By Meor Amri Meor Ayob
It’s the start of 2016. Despite the global economic being as it is, the world of horology is expected to grow even stronger with more exciting product offerings from brands.
I have one IWC in my collection, the IWC Ingenieur Reference IW3236. It has linkages to an original design by the legendary watch designer Gérald Genta. Another line of IWC watches which I kept my one on is the Aquatimer series. This too has linkages to an original design of 1982 by another famous designer, Ferdinand A. Porsche for mine clearance divers. For 2016, IWC will be beefing up the Aquatimer series with three new offerings; a new black and yellow version of the Aquatimer Automatic 2000, the Aquatimer Automatic Edition “Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau”, and the Aquatimer Chronograph Limited Edition “La Cumbre Volcano”.
A new color combination of black and yellow is now available for the IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000. Designated with Reference IW358001, this new piece is lively and is a proper tool watch for professional divers. Capable of taking on 2,000 meters of water pressure, this Aquatimer is considered the supreme dive watch designed and made by IWC. Housed in a 46 mm titanium case, the markers and hands are painted liberally with Super-LumiNova luminous paint to provide the necessary illumination in the dark. The watch also has the SafeDive bezel system where the dive time can be set using the mechanical internal rotating bezel and ensures that the inner ring can be moved only anticlockwise. The SafeDive bezel system and the amount of material needed to withstand 2,000 meters of water pressure make it a rather tall watch with a 20.6 mm thickness.
The screw-down caseback has the engraving of a deep-sea diver and the watch comes standard with a black rubber strap. Powered by IWC’s in-house automatic caliber 80110 movement, it comes with a date function in a small window located just beside 3 o’clock marker. The 4 Hz (28,800 vph) movement has 44 hours of power reserve.
The next new Aquatimer is the Automatic Edition “Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau” with Reference IW329005. This is the seventh such model to honour the French scuba-diving pioneer Monsieur Jacques-Yves Cousteau. The watch is made out of stainless steel with a screw-down caseback with the etching of Jacques-Yves Cousteau with his trademark beanie cap.
The caliber for this watch is the automatic ETA-based Calibre 30120 offering a power reserve of 42 hours. Smaller than the IW358001, this particular example has a diameter of only 42 mm and a thickness of just 14 mm. The water rating is also lower at just 30 bars or 300 meters. It does come with the SafeDive system and a date function like the bigger IW358001.
What sets it apart from other Aquatimer’s is its stunning deep blue dial.
The final new Aquatimer is the Chronograph Limited Edition “La Cumbre Volcano” with Reference IW379505. This watch got its name after a volcano on Fernandina Island in the Galápagos Islands.
This watch is a chronograph with flyback function. The pushers for the chronograph function are set to the right of the casing and the upper sub-dial has a 60-minute chronograph counter while the lower is the seconds sub-dial.
With a diameter of 44 mm and a thickness of 17 mm, this watch is the second biggest piece out of the three new Aquatimers. Made out of stainless steel, the casing is coated with matte black rubber which gives it a texture that belies its metal core. Limited to just 500 pieces, part of the proceeds from sales of this special edition will be used to support the Charles Darwin Foundation for conservation work on the Galapagos archipelago.
In keeping with the volcano theme, the internal rotating bezel, central seconds and minute hand of the chronograph are dark red to symbolize seething magma. The engraving on the screw-down caseback shows the volcano erupting.
This watch utilizes IWC’s in-house made self-winding movement, Calibre 89365. Operating at 4 Hz (28,800 vph), the movement has 68 hours of power reserve. Water-resistant is limited to 30 bars or 300 meters and it incorporate the IWC SafeDive system as well a date function similar to the rest of the other Aquatimers.
Reference IW328001 US$ 10,500
Reference IW329005 US$ 6,000
Reference IW379505 US$ 11,600
My personal favorite is the IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000. Yes, it is a beast on the wrist but an Aquatimer is never meant to be anything but a tool watch. Even the narratives that these watches are equated too (2,000-meter depth; diving exploration/adventure; erupting volcano) are vigorous and full of life. These watches are not supposed to be paired with your wardrobe but matched with the exciting adventure of life.
My only wish is that the stunning deep blue dial of Automatic Edition “Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau” can be transplanted on the IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000. That will be a gorgeous piece.
For more info, please visit iwc.com
MEOR AMRI MEOR AYOB – CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
Meor Amri is a passionate watch collector from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Having bitten by the horology bug in 2010, he has written extensively about the watch scene and has assembled a large collection of watches (excessively!!!) on his own free time. His blogs on the same subject are: Eastern Watch & Western Watch Read his articles here