The titanium case of this timepiece and its reduced design are reminiscent of a model with iconic status: the Ocean 2000 created by Ferdinand A. Porsche in 1982.

IWC started its success story with the manufacture of diver’s watches in 1967 with the first Aquatimer, which boasted a revolutionary pressure-resistance of 20 bar. In the 1980s, when IWC was commissioned to make watches especiallyfor commando frogmen and mine clearance divers, its excellent reputation as a manufacturer of professional diver’s watches was already well established. At this time, IWC was also the only watch company in the world able to mill titanium, a corrosion-resistant, light and virtually indestructible material particularly suitable for diver’s watches. In partnership with Ferdinand A. Porsche, the designer of the legendary Porsche 911, IWC created six versions of diver’s watches for military use, including a watch for mine clearance divers, with the first completely nonmagnetic mechanical movement.

Parallel to this, in 1982, IWC began producing the Ocean 2000 sports diver’s watch with an external rotating bezel, likewise designed by Ferdinand A. Porsche. It was the first seriesproduced diver’s watch in titanium with tested pressureresistance to 200 bar, which is equivalent to a depth of 2,000 metres. There was also the austere functional design, the new case material and a screw-in crown with triple sealing, all of which marked an important step forward in the development of IWC’s diver’s watches.

In 1998, IWC reinstated the traditional Aquatimer name and launched the Aquatimer GST Automatic 2000 in titanium as part of a new sports watch line. Six years later, the Aquatimer Automatic 2000 offered an internal rotating bezel that was set via a self-sealing crown at “4 o’clock”. But with its next generation of the Aquatimer Automatic 2000, in 2009, IWC had already reverted to the tried and tested external rotating bezel. Before the watch’s market launch, the team formerly around Jacques Cousteau tested the functionality of the new “2000s” in the Red Sea and gave it their seal of approval.

IWC_Aquatimer_automatic-2000-IW358002

Aquatimer Automatic 2000 ref. IW358002 © IWC

 

A reliable dive buddy
The Aquatimer’s main job is to provide a reliable way of measuring dive time, which is limited by the amount of compressed air in the tank. Digital diving computers long ago took over the job of continuously tracking dive time, but experienced divers still swear by an additional timekeeper as a backup system for underwater missions.

The reliable IWC-manufactured 80110 movement is eminently suited to this purpose. The case’s water-resistance to a depth of 2,000 metres should be viewed as a safety reserve.

Like all the new IWC diver’s watches in the current collection, the Aquatimer Automatic 2000 in titanium is fitted with the innovative external/internal rotating bezel system. The internal rotating bezel can only be turned anticlockwise. This ensures that even if a diver moves the bezel accidentally, he does not exceed the time at which he can return safely to the surface without the need for decompression stops. A sliding clutch system concealed under the cover at “9 o’clock” transmits the movement of the external bezel to the interior of the case and the internal rotating bezel. In the rounded recessed grips on the titanium bezel and the extremely reduced dial design, watch lovers will spot references to the Porsche design for the Ocean 2000. The milled-out sections typical of the design not only make it easier to turn the external rotating bezel when wearing gloves; they also give the Aquatimer Automatic 2000 an optical sensation of lightness, despite the fact that the case, at 46 millimetres, is 2 millimetres wider than its predecessorin stainless steel.

The traditionally elaborate finishing on the case, with its contrasting polished and satin-finished surfaces, helps underscore the upmarket appearance of the new collection. The black dial has a three-dimensional structure that creates an optical balance to the imposing size of the case. Leaning on diver’s watches of the past, the indices with their green luminescent coating are divided by a fine strip. In order to exclude any chance of confusion underwater, the Super-LumiNova®* coating comes in two different colours: green for the displays relevant to the dive and blue for the hour display. The watch also features a rapid-advance date display. The central hacking seconds can be stopped simply by pulling out the crown.

Patented IWC bracelet quick-change system
The corrugated rubber strap adjusts flexibly to fluctuations in the girth of the wrist. Thanks to the IWC bracelet quickchange system, swapping the strap for a bracelet or vice versa is a snap. A longer version for use with a dry dive suit is included with the watch.

In the new Aquatimer collection,IWC reverts to its earlier practice of showing water-resistance on the back of the watch: the impressive pressure-resistance is shown in bar alongside the stylized fish. The back is also embellished with the engraving of a classic helmet for deep-sea divers.

IWC_Aquatimer_automatic-2000-IW358002

The back of the watch. © IWC