Monochrome Watches
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IWC Introduces the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Sharks”

| By Xavier Markl | 3 min read |

Today, increasing numbers of shark species are facing extinction. More than 100 million sharks are caught every year whilst continued over-fishing depletes their nutritional resources. To help awareness about this issue, IWC is about to launch a specific limited edition of its Aquatimer Chronograph, the Edition “Sharks”, with specific dial and engraving. 

Brief History of the IWC Aquatimer

In the early 1940s, Emile Gagnan and Jacques-Yves Cousteau developed the Aqualung, the first Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (a.k.a. SCUBA), to reach worldwide commercial success. However, in the 1960s diving was still seen as an adventurous affair and several brands, among which IWC, worked on developing tool watches to make diving safer and easier.

This was the time when the Schaffhausen-based brand unveiled the first Aquatimer (1967) known as reference 812AD. Its “compressor-style” case featured an internal rotating ring that could be set thanks to a second crown to monitor dive time as water resistant to 200m.

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The reference 1816 and 1822 were launched in 1982 and featured higher resistance at 300m and cushion-style steel cases. Better yet, a partnership between IWC and Porsche Design gave birth to the Ocean 2000, which was rated 2,000m which lead to the development of new technologies including the basics for a triple pressure seal system.


In 1998, as part of the GST (Gold, Steel, Titanium) sport line, a titanium watch with external rotating bezel and water resistant to 200m was unveiled.


In 1999, the GST Deep One was IWC’s first dive watch with a mechanical depth-gauge as well as a maximum depth indicator (maximum depth achieved during the dive).


In 2004, a new family of Aquatimers was presented – and tested by the Cousteau divers. Like the original Aquatimer, the inner rotating bezel was operated by a dedicated crown. In 2008, in the frame of the celebration of the brand’s 140th anniversary and among several reeditions of some IWC legends, a modernized version of the original Aquatimer was released (with modern technology and enlarged size).

2009 saw the birth of a new collection of Aquatimers, with this time, an external rotating bezel. 10 years after the launch of the Deep One, the Deep Two was presented with a new depth gauge and maximum depth recording function.


The latest iteration of the Aquatimer was unveiled in 2014 boasting the IWC SafeDive concept. The systems allows the monitoring of the dive scales inside the watch through an external rotating bezel, bringing together the best of ‘compressor’ type and rotating bezel dive watches. The simplicity of operations is enhanced while also improving the legibility. On this occasion, the Deep 3, the third generation of dive watches featuring a depth gauge was presented.


The IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Sharks”


Today, IWC is releasing a “Sharks” limited edition (500 pieces) of its Aquatimer Chronograph, in order to raise awareness on the preservation of the species. The brand has been working with the Charles Darwin foundation to advocate for the protection of sharks since 2009.


The special edition is based on an existing model and is released in stainless steel, with a distinctive “shark” grey dial and an engraving on the case back depicting a group of hammerhead sharks. The watch features the IWC SafeDive system to set monitor dive times. It is powered by the in-house automatic caliber 89365 (89000 family) – an integrated fly-back chronograph with column-wheel and vertical clutch.


The watch is bundled with a copy of American photographer Michael Muller’s book “Sharks” by Taschen, signed by the author and protected in a bite-proof metal shark cage.

Technical specifications – IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Sharks”

  • Case: 44 mm diameter x 17 mm thickness – stainless steel – Mechanical external/internal rotating bezel with IWC SafeDive system – sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides – 300m water resistant
  • Movement: Caliber IWC 89365 (89000-caliber family) with automatic winding – 68h power reserve – 28,800 vibrations/h – 35 jewels – Hours, minutes, hacking seconds, date and flyback chronograph
  • Strap: rubber strap with quick change system on steel pin buckle
  • Limited edition of 500 pieces
  • Reference : IW379506

3 responses

  1. For the sustainable development of earth awareness on every level is as important as maintaining style statement for a millionaire. These kind of initiatives (Limited/Special Edition) introduce the sense of responsibility to an untouched segment of society. Kudos to IWC from Johnson Watch Co.

    Also we are their official retailer in India and will be introducing it shortly.

  2. As usual IWC very nice looking watch, sober and class!….But this strap system is very worrisome… I have had some issues with the tension bar holding the strap on my IWC aquatimer Cousteau after few month only, and the watch was bought brand new in 2016(2016 model). The tension bar snapped during a diner at home, and the watch just fell on the table (lucky not on the floor).. I had the tension bar replaced by IWC. Unfortunately the new tension bar is a “screw system” and somewhat different from the original sold with the watch, as a result the strap is not sitting as tight against the watch as the original did. IWC claims that this is an “original tension bar-replacement” but admit it differ from the orignal sold with the watch, without any further comments. Right now I am always a little scared to loose that watch, and diving with it has become out of the question.. I love the look of most of these new aquatimers and the internal bezel system is just awesome, great watches. But little improvement would be welcomed. On the above new model for example, the rubber crown is again something I would be very worried especially on a $12K watch, as I have read quiet a bit of issues on the topic, why still using this?… This for me, is standing in the way of buying any new lWC aquatimer, and I wish IWC finds a solution to fix/up-grade these small issues, that IMO can/will tarnish a great brand reputation. That said, I own 3 generation of Aquatimers, and love the watches, if only the above could be sorted out, to protect the futur of this great brand! IWC, luxury, fashion… that’s ok… But please, it must remain a tool-watch too, therefore “rugged and sophisticated” is what they should be to stay highly desirable and keep their legacy.

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