IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition ‘50 Years Aquatimer’ Watch In New ‘Ceratanium’ Material

IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition ‘50 Years Aquatimer’ Watch In New ‘Ceratanium’ Material

IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition ‘50 Years Aquatimer' Watch In New 'Ceratanium' Material Watch Releases

The first IWC Aquatimer appeared on the wrists of divers in 1967. It was IWC’s response to the growing demand for dive watches. Now, 50 years later, it has become one of IWC’s more popular collections. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Aquatimer, IWC has released a special limited edition called – deep breath now – the IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “50 Years Aquatimer.” To make it stand out even more, it uses an all-new alloy called Ceratanium.

IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition ‘50 Years Aquatimer' Watch In New 'Ceratanium' Material Watch Releases

Material innovation has been a popular way for watch brands to distinguish themselves from their competitors, and according to IWC, Ceratanium (ceramic + titanium = Ceratanium) is an alloy that took them five years to get right. The end result is a material that combines the lightness and corrosion-resistance of titanium with the hardness and scratch-resistance of ceramic – which is also pretty light. The innovation and use of Ceratanium are appropriate in another way because they seem to reference the history that in 1982, IWC and Porsche Design worked together to produce the Ocean 2000, the first Swiss-made titanium watch. The honor of the first titanium watch actually goes to Seiko’s Professional Diver’s 600m, but that’s a story for another day.

IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition ‘50 Years Aquatimer' Watch In New 'Ceratanium' Material Watch Releases

IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition ‘50 Years Aquatimer' Watch In New 'Ceratanium' Material Watch Releases

While Ceratanium certainly sounds cool, we are going to reserve our judgment until we get to handle the actual watch. Combining materials to create new ones isn’t all that new. Hublot has been at it for years, fusing gold and ceramic to create Magic Gold, carbon fiber and aluminum to make Texalium, and magnesium and aluminum to give us Hublonium. Besides, ceramic isn't all that heavy to begin with, so I'm not sure how much it is going to benefit from the blending of titanium or how that will affect the material's look and texture.

IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition ‘50 Years Aquatimer' Watch In New 'Ceratanium' Material Watch Releases

The IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “50 Years Aquatimer” watch’s Ceratanium case measures 49mm wide and has a matte black finish that IWC says closely resembles ceramic. The watch is not only wide, but measures a hefty 19mm in thickness. For these measurements, a light case material was perhaps obligatory. To match the case, the watch will come with a black rubber strap. Water resistance is 100m, which is adequate for swimming and light scuba diving, and the absolute minimum for calling something a dive watch. I feel that as a member of the Aquatimer collection, the watch should have a higher water resistance of at least 200m, but expensive watches with fancy complications such as this should generally be handled with care anyway.

IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition ‘50 Years Aquatimer' Watch In New 'Ceratanium' Material Watch Releases

IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition ‘50 Years Aquatimer' Watch In New 'Ceratanium' Material Watch Releases

The IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “50 Years Aquatimer” is a perpetual calendar watch with a twist because the date and month are indicated digitally. The leap year indication is shown digitally too, which is unusual. It is also a flyback chronograph with a 12-hour totalizer at 12 o’clock. At 6 o’clock you have a subsidiary seconds dial.

Since this is an Aquatimer, it also features the IWC SafeDive system, which is an ingenious take on the diving bezel. Owners rotate the bezel like they would on a regular dive watch, but thanks to some clever gearing, this causes the internal bezel to rotate.

IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition ‘50 Years Aquatimer' Watch In New 'Ceratanium' Material Watch Releases

Powering the watch is the Caliber 89802, which is self-winding, beats at 4Hz, and has a power reserve of 44 hours. IWC has been using the movement for years in other watches such as the IWC Ingenieur Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month that you will notice has a pretty similar dial design thanks to the movement's layout. The movement is visible through a sapphire display caseback and some components, like the rotor and certain bridges, have been blackened to match the black case.

IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition ‘50 Years Aquatimer' Watch In New 'Ceratanium' Material Watch Releases

All things considered, the IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “50 Years Aquatimer” is a fitting celebratory piece for the Aquatimer’s 50th anniversary. The use of Ceratanium is apt, considering IWC’s history with titanium and ceramic, and the watch is pretty cool after all. That said, having a perpetual calendar complication in a dive watch is a tad unnecessary, because unless you are Namor the Sub-Mariner, how many people are going to be staying so long in the water that need to tell what day it is? The IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “50 Years Aquatimer” is limited to only 50 pieces and is priced at $46,800. iwc.com

What do you think?
  • Thumbs up (5)
  • Interesting (4)
  • I want it! (2)
  • Classy (0)
  • I love it! (0)
  • SuperStrapper

    Waiting for the armchair metallurgists to pop up and shame the article for (correctly) calling this material an alloy because one of the elements is not metal.

    On the watch: its actually bretty cool. I’ve never been much of an aquatimer guy, but I like this dial layout. The dial may seem a little busy to some but if say it does a good job at making an abundance of information available and legible.

    Lookinging forward to the hands-on.

    • Tea Hound

      I shame the article for (correctly) calling this material an alloy because one of the elements is not metal.

    • Kuroji

      That’s not what makes something not an alloy. IWC calls it Ceratanium, which suggests it is a metal-bearing ceramic like what Chanel uses for the J12 Chromatic.
      However, I found this, which suggests a different sort of material:
      “This proprietary titanium alloy was developed over a 5 year long research process. All the case components are from this metal. The milling, turning, drilling and polishing are done before it goes into the oven. Once in the oven, the heat initiates a diffusion process in the titanium alloy and the surface of the material is transformed into ceramic.”

      • SuperStrapper

        Where did you find that. It looks like marketing jargon. How was titanium ‘transformed’ into ceramic?

        • Kuroji

          IWC is vague about this, so I am forced into wild speculation. It is probably a powder metallurgy process using Titanium and nanoparticles of Titanium Diboride. Could also be titanium carbide, I suppose. In any case, this is more a cemented carbide surface rather than a ceramic surface, something hard to appreciate without an electron microscope.

          • SuperStrapper

            Soitbwould have different properties underneath a top layer?

          • Kuroji

            I would guess it mostly has the properties of titanium.

  • Pete Pete

    not that ugly for an iwc.

    but is it really necessary to make the case twice the size of the movement?

    • TrevorXM

      I looked again at the image and you’re right! The case is twice the size of the movement. A good 5mm of nothing on each side for absolutely no reason at all!

      • Tea Hound

        The 5mm contains what IWC call the ‘fabulonic ring’, a hidden ring of plastic that makes the watch more fabulous. When asked whether this ring could be removed, the IWC spokesman said he’d rather remove his trousers. Which he did, revealing that his movement was far too small for its case too.

  • Yan Fin

    Who wouldn’t want to know the month being underwater?

  • egznyc

    Way too big and thick for mere ordinary mortals like me – not to mention expensive. And only 100m WR??? WTF – I thought this was a serious dive-style IWC but I guess it’s more like a flieger with an aqua in name only.

    But the material is something potentially interesting. Not mentioned in the article but maybe it’s also far less likely to shatter, compared with ceramic? This would be the best of both materials.

  • BrJean

    Nice set of complications and decent legibility. I only wish IWC could give more respect to chronograph seconds scale and make it uninterrupted.

    • SuperStrapper

      That’s actually a very valid point. And cutting them off was largely unnecessary considering it was to put the calendar blinders on display.

    • TrevorXM

      Isn’t that ridiculous? It’s a chronograph!

    • egznyc

      I guess that’s why the name of this watch doesn’t mention it’s also a chrono ;-).

  • Nathan Likes Watches

    Not sure if a typo, but you state in your article that the watch has 44 hours of power reserve but the inscription on the back of the rotor says 68?

  • Capcom’s Megaman was made of Ceratanium and it’s been around since 1987, although in Japan it was actually called Titanium Ceramical (???? ? ??? o Seramikaru Chitan). There have been more than 100 Megaman games since than and the robot is still alive and kicking, so I guess this watch will love you long time :0)

  • Alberto Sappwood

    Nearly one millimeter for each year. Yuck.

  • Marius

    I have never been a fan of the Aquatimer, and I’m also not a fan of this watch. To me, it looks like a combination between a G-Shock and and Invicta. However, I have to say that the IWC caliber 89802 is one of my favourite IWC movements: it’s quite attractive (in a technical way); it offers a great complication; and it displays the information in a very interesting as well as highly legible manner.

    Personally, with a budget of around $50,000, I would be looking at two similar watches. One would be the IWC Ingenieur using the very same caliber. To me, the Ingenieur looks more attractive as well as better-balanced thanks to the smaller size (46 mm).
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/03e6784e99f7c9f507c4c909520ee3a5b4bac769122e52d3fbaba20b10baa1fc.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/534b0b4d598368826f86a6ded2c094849b015a907279908a6c9e9cf560ebd327.jpg
    The other timepiece I would consider is the JLC Extreme Lab 2. Granted, this watch doesn’t feature a perpetual calendar complication, but I find it to be extremely cool-looking, and the movement has some interesting features such as radial power display, instantly-jumping chronograph minutes, and of course, a lubricant-free functioning. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6a448f148835f53a82ef555c347862a143791ba4cfcc991a3292a95bc10e6bdb.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/021378d3aad482918238f3a5453877b5093cd7dc343ce9782f56fd59f13eef30.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/200378a877b0586d91ad40cb11920a48da4cca09d5f83b979c0e976526f1c035.jpg

    • TrevorXM

      Both nicer watches in my opinion. The Ingenieur doesn’t have good legibility, but it is one very cool looking watch.

      In the JLC’s favour, I would add that perpetual calendars are pointless as you’ll need to have these watches serviced, disassembled, cleaned, oiled, and completely reset every 5 years.

    • Yan Fin

      You should trademark “lubricant-free functioning”. So many possibilities here.?

    • Gokart Mozart

      The thing is technically good they may be but they’re all not very pretty. Actually borderline ugly.

      Why pay 50 big ones for an ugly watch?

    • Kuroji

      Needz moar rubber.

  • Tea Hound

    If you like the looks of this watch, and are just pondering whether maybe IWC is charging a touch too much for what it want to give you, you can save some useful money and buy one of these: https://g-shock.co.uk/product?v=GST-B100X-1AER

    The Casio hasn’t got quite the same amount of extraneous labelling on it as the IWC has, but apart from that and $46k, there isn’t much between them.

  • Radium head

    I’m trying to come up with something nice to say about this watch,………,…..,
    I like Fire trucks. . . Hu can I get back to ya. Maybe
    ….

  • I’d love to know what gas mixture gives you a bottom time so long that you might be puzzled as to what month it is when you surface. Perhaps Hublonium -Nitrox?

  • BNABOD

    Hum “While Ceratanium certainly sounds cool” …no it does not. Not to me at least… and please 49mm yeah ok make it 59 actually push it real good to let’s say 69mm. A winnning formula of steroids and ridiculous naming conventions (granted nothing can touch Ublow on this , ahem Hublonium). So sad such a decent movement could not be housed in a reasonably decent looking watch. They had to super size it, covert ops it, and bam voila 50k…you like??

  • Chaz

    Evokes the word Serotonin… pass.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    I want to see my £35,300 on my wrist, not some plastic looking £300 pile of crap.

  • Buy and Sold
    • Raymond Wilkie

      At $ 2276 considerably cheaper.

      • IG

        It’s a Seiko, duh.

        • Raymond Wilkie

          I know…………………duh.

  • Gokart Mozart

    Quite possibly the worst looking IWC I have seen ever. This is the watch to celebrate 50 years of the Aquatimer?

    Looks like the lovechild of a G-shock, Tag and Hublot with growth hormones.

    Can not believe IWC signed off this watch.

    This is the https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/058917d50490bafeb615d7d2d75187623bc1a0f76e868c27d89ce60949a96d5c.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/625288ca4a934728dd9e1f83b1d3a53f231424a2dd671ab228c9cda12b7341bf.jpg watch equivalent of the before and after of Mickey Rourke.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Looks like the kid of a Seiko Tuna and a Zenith from the Nataf era.

  • Gastarbeiter

    Take 10mm out of diameter.
    Reduce thickness by 30-40%
    Keep WR and Display back and put a nice movement in (not necessarily chrono)
    Get New price divided by 5.

    Will run to the boutique!

  • Kuroji
    • spiceballs

      Interesting, thx for the link Kuroji. Reads like ceramic (powder?) is a baked-on (sintered)surfacing to the titanium?

      • Kuroji

        My read is that ceramic nanoparticles migrate to the surface when fired to below the melting point of titanium.

  • WINKS

    This watch will sink you.

  • Mikita

    50 ? 20 mm, what a brick LOL. IWC Aquatimer Hockey Puck Edition.

  • Mark1884

    I would pick a more traditional IWC.
    Respectful Pass.

  • For 46 grand, it should be made from unobtanium.

  • Brian

    I like how it says ‘LEAP YEAR’ all the time. That’s nice.

  • Pete L

    Lot of money for a hockey puck on a rubber strap. A miss for me as it needs to be a proper dive watch first with a suitable depth rating – and the complications would be better suited to a dress watch?

  • Ulysses31

    One of the benefits of titanium is toughness. A common problem with most ceramic materials is fragility. I wonder how this new material would do compared with “ordinary” ceramic?