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IWC Aquatimer Watches In Three New Designs For 2016

IWC Aquatimer Watches In Three New Designs For 2016 Watch Releases

2015 has drawn to a close, which it means that we can turn our eyes towards the watches that are being released for 2016. For the new year, IWC is extending their Aquatimer lineup which had a major overhaul back in 2014 (hands-on with those here). Obviously, these do not include any major or radical design changes, but IWC figured some fresh new looks were worth it. While new watches often will pull inspiration from (or pay homage to) places, people, or past models, the new IWC Aquatimer models manage to cover all three of those bases.

IWC Aquatimer Watches In Three New Designs For 2016 Watch Releases

The first of these models is the 44mm IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “La Cumbre Volcano” (Ref. IW379505). While I do not consider myself to be a “chronograph guy,” this one caught my eye due to the A-Team color scheme used on it. Yeah, as a diver, this particular model may not be the most legible under water, but it is pretty stunning, with the crisp blacked-out dial accented by the red on the internal bezel and handset. It joins the increasingly busy IWC Aquatimer Chronograph special editions that tribute the Galapagos, Charles Darwin, and Cousteau (hands-on here).

IWC Aquatimer Watches In Three New Designs For 2016 Watch Releases

This particular IWC Aquatimer is pulling its name from the La Cumbra volcano on Fernadina island in the Galapagos. Why the Galapagos? IWC has been working with the Charles Darwin Foundation to help preserve the environment there. Just as the resources in those islands are a bit limited, this particular IWC Aquatimer is of a limited nature as well, with only 500 pieces of the rubber-coated watch being produced. A portion of proceeds will go to the Darwin Foundation to help in their efforts.

IWC Aquatimer Watches In Three New Designs For 2016 Watch Releases

On the other hand, if you want to do some really deep diving (300m water resistance on the IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “La Cumbre Volcano” seems a bit paltry, does it not?), then the new 46mm IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 (Ref. IW358001) in black and yellow is what you want. Yeah, that’s right – this bad boy carries a 2000m WR rating, and though it’s not a new watch (hands-on of the standard version here), the bold yellow really makes this one stand out and have an almost “radioactive” color palette.

This particular IWC Aquatimer recalls the watches designed back in 1982 by Ferdinand A. Porsche for mine clearance divers. I told you this watch was a dangerous one! This one also features an internal/external timing bezel on the titanium case. It is a hefty case (over 20mm thick as well) so it’s helpful that it is not steel.


IWC Aquatimer Watches In Three New Designs For 2016 Watch Releases

Finally, we are brought to the IWC Aquatimer Automatic Edition “Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau” (Ref. IW329005), which joins the aforementioned, existing IWC Aquatimer Chronograph in tributing Cousteau. This is much more compact than the IWC Aquatimer 2000, measuring in at 42mm (in steel) and only 14mm thick; the water resistance rating drops back to 300m as well. Of the three new watches, I think this one is my favorite, given the striking shade of blue that is utilized for the dial. Like with the Darwin Foundation, no word is given as to what portion of this watch’s proceeds go to the Cousteau Society – IWC is an active supporter of the foundation, helping with such things as restoring the Calypso. Note that this isn’t the first IWC Aquatimer honoring Cousteau, as there is also an existing Chronograph version.

IWC Aquatimer Watches In Three New Designs For 2016 Watch Releases

As with the other IWC Aquatimer models, the IWC Aquatimer Automatic Edition “Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau” features the same internal/external timing bezel, and overall familial looks across the line. All three models also feature IWC-manufactured movements: the 89365 chrono, 80110 for the IWC Aquatimer 2000, and the 30120 for the IWC Aquatimer Cousteau edition. While I certainly have written up these new models with tongue firmly planted in my cheek, there is no doubt that these new IWC Aquatimer models are impressive machines to accompany you on a dive. And frankly, for me, there is just something rather fitting about German design and a sport-oriented tool watch like these divers that just seems to make sense. Price for the IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “La Cumbre Volcano” (Ref. IW379505) is $10,700, the IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 ( Ref. IW358001) is $9,500, and the IWC Aquatimer Automatic Edition “Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau” (Ref. IW329005) is $5,600

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  • iamcalledryan

    The blue-dialed three-hander is mega-handsome. I love an internal rotating bezel, and this mechanism is a cool take on that.

  • SuperStrapper

    We’ve had 3 IWC articles in quick succession, and I think the smallest watch from all of them was 44 or 45mm.

    I don’t personally have a problem with this, but someone’s sure to get pissy about it sooner or later.

    These watches: I like the yellow highlighted one best I think, but I’m not a fan of any of the casebacks.

    • Rupert Muller

      Please read more carefully: Here we have a 42 mm watch!

    • Sevenmack

      You know, some folks have envy about their small wrists. 🙂

      • SuperStrapper

        As a bespoke strap maker, I can confirm that when it comes to wrist sizes, the grass is always greener on the other side. I have a regular with 12.5″ wrists, and more than on regular with wrists in the 6″ range. All of them wish they were on the other end of the spectrum. Mine are about 7.5, which I think is somewhere around average.

  • Ryan B.

    the black and yellow

  • Chaz


    • Beefalope

      What he said.


    The Cousteau (despite the spooky engraving on the case back).

  • Sarthak Sharma

    Seems IWC has taken up the challenge of competing with Invicta on the how-big-can-we-make-this-watch competition… Spoiler: no one wins.

  • Marius

    The article mentions that all three models are equipped with in-house movements, but I am not completely sure about the last one, the blue-dialed reference. On the IWC site, it doesn`t mention Manufaktur Werk i.e. in-house movement, it only gives you the number of the caliber, which probably means its a Selitta or ETA. That could also explain why it `only` costs $5,600, while the 2000m reference is almost twice as expansive.

    • Rupert Muller

      You are correct. The last one has no in-house movement.

  • DanW94

    The 2000m edition is eye catching, and the Cousteau is nice but forgettable. Lots and lots of divers out there to choose from. The Galapagos caseback looks like the initial sketch for every 5th graders science fair volcano project.

  • The Cousteau looks nice. However, at a tenth of the price:

    • iamcalledryan

      nice, world time too. Definitely not 1/10 as attractive, but not 10/10 either…

  • wrigduo

    they are very beautiful, but too big for my wrist. of course, some like bigger simensions, but i dont… i am looking to grab 40mm ingenieur 😀

  • Sevenmack

    The Cousteau is not bad looking at all. But there are watches that can go 300 meters for far less money. Such as this Bulova Precisionist which sits on my arm right now. Love IWC and don’t mind high prices. But none of the Aquatimers are special enough for the price.

  • otaking241

    The 42mm ATs use an ETA movement. It’s a shame because they really wear great at this size!

  • Phil

    Take a look at used versions of the galapagos version online and you’ll see that the rubber coating is almost always cracking and peeling off. I’m shocked that they stuck with that design for the new model.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    These guys are really scraping the bottom of the barrel for a gimmick for this really boring watch.

  • JimBob

    A mixed bag of interesting and infuriating design choices. Now, about that $10k price tag…

  • mclonts

    $5,600 for the lowest price Cousteau? I’ll stick with my Seikos and Christopher Ward C60 @ a fraction of the price.


    the yellow and blue are not bad looking. not sure what it is with the Aquaracer, it just = meh for me. Jacques-Yves at 42mm is a decent size for once but 5600 bucks for the basic model is pretty hard to swallow

    • I_G

      Yeah it’s pretty hard to swallow $5600, even if you chew the bills thoroughly and drink a lot.

  • Nelson

    The blue dialed Aquatimer is cool but perhaps, it’s a bit overpriced.

  • funNactive

    I’ve been wanting a watch with an internal retating bezel.

  • Boogur T. Wang

    While I am no fan of Cousteau, I do share an enthusiasm for the IWC Aquatimer Automatic Edition “Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau” (Ref. IW329005) model.

    Nice rundown Mr. Kansa.

    p.s. – IMO, some board contributors seem to regard these reviews as a ‘pissing contest’ rather than a thoughtful discussion of the items presented. We are all grateful with the plethora of choices we enjoy in this venue. (hell, I think a lot of them are over-priced, over-done and damn silly)
    I do wish to let the contributing authors know that their articles are well-done and well regarded.

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