December 31, 2013
by Ariel Adams
Less than two weeks ago, we brought you a sneak peak at IWC’s handsome new Aquatimer dive watch collection for 2014. We recommend checking that post for a bit of extra information, as well as for context on how IWC has been releasing new models and for some history behind their well-regarded Aquatimer dive watch. Even though the SIHH 2014 trade show isn’t for another couple of weeks, we have new, interesting information that will help you make sense of the entire range of IWC Aquatimer models for the new year. We don’t have pictures of everything (yet), but we will tell you what you need to know until we can follow-up with a full hands-on post after the show later in January.
IWC’s tactics of late remain true into 2014. There is less focus on movements, and more on cases, dials, and overall collection designs. In fact, IWC probably has enough movements right now and is probably working on tweaking their existing family of calibers versus trying to make new movements. In our previous post (linked to above) on the 2014 Aquatimer collection, it was guessed that the new Aquatimer models would have base ETA movements as previous generation Aquatimer models had. That turned out to be partially wrong. The new models are split between those that use base Swiss ETA movements and more high-end models that feature IWC in-house made calibers.
In total, 2014 will see nine different new Aquatimers models. That doesn’t include some color variations among the standard models such as the Aquatimer Chronograph or Aquatimer Automatic. The range has a large variety of styles, colors, materials, complications, and prices. Looking back to the original IWC Aquatimer watches from 1967, as we predicted last time, IWC was also heavily influenced by the watches they produced for Porsche Design in the early 1980s such as the famed (and amazing) Ocean 2000.
Let’s start with
what we don’t have to actually show you (UPDATE: we now have more details on the Deep Three and the Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month) – these would be the two highest-end IWC Aquatimer watches for the year and include a new depth gauge model with the Aquatimer Deep Three (ref. IW355701). This follows in the footsteps of the IWC GST Deep One from 1999 and the Aquatimer Deep Two from 2009. It is a mechanical depth meter watch that measures down to 50 meters (though the watch is water resistant to 100 meters). At 46mm wide Aquatimer Deep Three will be produced in titanium. While the in-house made movement isn’t per se new, IWC does claim it is improved over the previous generation Deep Two model. Actually it isn’t totally in-house. The IWC caliber 30120 is based on an ETA 2892 with a lot of their own changes and additions. We understand that price for the Deep Three is about $23,000.
Just as IWC did last year with the Ingenieur Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month, IWC will place its caliber 89801 automatic movement into an Aquatimer model. This will also be the largest watch of the entire Aquatimer collection and according to IWC the second largest watch the brand has ever produced, being 49mm in an 18k rose gold case with rubber-coated titanium. It will be the Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month (ref. IWC379401), and if unmodified, will have a perpetual calendar display with a digital indicator for the month and date, as well as a chronograph. This model will be a limited edition of just 50 pieces and only dive-themed being water resistant to 100 meters.
The rest of the models are either three-hand automatics or chronographs, but there are two models of each. The most basic model of the entire collection is the IWC Aquatimer Automatic and it will comes in four versions (refs. IW329001, IW329002, IW329003, IW329004). Among those four version will be at least two dial colors (black and what looks like silver), on either a rubber strap or metal bracelet. The Aquatimer Automatic will be offered in a steel case and will further be the smallest model at 42mm wide. We guess that the Aquatimer Automatic will contain a base Swiss ETA or similar automatic movement.
Going up from there is the other three-hand model, the Aquatimer Automatic 2000 (ref. IW358002). In titanium, the case will be a bit larger (guessing 44mm wide or so) and will be water resistant to 2000 meters as the historic Ocean 2000 was. It will also probably be a few thousand dollars more expensive than the base Automatic model. In addition to the increased water resistance as well as titanium case, the Aquatimer Automatic 2000 will contain an in-house made IWC caliber 80110 automatic movement (which is actually based on the architecture of the Valjoux 7750). This is perhaps my favorite of the new Aquatimer models.