 US retail price June 23rd, 2010
  • excellent movement
  • casing finishing
  • comfort
  • a high price
  • dedicated to the fans
Brand IWC
Case material
Case diameter (without crown)
45,5 mm
Case diameter (crown included)
50 mm
Movement type
IWC 51113
Base Caliber
IWC 51113
Power reserve
Dual-face crystal with anti-reflective coating
Power reserve
168h (7 days)
Transparent back
Lug width
28 mm
Length from lug to lug
51 mm
Case thickness
15 mm
Strap material
Clasp type
Pin buckle
Clasp material
Total weight
138 grammes
Retail price USA at June 23rd, 2010
Comfort (/15) 13
Movement (/20) 13
Movement Optimisation / Garnishment (/5) 4
Ease of handling and adjustment (/5) 5
Movement control proceeded by the Manufacture / horlogical awards (/3) 1
Power reserve (/2) 2
Complications (/5) 1
Finishing (/20) 16
Dial finishing (/6) 4
Case finishing (/6) 6
Quality of garnishment / caseback engraving quality (/2) 1
Crystal quality (/4) 3
Clasp finishing (inner and extern) (/2) 2
Functionality (/20) 11
Diurnal legibility (/5) 3
Night legibility (/4) 1
Water resistance (/3) 1
Strap : ease of size adjustment + ease of substitution (/4) 2
Clasp : quality and safety (/4) 4
Additional items (/10) 4
Limited edition (/3) 1.5
Watch delivered with several straps (/2) 0
Quality of the watch box (/1) 1
Portability with shirtsleeves buttoned (/2) 0.5
Goodies included (/1) 0
Understandability of the brochure (/1) 1
Value for money (/15) 13
When to wear it ? To watch soccer on TV !
Users opinion
like this watch
Do you like this watch?

What is the common point between a watch designed to face the magnetic fields of an R&D laboratory and the football ?
On the face of it nothing, if it is not this new declination of the IWC Big Ingenieur Zinedine Zidane…
Let’s see if it is the watch of a world champion or a honor division’s substitute.


An IWC Ingenieur under Creatine

The Big Ingenieur is an evolution of the IWC flagship model, the Ingenieur.
Designed in the 1970’s as a sober and technical watch, rather typical of “mathematician” than “good at gym”, it has gained on muscle, switching from a 42,5 mm diameter to a 45,5 mm one.

The design of the casing keeps the original model’s spirit, particularly at the level of the bezel and the strap’s fixing.
The crown protection appeared on this version, without being too much imposing, brings a touch of modernity.

The polished/brushed finishing is excellent. And the contained thickness allows wearing it on every circumstance.

A resistant movement

The Big Ingenieur is equipped with the famous IWC 5000 caliber, flagship model of the manufacture.
With a generous diameter (38,2mm), it characterizes itself with its 7-day power reserve and its unfailing reliability.
A little tough tackle ? A head butt that comes out of the blue ? No worries, the Big Ingenieur will resist !

A major dilemma remained for IWC : either locking this beautiful movement inside of a smooth steel cage to preserve the anti-magnetic properties peculiar to the “Ingenieur” family, or exhibit it to the view of crazy fans through a sapphire back.
It is the second option that has been retained : it would have been a pity not being able to read the beautiful engraving “Zinedine Zidane” of the oscillating weight.
And too bad for the magnetic fields, there are not in stadiums. Even if the atmosphere is sometimes electrical…


IWC choosed to exhibit the movement to the view of crazy fans through a sapphire back : it would have been a pity not being able to read the beautiful engraving “Zinedine Zidane” of the oscillating weight.For Zizou’s fans

Praised the god of the soccer ball, IWC avoids putting, on the contrary to the first edition of this tribute watch, the garish blue of “équipe de France” and the portrait of the national hero engraved on the bottom… Phew !

The first particularity of this new version is a brown dial and strap : why this choice?

No particular reasons are blindingly obvious… Maybe just because ZZ likes the brown color… or chocolate… that’s a mystery…

Come then the red numbers, the 10 for the hour’s marker, and the 27 and 45 for the minute’s markers. Three “mythic” numbers that should talk to the amateurs !
Besides the engraving on the oscillating weight, the hints fortunately remain really discreet.

What to remember

The Big Ingenieur is undeniably a technically successful watch.
The price is high but it is a true concentration of upscale watch making.

Concerning the relevance of this ZZ serial, the question remains…
Thought at first degree, it can surprise.
But with a little hindsight, it remains a watch with a rather successful aestheticism.
And after all, being able to put 10.000 € into an item dedicated to a little has been football item (98 it goes a little back), isn’t it the height of the luxury ?

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