By TLex The new IWC Aquatimer family looks fantastic. There have been plenty of changes including a move back to external bezels. The LE Galapagos Chrono is stunning and as for the Deep 2, wow! I'm in love with the whole range, can't wait to get my hands on them.
Aquatimer Automatic 2000 Its name is a watchword. In terms of water resistance, the Aquatimer Automatic 2000 with its tested pressure resistance of 200 bar still holds the record in the watch family. It features a black dial and a black external rotating bezel with the familiar luminous yellow 15-minute segment of the previous Aquatimer in stainless steel.
The colour yellow is also used for the minute hand, which indicates the dive time, to ensure a clear distinction. A second variant has a white dial with orange or white numerals on a white or dark blue background on the rotating bezel and an orange hour hand. It is powered by the 30110 calibre automatic movement. The Aquatimer Automatic 2000 is available with an optional stainless steel bracelet or a rubber strap.
Aquatimer Chronograph Sporting the attributes of the new Aquatimer family, such as the external rotating bezel and the bracelet quickchange system, the Aquatimer Chronograph is available in stainless steel – with either a stainless steel bracelet or a rubber strap – in two different dial variants: in the Aquatimer signature colours of black and yellow, or in the striking colour combination of blue and coral red.
The watch in its 44-mm diameter case is pressureresistant to 12 bar. The 79320 calibre chronograph movement records aggregate times up to 12hours on rhodium plated inner dials. In addition to the date, it also has a day display.
Aquatimer Deep Two The diver’s watch with a mechanical depth gauge makes a return after ten years in the form of the Aquatimer Deep Two, pressure-resistant to 12 bar. Like its predecessor, the GST Deep One from 1999, it shows not only the actual dive depth, but also the maximum depth reached during a particular dive. It thus doubles as a complete second safety system alongside the dive computer.
Whereas the GST Deep One was able to measure water depths down to 45 metres, the Aquatimer Deep Two features a semi-circular indicator on the dial, which records depths down to 50 metres. Its pressure measurement system is contained in a second large crown on the left side of the case. The water pressure acts directly on a membrane inside this crown and forces a pin into the interior of the case.
This movement actuates a lever mechanism connected to the measurement hands. However, only the raised tips of the hands at the level of the dial can be seen to move over the indicator scale through a semi-circular slot in the dial. The hands in this case are led around the movement. This is an ingenious solution, which avoids the need for the path of the arbors to pass through the movement. The depth indicator (blue) moves over the white measuring field as the depth of water increases or decreases.
The maximum depth indicator (red) always remains at the greatest depth reached. It can be released by a button underneath the depth-gauge sensor crown on the left side of the case. The Aquatimer Deep Two is the only member of the family with a case diameter of 46 mm.
Aquatimer Chronograph in red gold Of the diver’s chronographs, the Aquatimer Chronograph in red gold stands out particularly in both visual and horological terms. It is the first watch in the Aquatimer family to be equipped with the IWC manufactured 89360 calibre, the chronograph movement developed and built in its entirety by IWC. It is distinguished by its flyback function and the two-hand display of the long stop times on a single inner dial.
The 89360 calibre movement, wound by the IWC doublepawl automatic winding system, is currently regarded as one of the most modern mechanical movements with a stop function, which can also be observed through the sapphire glass back in this sportingly elegant diver’s watch. This watch, which is pressure-resistant to 12 bar, is only available in a 44-mm diameter red gold case with a black rubber strap.
Aquatimer Chronograph Edition Galapagos Islands Featuring the same case size and the same automatic drive mechanism (79320 calibre movement) as the Aquatimer Chronograph, the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition Galapagos Islands is a shining example of the revised watch family in every respect.
The matt black stainless steel case, completely coated with vulcanized rubber, the black dial and the strongly contrasting white indications together with the black rubber strap make the watch, which is pressure resistant to 12bar, a conspicuous statement on the wrist. It is the ambassador of a new collaboration between IWC and the Charles Darwin Foundation with its presence on the Galapagos Islands.
From IWC Overview of the Aquatimer watch family 2009
Thanks to its robustness and dependability, the diver’s watch remains the sports watch of choice to this day and doubles as a reliable reserve as the indispensable underwater back up system, even if the dive computer now relieves the underwater sportsman of most of the necessary calculations.
Once again, IWC Schaffhausen has extensively revised, both technically and aesthetically, its family of diver’s watches, first introduced in 1967 under the name Aquatimer and since then further developed on a number of occasions.
This step coincides with a new partnership in support of environmental and marine conservation, which IWC has entered into with the Charles Darwin Foundation in Galapagos to mark the Darwin bicentennial year in 2009. One of the new Aquatimer models, the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition Galapagos Islands, is dedicated specifically to this commitment.
This new environmental commitment by IWC will start in the Darwin anniversary year – 2009 – in which the scientific world will celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of the great British biologist and behavioral scientist, Charles Darwin. He made his fundamental observations on the origin of species mainly on Galapagos, the unique archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, which was never in contact with the mainland at any time in the history of evolution.
Specific animal and plant species not to be found anywhere else on earth evolved here through natural selection as a result of the differences in living conditions – even from one island to the next.
This is also true of the marine life. Yet this 'laboratory of evolution' is massively endangered by settlement, by illegal fishing and by the introduction of animals that are destroying the basis of existence of the indigenous species. The non-profit Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) has more than 100 interns actively engaged in the conservation of this NESCO World Heritage Site, which is on the 'Red List'. IWC not only backs this cause in non-material ways, but also through a considerable financial contribution to support the CDF in this worthy endeavour.
By TLex Below; Vintage Aquatimer, Porsche Design & IWC Ocean 2000 and the Deep One.