IWC unveils a preview of its brand new Aquatimer collection that follows Charles Darwin’s philosophy: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
Each year IWC likes to concentrate on one collection for its main launch. Not that there aren’t new pieces in the other collections, but it’s a strategy that has worked well for the brand over the last few years. Last year it was the turn of the Ingénieur Collection, in 2012 it was the Pilot, 2011 the Portofino, 2010 the Portuguese, 2009 the Aquatimer, and now the brand has come full circle with the Aquatimer again with a host of new looks and some exciting new technology to seduce the world’s diving watch fans.
The new improved Aquatimer collection has abandoned the bright touches of color that dominated the 2009 line in favor of a more subdued and functional design that has a contemporary and yet vintage feel to it. A variety of materials have been called upon for the new timepieces, including titanium, stainless steel, rose gold, black rubber-coatings, and the arrival of bronze.
On the technology side, IWC has introduced a number of new in-house calibers including three new chronograph references. The collection also sees the addition of an impressive “safe-dive” rotating bezel system that allows the diver to set the dive time using an external rotating bezel that connects with an internal rotating bezel. The first Aquatimers had an internal rotating bezel that was activated by a crown at 4 o’clock, while the later models incorporated an external rotating bezel. This new system combines both systems and has the advantage of being easy to use with diving gloves, and safer as the turning mechanism is in a dry area, protected from the effects of dirt and seawater.
Another improvement, or evolution, of the Aquatimer is the arrival of a new “quick-change” bracelet system that allows a fast and easy switch between a metal bracelet and a rubber strap, a must for those who like to go from the depths of the ocean to the port for a drink.
The first release is the IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 which presents a purer design with the new “safe-dive” system. The thinner outer bezel has gently rounded and recessed grips that are reminiscent of the design of the 1982 IWC/Porsche Design Ocean 2000. The time related functions are indicated with an attractive blue SuperLumiNova, while the diving functions are in green. This provides optimal reading in low light and gives the timepiece a rather technical feel. The collection is available with a choice of a black or white dial and a rubber or titanium bracelet, and is equipped with the brand’s in-house 80110 caliber with Pellaton winding system.
A number of special edition chonographs are also being unveiled this year to celebrate some of the work the brand is doing to protect the environment and in particular the Galapagos Islands. The first is the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Expedition Charles Darwin”, in an all-new bronze case and with an in-house chronograph movement with a flyback function. The timepiece commemorates the work of Charles Darwin who is best known for his theory on the origin of species. The use of bronze is reminiscent of the bronze details that would have been found on the boat that Darwin employed during his trip to the Galapagos Islands in 1835.
The Aquatimer Chronograph “Galapagos Islands”, continues this theme in a rubber-coated, all-black version that reminds us of the lava fields found on these mystical islands. This timepiece is a continuation of a line that honors IWC’s partnership with The Charles Darwin Foundation in the Galapagos Islands and displays a beautiful engraving of an iguana on the caseback to celebrate the extraordinary creatures who have made their home there.
Discover these incredible timepieces and many more in Revolution’s March print issues after the SIHH.