Pre-SIHH 2014: Introducing the new IWC Aquatimer collection, including IWC’s first bronze watch (with specs and pricing)

IWC will unveil the revamped Aquatimer collection of dive watches at SIHH 2014, including a Deep Three with depth gauge as well as IWC’s first bronze watch, the Aquatimer Chronograph Charles Darwin.

Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Expedition Charles Darwin” in bronze

IWC’s Aquatimer line of dive watches gets a facelift in 2014. The most prominent change is the return to the inner rotating dive bezel, a feature used in historical Aquatimer watches.  Furthermore, the Aquatimer range now features more in-house movements, as well as more complicated models, with the top of the line being the new Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month, a 49 mm behemoth. Another notable addition is the Aquatimer Deep Three, a mechanical depth gauge for dives of up to 50 m. The key feature of the new Aquatimer is the newly developed, hybrid internal-external rotating bezel. Like all dive bezels, this turns only anticlockwise, moving in increments of one minute. But mechanically it is unusual. An external, notched bezel is linked via a sliding clutch to the inner, dive bezel. So turning the external bezel turns the inner ring, marked for dive times, simultaneously. The bulge on the case at nine o’clock is the protective cover for the sliding clutch. As a preview of the new collection IWC has released images of the two limited edition Aquatimer chronographs, the bronze Charles Darwin and the rubber coated Galapagos, plus the Aquatimer Automatic 2000. 

Aquatimer Automatic 2000 with sliding clutch cover at nine o’clock

Equipped with a titanium case, the Aquatimer Automatic 2000 (Ref. IW358002) is water-resistant to 2000 m, or 200 bar. It says it is inspired by the minimalist Ocean 2000 made in collaboration with Porsche Design in the eighties, though the new Aquatimer is hardly minimalist in design.

This is fitted with the automatic 80110 calibre, the basic movement in the 8000 family of movements made in-house by IWC but using the gear train of the Valjoux 7750.  The Aquatimer 2000 is a beef up dive watch. For those who want a more basic model, the entry level model will be the Aquatimer Automatic with a 42 mm case and 300 m water resistance. That will be unveiled officially at SIHH. Created to help raise funds for conservation of the Galapagos Islands through its partnership with the Charles Darwin Foundation, the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Galapagos Islands” (Ref. IW379502) has a black rubber coated case and is water-resistant to 300 m.

Part of the regular collection and not a limited edition, the Galapagos Islands is equipped with the 89365 calibre, from the same cal. 8000 family of movements. The case back depicts an iguana, one of the creatures native to the islands.  There is a second Galapagos model which will be launched at SIHH with blue dial accents and a rubber coated case, which will be limited to 500 pieces.

Also part of the regular line-up is the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Expedition Charles Darwin” (Ref. IW379503), which is another effort to aid the Charles Darwin Foundation. This too is equipped with the cal. 89365, but with a bronze case rated to 300 m. Charles Darwin is portrayed on the case back of the bronze Aquatimer.

Whereas IWC was a pioneer with materials in the eighties, namely with titanium and ceramic cases, the Charles Darwin comes some two years after the Panerai PAM382 Bronzo, when bronze is not the novelty it once was.  In fact, the Bronzo was not the first bronze wristwatch but the one that made the alloy the latest fad in watchmaking. And only last year that IWC unveiled its first carbon fibre watch, the Ingenieur Carbon Performance

All the new Aquatimers, including the three above, are also fitted with the bracelet quick change system. Used in the current Aquatimer collection, it allows a swap from strap to bracelet with the push of a button. The pricing for the new Aquatimer collection in Singapore, inclusive of 7% tax is as follows: Aquatimer Automatic on rubber strap – 8150 Singapore dollars (~US$6440) Aquatimer Automatic on bracelet – 9550 Singapore dollars (~US$7550) Aquatimer Deep Three – 26,300 Singapore dollars (~US$20,800) Aquatimer Automatic 2000 – 13,900 Singapore dollars (~US$11,000)  Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month – 77,400 Singapore dollars (~US$61,100) Aquatimer Galapagos Islands – 15,200 Singapore dollars (~US$12,000) Aquatimer Charles Darwin – 15,200 Singapore dollars (~US$12,000) Aquatimer 50 Years Science for Galapagos – 15,300 Singapore dollars (~US$12,100) – SJX Follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter for updates and news.

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Year In Review 2013: Our 10 most read stories of the past year

2013 was our best year ever in terms of readership, and dare we say, content. We encountered some fantastic timepieces in 2013, and also profiled some unbelievable collections.

Here’s our top 10 most read stories of 2013. 10. IWC SIHH 2013 photo report

We covered, in great detail, the IWC collection unveiled at SIHH 2013, comprising mainly of the revamped Ingenieur collection. Full story here. 9. Comparing the Grand Seiko 44GS reissue SBGW047 and Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary SBGW033

Seiko’s last two vintage reissues were big hits. The first one, to mark the brand’s 130th anniversary, was a remake of the original Grand Seiko. And the second, which came in 2013, was a replica of the distinctive 44GS. We put them head to head. 8. Explaining the Seiko Astronomical Observatory Chronometer, and Seiko’s history in Swiss chronometer competitions

Seiko has a major, and little known, history as a champion chronometer producer, which swept the board at all the major Swiss chronometry contests in the sixties. Some say that was the reason the contests were subsequently terminated. We explained that history, as well as went hands-on with the exceptionally rare Seiko Astronomical Observatory Chronometer. Read the full story. 7. Hands-on with the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar from SIHH 2013

One of the highlights from SIHH 2013 was the modest Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar. Neither very complicated nor very modern nor very pricey, the Master Calendar is a good example of an accessibly priced, classically styled and well made watch. See our report here. 6. Jaeger-LeCoultre SIHH 2013 photo report

Our detailed report on the collection presented by Jaeger-LeCoultre at SIHH 2013, including the 1833 Jubilee trio, made to mark the manufacture’s 180th anniversary. This was definitely one of the most diverse, with something for every budget, line-ups presented at the fair. Full story here. 5. Hands-on with the Seiko Snow Monster (and explaining the Seiko Thailand limited editions)

Seiko has made a series of unusual, annual limited editions specifically for the Thai market, including the cool blue Snow Monster. These are significantly more costly than the equivalent regular models, but they are nevertheless keenly collected. Despite being sold only in Thailand, they have acquired a small but dedicated foreign following. Find out more here. 4. Hands-on with the Omega Speedmaster “Dark Side of the Moon” – the first ceramic Speedy

One of Omega’s biggest hits of the year is the Dark Side of the Moon, a Speedmaster made almost wholly of black ceramic. The case, pushers, crown and even dial are made of sleek black ceramic. Though somewhat expensive for what it is, the Dark Side of the Moon is nonetheless one of the most talked about watches this year. Full story here. 3. Explaining the Seiko 9F quartz movements – proof that high-end quartz is not an oxymoron

Seiko’s series of high-end 9F quartz movements, used primarily in Grand Seiko, are highly engineered marvels of micro-mechanics. Each 9F movement even has an individually selected quartz crystals with an integrated circuit specially programmed for that piece of quartz. See the rest of the story here. 2. Meet Prasart Vidhayapat, the man with 1000 watches

Our second most read story is about a most extraordinary watch collection. Assembled by Thai businessman Prasart Vidhayapat over thirty years, the collection numbers over 1000 watches, and over 1000 clocks. The wristwatches run the gamut from low value Seikos to exceptionally rare vintage watches from Omega, like a platinum, skeletonised Speedmaster Moon Watch set with baguette diamonds. See the 1000 watch collection here. 1. A peek at an astounding, $15 million collection of contemporary horology

And our top story of 2013 is another collector profile. Mainly focussed on modern haute horlogerie, spanning both established brands and independent watchmakers, this collection is eye-watering assembly of some of the most important timepieces of the last 10 or 15 years. From the AP Royal Oak Concept to Patek minute repeaters, from Dufour to Voutilainen, it’s all in there. Read the full story here. – SJX Follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter for updates and news.

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