At the SIHH 2014 we have witnessed the unveiling of the IWC new Aquatimer collection, and want to share our thoughts, photos and a video of the event and the watches themselves. First of all I think that IWC is one of the few brands that really knows how to make a specialised and ‘professional’ watch. In this case they have renewed and mastered their diver’s collection to make the watches as good as possible for any diving conditions as well as make them look wearable for everyday life too. As there are many models to go through I’ll start with the simpler ones and make my way up to the most notable and complicated ones… but first – the video from the event featuring Adriana Lima.. and some watches :)
This here is the entry level automatic Aquatimer featuring a 42 hour power reserve, a very simple dial, a 42mm case and a rubber strap. It also exists with a black dial and very cool looking green markers and numerals, as well as on a steel bracelet. Unlike its older ’200 bar brother’ it is water resistant to 30 bar (which is still very good if you are a diver).
Next model is a little more technical – it’s the automatic chronograph with the 79320 IWC calibre. In my opinion ‘chronograph’ is an understatement, as apart from the obvious function it also has the indication of day and date at 3 o’clock. Also made of steel and also water resistant to 30 bar it comes in a 44 mm diameter with a 44 hour power reserve.
And apart from the regular version the chronograph also has a few special and one limited editions. The bronze version pays homage to Charles Darwin, the man who proposed the theory of evolution and just like his theory the material that the model is made of will evolve with time and get darker. On the case back you can also see a portrait of the man himself.
The second edition is more related to the subject of diving it is named ‘Expedition Jaques-Yves Cousteau’. If you are not familiar with Cousteau – he is the biggest and most known up to this date ocean explorer, researcher and a filmmaker, and it only makes sense for IWC to pay him an homage as the brand relates their new Aquatimer collection to the Galapagos islands that Cousteau has visited in 1971. The great blue dial and the man’s portrait on the case back definitely are worth taking a note of. And apart from this IWC has made another edition more directly involved with the islands as it’s named ‘Galapagos Islands’ edition and it features an all black casing and dial as well as a 68 hour power reserve and an engraving of a marine iguana on the back.
Finally last but not least is a true limited edition of 500 pieces named ’50 years science for Galapagos’ and it celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Charles Darwin Research station’s work on the Galapagos Islands. Without the day indication and the hour chronograph subdial it does not look very busy in this black/blue colour scheme, and the rubber coated steel casing definitely adds an interesting and more ‘diver’-like look to the watch.
Now while you were looking at the pictures above you might have noticed an interesting mechanical sculpture that served as background or stand for some of the models – that is a bigger version of the inside crown. The reason why IWC made it is to show a new feature of the Aquatimer and explain how it works. If you look at any of the models from the new collection you’ll see that the ‘diver’s time’ or the numeral bezel is actually inside of the dial. That was made so that while the diver is in the ocean there are no factors that can turn the bezel accidentally. The way it works is better shown on their website but I’ll try and explain in brief – the crown at 9 o’clock has two positions inside, one interacting with the exterior bezel, another with both exterior and interior, so that when you turn the bezel clock wise only the outside one moves and nothing can change the diver’s time on the inside.
Now that you are more familiar with the main upgrade of this year’s Aquatimer collection let’s move to the next model that features this and one other very cool complication – the Deep Three. The 10 bar water resistance might not sound as cool as the 30 bar or 200 bar, but it is definitely compensated by what you see on the dial – the depth gauge. You can see it from 12 until 6 o’clock on the left side of the dial, and it represents the depth at which you will be as a diver. As you go deeper the red and blue indicators move down the scale from 0 to 50 meters. When you go back up the blue indicator moves along back to the starting point while the red marker stays at the maximum achieved depth, and you can reset it when you are back to base. Apart from that the watch also features a date indication at 3 o’clock, a case back engraving of a diver’s helmet and the entire model is made of Titanium on a very nice rubber strap.
And finally the flagship model and the best-looking one in my opinion – the Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month. First of all by ‘digital’ they mean the numerals showing date and month are digits located at 9 and 3 o’clock in 2 sub dials made of many rotating wheels with the numbers. There is nothing digital about the watch otherwise, and it actually has an IWC manufactured 89801 mechanical calibre with a 68 hour power reserve, a perpetual calendar (With leap year indication at 6 o’clock) and a chronograph! With only 50 pieces made of rose gold with rubber coated titanium it will be exclusive to IWC boutiques and I think will fast become the best seller.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the new Aquatimer family and head to their website to check out more!
Photos for us at WatchAnish.com by James Cole.