The dial is otherwise very legible with enough lume (it seems) and decorative elements as well. In case you forgot, there are two exciting elements about the Aquatimer case that are new for 2014 and highly loved by myself and other IWC fans. First is the ratcheting diver’s bezel. The external bezel moves in both directions, but because it ratchets, only moving it in one direction will move the inner rotating bezel, which is used for timing purposes. It is a great little system, and once you have it going back to traditional rotating bezels will seem like a step backwards.
In addition to the ratcheting “SafeDive” bezel system, IWC designed a totally updated quick-change system for the strap or bracelet. We’ve talked about this already in reference to the new 2014 Aquatimer watches, but let me recap. The system uses a small pusher under the strap or bracelet to easily release it. It works well and allows for rapid strap changes. It feels solid and works much better than in the past. Also really good is that the system still uses traditional spring bars. Why is that important? Well, it allows you to use any fitting straps you like. Third-party straps won’t have the neat quick-release system but at least you can use whatever straps you like. Thus, in addition to having a well-engineered quick-change system for IWC straps, you can still use normal third-party straps if you like. Very good work, IWC!
Inside the IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 watch is an in-house made IWC calibre 80110 automatic movement. This is the only three-hand version of the new Aquatimer watch family to have an in-house IWC movement, though there are other models such as the chronographs that have in-house movement options. Built on the architecture of the Valjoux 7750, the 80110 is a rather reliable work-horse movement and offers 44 hours of power reserve.
The classic looking black rubber diver’s strap finishes off the theme pretty well. I think IWC has a winner here given the overall design, features, and theme. Of course the IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 isn’t inexpensive and not without its quirks, but I’d like to see IWC return to a strong place in the high-end dive watch, given their general focus on legibility and comfort. Price for the ref. IW358002 IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 watch is $10,100. iwc.com