The Aquatimer is a robust watch, and also the version we had for inspection came to get a black rubber strap. It’s a large and sporty chronograph that goes well with a casual or sporty apparel, but should not be worn with coat and tie. The stainless-steel case, on the black rubberized strap and with all the blue dial, only looks pretty awesome. It’s not really distinctive, but it stands out just enough to be noticed; we got a number of positive remarks (“out of the blue,” you might say) while wearing the IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Cousteau.Let’s start with the obvious: it is a dip opinion, it has a strong feel, it features a chronograph, plus it comes with a depth rating of 300 meters. The chronograph, together with central tabs, 30-minute register at 12 o’clock, and 12-hour register at 6 o’clock, is controlled with pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock. At 3 o’clock is a day and date indication, and the running seconds indication is the tiny orange hands at 9 o’clock. One of the least “outstanding” features is one of those we loved; it is the internal rotating dive bezel that’s run by an outside rotating bezel. IWC calls it that the DiveSafe system, also it is a very clever construction which lets you run the inner diving bezel via the external bezel.The external bezel is bi-directional, and through a sliding clutch program it locks into place at one-minute periods and makes certain that the inner bezel can simply be moved counterclockwise. Another new feature that may be found on the brand new Aquatimer family of watches, is the IWC bracelet quick-change system. The well-known system, which uses spring bars, is readily accessible with a spring-bar instrument, and contains more solidity with the further metallic clamp. This might seem insignificantnonetheless, when you have tried to alter a rubber strap before, you understand just how much fidgeting it requires before you finally can remove the strap. The new bracelet quick-change system might not look like something very special, but in reality it’s a vast improvement.
Less than two weeks ago, we brought you a sneak peak at IWC’s handsome new Aquatimer dive watch collection for 2014. We recommend checking that post for a bit of extra information, as well as for context on how IWC has been releasing new models and for some history behind their well-regarded Aquatimer dive watch. Even though the SIHH 2014 trade show isn’t for another couple of weeks, we have new, interesting information that will help you make sense of the entire range of IWC Aquatimer models for the new year. We don’t have pictures of everything (yet), but we will tell you what you need to know until we can follow-up with a full hands-on post after the show later in January.
IWC’s tactics of late remain true into 2014. There is less focus on movements, and more on cases, dials, and overall collection designs. In fact, IWC probably has enough movements right now and is probably working on tweaking their existing family of calibers versus trying to make new movements. In our previous post (linked to above) on the 2014 Aquatimer collection, it was guessed that the new Aquatimer models would have base ETA movements as previous generation Aquatimer models had. That turned out to be partially wrong. The new models are split between those that use base Swiss ETA movements and more high-end models that feature IWC in-house made calibers.
The 2014 IWC Aquatimer Collection
In total, 2014 will see nine different new Aquatimers models. That doesn’t include some color variations among the standard models such as the Aquatimer Chronograph or Aquatimer Automatic. The range has a large variety of styles, colors, materials, complications, and prices. Looking back to the original IWC Aquatimer watches from 1967, as we predicted last time, IWC was also heavily influenced by the watches they produced for Porsche Design in the early 1980s such as the famed (and amazing) Ocean 2000.
Let’s start with
what we don’t have to actually show you (UPDATE: we now have more details on the Deep Three and the Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month) – these would be the two highest-end IWC Aquatimer watches for the year and include a new depth gauge model with the Aquatimer Deep Three (ref. IW355701). This follows in the footsteps of the IWC GST Deep One from 1999 and the Aquatimer Deep Two from 2009. It is a mechanical depth meter watch that measures down to 50 meters (though the watch is water resistant to 100 meters). At 46mm wide Aquatimer Deep Three will be produced in titanium. While the in-house made movement isn’t per se new, IWC does claim it is improved over the previous generation Deep Two model. Actually it isn’t totally in-house. The IWC caliber 30120 is based on an ETA 2892 with a lot of their own changes and additions. We understand that price for the Deep Three is about $23,000.
If there is anything you can say about the Aquatimer Automatic is that it is unpretentious and very wearable. These versions have non- in-house made movements that keeps the cost down even lower. With a solid build quality and good design, I am happy when the major brands release something primed for a more mainstream luxury consumer consumption.Inside that the Auqatimer Automatic is a base Sellita or ETA automatic watch that IWC asserts to regulate and alter. They refer to them as their calibre 30120, and moves like this are a hallmark of cheap Aquatimers for years. IWC also places a date on the dial which isn’t in any way surprising, but it is placed in a way that is discreet and does not interfere with studying the dial.While there’s a lot to love from the larger 2014 Aquatimer watch set it is the basic three-hand that’s statistically likely to be a significant vendor next to the chronograph (which we will cover elsewhere). The 42mm wide and 14mm thick instance is really a great size for the majority of men that further enjoys an extremely versatile layout that ought to work for many people’s tastes. IWC continues to refine their products in a way in which the center of each collection has a massive potential amount of owners. Just with really high end or limited edition models does IWC choose to get a bit more experimental with their design. Also good news is that fans of the new Aquatimers will not need to wait that long until they hit stores. The Aquatimer Automatics are due to ship in a month or two.he entry level priced versions are the IWC Aquatimer Automatic ref. IW329001 (black dial) and IW329003 (silver dial) watches on a rubber strap priced at $5,750. Cost goes up to your bracelet on the ref.
To be honest I was skeptical about the light coloured dial variation learning which it was a light silver and not white in tone. I still really enjoy white game watch dials, but I can also appreciate the remedy IWC gave this view. The silver dial not only has highly contrasting components but the matte finish keeps it from playing the light too much that is good. The alternative of when silvered dials play too much light is the way otherwise good tool watches can go real bad. Just don’t forget that a generation before these watches, Aquatimers were often decorated with yellow, orange , and blue. Anyhow, after viewing the silver dial in individual I really found that I enjoy it. It’s a lot of the exact same high-contrast elements as a white dial but also a colour which appears to meld in with the steel of this case.Available on a strap or bracelet, IWC fully redesigned their strap quick-change system after just one generation of the older versions. Admittedly the new system is much better than the finicky previous one on older Aquatimer models. IWC does not include more than one strap with every watch, and the straps require a special lug differently they won’t attach to it. That might prove to be an issue with those who like to attach their particular lugs for their watches. The strap and bracelet however are quite good. The neat integration between the bracelet links combined with its slim profile make for a chic and contemporary interpretation to the classic dive watch bracelet. The rubber straps are of a great quality as well, and what I enjoy about them aside from their feel and style is that they’re pliable and thin which makes for a really comfortable fit.
Just as IWC did last year with the Ingenieur Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month, IWC will place its caliber 89801 automatic movement into an Aquatimer model. This will also be the largest watch of the entire Aquatimer collection and according to IWC the second largest watch the brand has ever produced, being 49mm in an 18k rose gold case with rubber-coated titanium. It will be the Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month (ref. IWC379401), and if unmodified, will have a perpetual calendar display with a digital indicator for the month and date, as well as a chronograph. This model will be a limited edition of just 50 pieces and only dive-themed being water resistant to 100 meters.
The rest of the models are either three-hand automatics or chronographs, but there are two models of each. The most basic model of the entire collection is the IWC Aquatimer Automatic and it will comes in four versions (refs. IW329001, IW329002, IW329003, IW329004). Among those four version will be at least two dial colors (black and what looks like silver), on either a rubber strap or metal bracelet. The Aquatimer Automatic will be offered in a steel case and will further be the smallest model at 42mm wide. We guess that the Aquatimer Automatic will contain a base Swiss ETA or similar automatic movement.
Some time ago IWC introduced an entirely revived Aquatimer collection. All IWC Aquatimer watches are redesigned and now feature the same layout cues, also, more importantly, functional updates like the new Dive-Safe system and an externally operational inner dive-time bezel. It sports a familiar blue dial that preceding “Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau” watches also had. It commemorates Cousteau’s fantastic voyages and movies that made countless aware of the beauty of the underwater world — at a time when most people did not have a clue about what was going on beneath that blue surface.In 1967, IWC introduced the very first Aquatimer, that had a depth rating of 200 meters. The very first IWC Aquatimer adopted style elements very similar to those utilized on a lot of dive watches of the age. This can be referred to as a compressor-style case, including two crowns on one side of the circumstance. 1 crown to finish the motion and correct the palms, and the next crown to flip the inner diving bezel.In 1982 IWC introduced the mythical Ocean 2000, pictured in cooperation with the Porsche design team, and that, as its title suggests, had a depth rating of 2,000 meters. At the moment, it had been the very first serial-produced dip watch in titanium using a 2,000-meter thickness rating. Now it’s a highly sought-after collectors’ piece. In this time, the “ordinary” Aquatimer wasn’t in IWC’s collection. The Ocean 2000 didn’t feature an inner diving bezel, as its predecessor did; however, its outside one clearly served as an inspiration to get its new 2014 Aquatimer collection.
According to IWC, “For safety reasons, the inner rotating bezel can simply be turned anticlockwise. This guarantees that even when the external rotating bezel is inadvertently moved, the dip time — during which the diver can return to the surface with no requirement for decompression stops — is not exceeded.” A special sliding clutch, positioned on the left side of the circumstance, is essential to this complex system. There are a few potential drawbacks to such a intricate system as opposed to a conventional bezel configuration: 1- that the clutch casing protrudes on the remaining case 2- it’s a proprietary system, which normally costs more to fix.I believe the upsides outweigh the downsides, as this is such a cool feature. Along with the home didn’t cause me some distress about the wrist over the span of a week. Furthermore, the spinning feels equally accurate and incredibly smooth. Certainly the best internal bezel system I have ever seen. Who wishes to turn a crown to operate the internal bezel? While reminiscent of their first diver’s watch to come out of Schaffhausen, the newest Aquatimers use considerably larger applied indexes, as well as oversize hour and minute hands.Not to mention, the hour markers, bezel, and hour, minute and second hands all attribute luminescent coatings for excellent illumination, even at complete darkness.With this layout, it is clear that telling time is overriding. A minute/second monitor is printed on the chapter ring, letting you read either the minutes or the seconds, in a glance.The dial comes in two variations: black (as shown) and silver-plated. On the silver dial, the paint is still white. Both dials appear excellent, and in my opinion, it would be tough to pick one over another.
Going up from there is the other three-hand model, the Aquatimer Automatic 2000 (ref. IW358002). In titanium, the case will be a bit larger (guessing 44mm wide or so) and will be water resistant to 2000 meters as the historic Ocean 2000 was. It will also probably be a few thousand dollars more expensive than the base Automatic model. In addition to the increased water resistance as well as titanium case, the Aquatimer Automatic 2000 will contain an in-house made IWC caliber 80110 automatic movement (which is actually based on the architecture of the Valjoux 7750). This is perhaps my favorite of the new Aquatimer models.