The vertical stitched sides and glistening chamfered edges are extremely nicely done. Lug edges are not made sharp, they’re made just nice.Underside has a closed cover together with engravings; International Watch Co., Aquatimer, Automatic, 30 Tavern, serial number. Simple and easy to read font.I really like the anti-reflective coating that is applied on both sides of the convex sapphire glass since it’s so clear. Occasionally it looked like nothing is there. Curvature is just barely, not completely horizontal but not bulged up just like a tummy. Does not show any visual distortion when viewing dial with an angle.Aquatimer Automatic range includes dial that’s in silver or black. On the display cabinet, I also saw the 2016 blue dial version, however the sunburst effect was not as tempting as it seemed like at the picture. It is slightly subdued. For a choice besides white and black, blue could be a nice match. Just did not do it for me.I found the silver plating more unique compared to the typical black and fits exactly the stainless steel case very well. Applied ‘U’ markers at each 5 minutes provide a 3D effect with all the rehaut, on the otherwise straightforward and clean dial. Large hour and moment baton hands fit the divers profile beautifully, provided with 2 super luminova colors of green and blue, the glow from the dark is mesmerising. Not sure just how long it will last though.Date screen is white if you choose the silver dial and black when its the black dial. Simple idea made efficiently. That should be the way, to blend the layout seamlessly.
Months after SIHH 2014, and I am only now able to discuss my hands-on time with my favorite new IWC Aquatimer watch for this year. Out of all the new Aquatimer watches (it was year of the diver, after all, at IWC) the IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 ref. IW358002 (aka ref. 3580) is my top pick as a dive watch nerd. Based on the design of the iconic 1982 IWC Ocean 2000, the IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 incorporates some of the Ocean 2000’s 80s sci-fi elements with the comforts of a modern watch.
All of this comes at a time when my love for dive watches is high, but I am unsure about my feelings for very deep diving watches. The problem is that I am unable to really reconcile my appreciation of the technology of an ultra deep diver with their sheer practical futility. The IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 is water resistant to 2000 meters, and it shows it with a chunky case and very thick sapphire crystal. The issue is that I can’t really think of any circumstance where a human, even in some type of suit, can dive that deep.
A “professional dive watch” must be water resistant to 300 meters. In today’s world of “ultra divers” 300 meters is barely anything to applaud. The Rolex Submariner does 300 meters without a sweat and is Rolex’s entry dive watch model next to the much deeper diving Seadweller or Deepsea. Having said that, 300 meters is really the limit of how deep most divers will ever go. In fact, according to Wikipedia, 318 meters is the deepest anyone has ever gone using Scuba equipment.
According to the same page on deep diving, the record for a dive depth is 534 meters, and a bit lower at 610 meters using a military atmospheric diving suit. OK, so for Comex and a few other specialized private or military applications diving to 600 meters may be an occasional possibility, albeit ripe with dangers. That means all the 1000 meters dive watches technically have reason to exist. So what about all the 2000 meter plus dive watches like the IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000? What purpose do they have aside from being really cool?
That is a good question. Sometimes I like to imagine that my ultra deep dive watches are like little submarines, and I pretend that if set them loose in the ocean, they will dive deep and them come back to the surface to tell me the tale. In fact, when it comes down to it, these watches might fare best when hitching a ride on an actual submersible, but they won’t be much use down there. So why do we still love these ultra divers? Maybe you can share your opinion in the comments below.
Living out my submariner fantasies with the IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 would be simple enough as it plays the part well. The design and construction lead you to believe that diving to 2000 meters is a likely possibility, and that one needs to be prepared (at all times). Thankfully, IWC is there to help right? We covered the more basic three-hand IWC Aquatimer watches for 2014 here hands-on. You can see how the IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 models builds on this design into something a bit more interesting for the enthusiast.
While IWC’s new 2013 Aquatimer collection starts at 42mm wide in size, the IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 is 46mm wide and produced from titanium. It also happens to be a rather massive 20.5mm thick! Yet it is totally wearable and I can’t help but love the concept, especially given the nods to the 1980s IWC and Porsche Design, designs. One thing that I am not sure of is how much the aquamarine color of the hands and hour markers will fare over time. There is an immediate unique coolness to them, but I wonder if over time people will simply want them to be colored white. Mind you, nothing is stopping IWC from producing any number of other versions of the IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 in the future, but it is a question I have. What do you think about the enduring value of the dial’s color scheme?
While IWC openly discloses its target market together with the advertising strapline, “Engineered for Men”, I really do think some women could ably use the Aquatimer Automatic with stylish aplomb. Both the bracelet and strap choices confer a comfortable fit. I’d find it difficult to choose between them both, but with the flexibility this particular model provides, there is not any need to compromise and that I recommend purchasing the extra rubber strap.Where I think IWC are missing a promotion opportunity is by not supplying a broad selection of rubber strap options. The neutral hues of the silver dial model would lend themselves to blue, yellow or purple straps. IWC could provide added-value by providing the sartorially savvy wearer using an array of strap variations to co-ordinate together with the most vibrant of eclectic wardrobes.The case back is strong, typical of diver’s watches. Moreover, the maximum water resistance of 300 metres makes it ideal for the wearer that enjoys water sports and wants to swim in their cherished timepiece.The self-winding 30120 calibre includes a frequency of 28,800 vph (4Hz), comprises 21 stones and has a maximum power reserve of 42 hours.In keeping with the historic pilot’s watches that the Schaffhausen brand is famous for, the Aquatimer Automatic includes a hacking seconds.I haven’t concealed my admiration with this year’s IWC Aquatimer collection and soon after touching down at Manchester Airport, I busily waxed lyrical about the immense appeal of this extensive, yet cohesive range of timepieces.The Aquatimer Automatic might not be the most costly or complex model in IWC’s latest collection, but it is certainly a very appealing ownership proposition. Additionally, with the simple to change strap facility it provides much flexibility to the owner alowing them to choose how they use their timepiece.