Last year IWC completely revamped the Ingenieur collection, the year before that it was the Pilot’s collection, and this year the Aquatimer collection gets a fresh new look. Today we can already show you some of the new models, the rest will be ‘visually’ presented in a few weeks at the SIHH in Geneva. Now I have seen the entire new Aquatimer collection, I can already say that my favorite is made in bronze!
IWC has a long reputation for using ‘new’ materials; new at least for the watch industry. Especially the Ocean 2000, a classic that IWC made for Porsche Design and one that most (fanatic) watch enthusiast will know, was a well ahead of its time. That was because of its smooth, rounded integrated bracelet, entirely made in titanium, and with a depth rating of 2000 meters. This particular watch was a huge source of inspiration for Christian Knoop, IWC’s Creative Director, which can be seen in the new Aquatimer Automatic 2000 (Ref. IW358002).
The new Aquatimer Automatic 2000 (Ref. IW358002) is water-resistant to 2000 meters or 200 bar and continues IWC’s tradition of manufacturing dive watches that can withstand extraordinarily high pressures. While this photo does not really show the design elements that are derived from the old Ocean 2000, created by Ferdinand A. Porsche in 1982, I’m sure you’ll see it once you hold it in your hands.
Inside ticks IWC’s own movement, caliber 80110 with the famous Pellaton winding system. Caliber 80110 is a derivative from the 8000 family of movements, all made in-house, and using the basic layout of the über-reliable Valjoux 7750. The titanium case measure 45mm in diameter and is fitted with a EXTERNAL bezel that can be used to turn the INTERNAL dive-time bezel.
In first glance it looks like there are two crown, one on each side of the case, at the 3 and 9 o’clock positions. But that’s just what you might assume, based on the looks. The crown to wind the movement and adjust the time and date, is positioned on the right side, at the 3 o’clock position. The other “crown” is not a crown but a differential that allows the wearer to rotate the internal bezel, but turning the external bezel.
All new Aquatimer models feature this innovative external/internal rotating bezel complete with “IWC SafeDive system”. The mechanism combines the advantages of an internal rotating bezel, which can be advanced (uni-directional) in steps of one minute. This makes it much easier to set the dive-time bezel, even with cold hands or when wearing diving gloves.
A sliding clutch system connects the two rings by the rotation of the external bezel being transmitted to the inside of the case and the internal bezel. For the obvious reasons (safety for divers), the internal bezel only moves anticlockwise.
Another piece that we’re allowed to show you, is the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “50 Years Science for Galapagos” (Ref. IW379504), which is limited to 500 watches. IWC has a close relation with the Charles Darwin Research Station on the Galapagos Islands. The Aquatimer Chronograph Galapagos is water resistant to 300 meters and its case has a black rubber coating. Inside ticks the IWC-manufactured caliber 89365, with a 60-minute counter at the 12 o’clock position, a central chronograph second hand and the running seconds are at the 6 o’clock position.
From now on, the water resistance of all Aquatimers, will be engraved in the case back and will be noted in bar, instead of in meters or feet. Another novelty is a new, patented bracelet quick-change system. The bracelet is attached to the locking bar from above and engages audibly. To release it, the locking lever is pressed outward with the thumb and the bracelet pushed upward to disengage it. This makes it easy to change from stainless-steel bracelet to rubber strap and vice versa, or to switch to an extra long XXL rubber strap that can be worn over a dry-suit.
And now on to our favorite… (drum roll)… the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Expedition Charles Darwin” (Ref. IW379503). A 43mm large bronze chronograph with IWC’s in-house caliber 89365 that can be taken down to a depth of 300 meters. The material is a special bronze alloy that extra strong, is anti-allergic and does not deform.
And it also looks great on the wrist!
Two other new Aquatimers are the Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month (Ref. IW379401) and the Aquatimer Deep Three (Ref. IW355701). The Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month will be limited to 50 pieces and its case measures a hefty 49 mm in diameter. The Deep Three is again a full-fledged dive watch with with mechanical depth gauge and, like the other Aquatimers, it also features the new internal/external rotating bezel system.
At the SIHH 2014, which starts in three weeks, on 20 January, the rest of the collection will be shown.