By Chanel Lim
In 1967, at the height of the growing popularity of scuba diving, IWC (International Watch Company ) introduced its first divers’ watch, the IWC Aquatimer. It had a rotating bezel and two crowns with water-resistance of up to 200 metres. This watch was so successful that it became the foundation of one of IWC’s most iconic collections.
When American watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones founded IWC in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, in 1868, what he had in mind was an elite and superior brand, offering nothing but watches with supreme quality and precision.
One hundred fifty years later, the team behind the IWC brand has succeeded in making its founder’s vision come true. Today, IWC is one of the most sought-after brands that offer mechanical timepieces that are all fully handcrafted.
The IWC now has a total of six powerful watch families that draw on modern technology, with the IWC Aquatimer being the collection that is made for the avid sportsmen. Below are our top 6 picks from the IWC Aquatimer collection that will take your diving experience to new depths.
IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition ‘Galapagos Islands’
The IWC Aquatimer Galapagos Islands watch has a stainless steel case with vulcanised rubber coating. With a diameter of 45.0mm, it evokes a strong presence at first glance. Its all-black dial, bezel and quick-change system strap offer a whole new dimension for dive watches. Behind its well-fortified dial lies 294 components, each contributing to its mechanical prowess. The key to its design, however, is in its striped finishing, a well-sought but rare decoration known as Côtes de Genève.
Running on the IWC 89000 calibre movement, this powerful chronograph offers a flyback function, 68 hours of power reserve, and most importantly, a mechanical external and internal rotating bezel with the IWC Safedive system for a more secure diving experience.
IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition ‘Laureus Sport for Good’
If you haven’t heard of the IWC Aquatimer Laureus Sport for Good watch, you are definitely missing out. With a gradient-like blue luminescent dial, this watch is a perfect dive buddy, offering visibility even in the darkest of waters for night diving.
Working on the automatic, self-winding IWC 89365 calibre movement, the watch features a flyback chronograph function with minutes and seconds, as well as a date display. With water resistance up to 300 metres, it also boasts 68 hours of power reserve and limited to 1,000 pieces. A blue rubber strap matches its striking blue dial.
IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition ‘Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau’
Yet another piece inspired by the colour of the sea, the IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau watch is one of the more powerful ones in the collection. The watch features a grained blue dial and stainless steel case with finished bevelled corners. It displays white-painted hour markers that accentuate its classic design.
This watch has the IWC Safedive system that prevents the extension of time underwater accidentally. It also boasts a uni-directional bezel, offering incredible diving mechanisms, as well as sub-dials for 30 minute and 12 hour counters for chronograph functions. Running on the IWC Calibre 79320 movement, this watch provides a strong power reserve of 44 hours. A black rubber strap completes the look of this robust watch.
IWC Aquatimer Automatic
Taking up a pale white upfront that displays a pure and clean look, the IWC Aquatimer Automatic is a classic watch that will never go out of style. It has a day and date features and a chronograph function on its silver dial. The luminescent hands and hour markers also offer additional convenience to its wearers.
This product is another watch that has a guaranteed SafeDive system and a certificate of authenticity. A self-winding automatic movement ensures 44 hours of power reserve, and with a sturdy 44mm stainless steel case, this IWC Aquatimer Automatic can go up to 300m deep. Its black rubber strap features an easy-release and adjustable function. Perfect for those who seek a practical and elegant mechanical dive watch, this timepiece will not disappoint.
IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Automatic
With more than 50 years of experience in professional divers’ watches, IWC has surpassed its own outstanding records with this one. Carved with its original ‘Aquatimer’ watch in mind, the IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Automatic exudes the perfect blend of both vintage and modernity. Within its 44mm case lies a sharp black dial with white luminescent indexes. Offering a secure screw-in crown and three sub-dials for chronograph functions, this timepiece is definitely for the bold and fearless.
Its convex and anti-reflective sapphire crystal case offers the ultimate scratch protection. Lastly, the automatic, self-winding IWC 79320 calibre movement offers 44 hours of power reserve. A sleek, stainless steel bracelet that features a quick-change system completes its classic and understated look.
IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition ‘Expedition Charles Darwin’
The IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition Expedition Charles Darwin timepiece features an all-time favourite black and bronze theme. This is another piece that features the Côtes de Genève motif, a date display and a flyback chronograph function. With the automatic IWC 89365 calibre movement, it has the mechanical external/internal bezel function, offering a safer dive for all.
Its black IWC-patented 22mm black rubber strap further highlights the eye-catching bronze casing. With small hacking seconds on its dial, it boasts intricate designs and robust performance.
Not everyone needs a watch specialised for diving and water activities. However, with IWC’s constant improvements on the Aquatimer’s design, craftsmanship and materials, even the most advanced timepiece in this collection can be worn daily — be it for work or on casual days.
For another exciting IWC collection, check out our story on the IWC Pilot watches here.