By Jovan Krstevski
• Aquatimer Automatic 2000 (Ref. IW358002),
• Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “50 Years Science for Galapagos” (Ref. IW379504),
• Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Expedition Charles Darwin” (Ref. IW379503)
THE EVOLUTION OF THE DIVER’S WATCHES FROM IWC
The 2014 Aquatimer collection from IWC Schaffhausen comes with inspired technical features, even more in-house calibres and a patented IWC bracelet quick-change system. For the first time ever, a haute horlogerie complication in the form of a perpetual calendar with a large digital date display appears in this watch family. Bronze makes its debut as a metal for the case. IWC is also launching four special editions in support of the work of the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Cousteau Society.
For the first time ever, IWC Schaffhausen makes use of bronze for a watch case with the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Expedition Charles Darwin” (Ref. IW379503).
“The Aquatimer is a distinctively masculine, dynamic and professional sports watch line, with a tradition dating back to 1967,” explains Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen. “The influence of legendary design elements and colours of the Aquatimer heritage is unmistakable. The design of the new generation, however, is more purist than that of its predecessors. It makes a powerful overall impression, effectively accentuated by the new, innovative rotating bezel,the hallmark of the IWC Aquatimer watches.” The fact that the new Aquatimer watch collection is being launched against the stupendous backdrop of the Galapagos Islands is no coincidence. “Very few regions on Earth are home to such a fascinating diversity of species, both on land and in the ocean, as this unique archipelago,” continues Georges Kern. “Our Aquatimer watches are the perfect companion for demanding expeditions above and below water, and are entirely in their element in this natural paradise. But the massive extent of the threat posed to this World Heritage Site is also clear to us.” IWC Schaffhausen pledges itself to ecologically responsible behaviour and pursues a corporate strategy based firmly on sustainability. As a manufacturer of top-quality watches that stand for lasting value, the Swiss company feels a very special obligation to help preserve the fragile ecosystem of the Galapagos Islands. It therefore supports and sponsors the Charles Darwin Foundation and its research organization, which adopts a scientific approach to the challenges on the Galapagos. IWC brings the same commitment to the Cousteau Society, which dedicates itself to continuing the research work of Jacques Cousteau (1910–1997) and the preservation of the world’s seas. With his unique photography and film work depicting the rich diversity of marine life, the French deep-sea diver brought “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau”, as his most popular TV series was known, to the homes of millions of people worldwide. A passionate engineer, inventor, researcher and film-maker, he heightened awareness of the need to protect the blue planet as no one else has done.
THE 2014 AQUATIMER COLLECTION: AN OVERVIEW
For the first time ever, a model from the IWC diver’s watch line is equipped with a perpetual calendar, a genuinely haute horlogerie complication. The Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month (Ref. IW379401) is a genuinely big watch from two points of view. On the one hand, there is the IWC-manufactured 89801 calibre with perpetual calendar and large digital display for the date and month, a feature very much in the Pallweber tradition of 1884. On the other, the flagship of the new collection – which is limited to just 50 watches, incidentally – comes with an impressive case diameter of 49 millimetres. This makes the Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month the second-largest wristwatch in IWC’s history, after the Big Pilot’s Watch of 1940. Following in the footsteps of the GST Deep One of 1999 and the Aquatimer Deep Two of 2009, the Aquatimer Deep Three in titanium (Ref. IW355701) is the third generation of IWC’s diver’s watches to feature a mechanical depth gauge. Both the depth gauge and the rotating bezel system have been continuously developed and improved. During a dive, the blue depth indicator moves to show current dive depth, while the red maximum depth indicator remains at the maximum depth attained, down to a maximum of 50 metres. The Aquatimer Deep Three thus provides a complete backup system to a dive computer.
Built for extreme depths, the Aquatimer Automatic 2000 (Ref. IW358002), water-resistant to 200 bar, continues IWC’s tradition of manufacturing timepieces that can withstand extraordinarily high pressures for both amateur and professional divers. Its titanium case and minimalist design are reminiscent of another iconic IWC model: the Ocean 2000, created by Ferdinand A. Porsche in 1982. The Aquatimer Automatic 2000 features the rugged IWC-manufactured 80110 calibre with Pellaton winding system.
With the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “50 Years Science for Galapagos” (Ref. IW379504), limited to 500 watches, IWC honours the 50th anniversary of the Charles Darwin Research Station, a scientific institution set up by the Charles Darwin Foundation. The Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Galapagos Islands” (Ref. IW379502), which comes with identical technology, has been an expression of IWC’s commitment to the threatened archipelago. Both watches are powered by an IWC-manufactured 89365 calibre and have an attractive black rubber coating.
With the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Expedition Charles Darwin” (Ref. IW379503), IWC Schaffhausen traces the journey of the well-known naturalist to the Galapagos Islands. Here, Darwin collected the evidence that formed the basis of his theory on the origin of species. As a tribute to this event, and for the first time ever, IWC Schaffhausen makes use of bronze for a watch case: the metal alloy was one of the materials typically used in shipbuilding at that time. This special edition is also equipped with the IWC manufactured 89365 calibre.
In 1971, for his film “The Dragons of Galapagos”, the best known pioneer of marine research Jacques Cousteau undertook an expedition to the remote islands in the Pacific to study the behaviour of the marine iguanas. In honour of this enlightening journey of discovery, IWC unveils the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau” in stainless steel (Ref. IW376805). Thanks to the more discreet colours and shapes, the Aquatimer Chronograph in stainless steel (Refs. IW376801/IW376802/IW376803/IW376804), with a black or silver-plated dial, also cuts a fine figure in everyday use. The purist design of the dial leans heavily on that of the first Aquatimer of 1967, but offers a more contemporary interpretation. With a case measuring 42 millimetres in diameter, the Aquatimer Automatic in stainless steel (Refs. IW329001/IW329002/IW329003/IW329004) is the smallest member of the diver’s watch family. The watch, with its three hands, is available in four versions, with a black or silver-plated dial, complemented by a matching black rubber strap or stainless-steel bracelet.
IWC CEO Georges Kern sums up the comprehensive relaunch of the Aquatimer watches as follows: “The new Aquatimer collection has undergone a carefully orchestrated process of technical and optical development. The sophisticated external/internal rotating bezel makes the watch easier to use than ever before and guarantees even more safety during dives. The design of the sports watches is uniquely modern and unmistakably bears the hallmark of IWC. Other features that boost the quality and value of the line are the inclusion of more IWC-manufactured calibres and, for the first time ever, the use of bronze in a case. And with complications such as a perpetual calendar with large digital date and month display as well as a mechanical depth gauge, the Aquatimer line has now taken a leading position in the world of haute horlogerie.”
The Aquatimer Automatic 2000 (Ref. IW358002) features the rugged IWC-manufactured 80110 calibre with Pellaton winding system.
RELAUNCH AN INTEGRAL PART OF EVOLUTION
“The 2014 Aquatimer collection perfectly epitomizes the concept of evolution: remaining successful is all about continuous development,” says Goris Verburg, Director Marketing & Communication IWC Schaffhausen. “That’s the reason why we gave the watch family its first comprehensive relaunch since 2009, without altering its DNA. We retained the qualities our customers appreciate so highly in the Aquatimer watches – the fact that they’re robust and elegant, as equally well suited to diving or an expedition to the Galapagos as to a business meeting. The combination of sport and adventure, outstanding technology and masculine appeal embodied by the diver’s watches perfectly reflects the central message of IWC ‘Engineered for men’.”
The most conspicuous technical modification in the new Aquatimer generation is the innovative external/internal rotating bezel complete with IWC SafeDive system. The mechanism combines the advantages of an internal rotating bezel, which engages precisely in steps of one minute and protects the mechanism against dirt and seawater, with the ease of use of an external rotating bezel that can be moved simply by a diver wearing gloves or with cold fingers. 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 safety reasons, the internal bezel only moves anticlockwise. This ensures that, even if a diver were to move the bezel accidentally, zero hour – the time at which he can return safely to the surface without the need for decompression stops – would not be exceeded. The Super-LumiNova®* coating for the dive time scale on the internal bezel guarantees excellent legibility at all times, no matter how poor the visibility. The two colours, which glow in the dark, are also an aid to orientation on the dial: green for displays relevant to dive time, blue for the hour display.
The Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Galapagos Islands” (Ref. IW379502), is powered by an IWC-manufactured 89365 calibre and has an attractive black rubber coating.
INSPIRED BY DESIGN ICONS
Christian Knoop, Creative Director at IWC, explains the design of the new Aquatimer watches: “The choice of less vivid colours and the functional design of the dial reference the first Aquatimer released in 1967. By contrast, we took our inspiration for the gently rounded and recessed grips on the external bezels from the legendary Porsche design of the Ocean 2000 of 1982. The new rotating bezel mechanism gives the current Aquatimer collection overall a more sophisticated look and feel, despite the addition of a protective cover for the sliding clutch system on the left-hand side of the case. The polished and satin-finished surfaces likewise enhance the high-quality appearance of the watches. Apart from this, I’m personally delighted that by using bronze we’ve managed to integrate a very attractive and living material into IWC’s repertoire of case materials.”
In addition to the perpetual calendar with its large digital display for the month and date, one of the outstanding watchmaking achievements in this year’s collection is the mechanical depth gauge and pressure-resistance to 200 bar. Overall, the line benefits from three new chronograph references with IWC-manufactured movements. Furthermore, most of the previous models have significantly higher pressure-resistance. From now on, all Aquatimers will feature the traditional fish symbol showing pressure-resistance in bar on the back of the watch. The new, patented IWC bracelet quick-change system is not only very practical – the change from stainless-steel bracelet to rubber strap and vice versa is quick and easy – but also very safe. 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. In the corrugated rubber strap, the first segments are so flexible that the strap adjusts itself effortlessly to fluctuations in the girth of the wrist experienced at high temperatures or when diving. In its XXL version, the corrugated strap can even be worn over a drysuit. The bracelets used in the 2014 Aquatimer collection are interchangeable.
Jovan Krstevski – Founder, Proprietor & Executive Editor
Watch collector, aficionado and a Event profile in the Swedish nightlife. He launched Watchgeek back in 2011, which is now known as WristReview. He quotes ’WristReview is a site to help people find, explore, discover and enjoy wristwatches.’ His passion jump started in his early teens, when he was given his first mid-range wristwatch which was an Omega Seamaster. Since then he has always been in love with wristwatches!