by Kyle Stults on January 20, 2014
This new IWC Aquatimer chronograph is limited to 500 watches and commemorates the Charles Darwin Research Station’s 50 years of scientific work on the Galapagos Islands. The rubber-clad steel case ise water-resistant to 300 meters. Great color set!
IWC Aquatimer Chronograph “50 Years Science For Galapagos”
Limited edition 500
44mm x 17mmrubber-coated stainless steel case, automatic mechanical IWC-manufactured 89365 chronograph calibre
by Kyle Stults on January 20, 2014
I mentioned the new IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date Month in my earlier intro to the 2014 IWC Aquatimer collection — here now is a look at the watch and some of its features. First let me say that, at 49mm, this watch is a monster — the second-largest wristwatch in IWC’s history after the Big Pilot’s Watch of 1940. Like the other 2014 IWC Aquatimers, this watch has the new IWC SafeDive internal/external unidirectional rotating bezel system. There are large, double digit displays for the date and month and a slightly small digital display for the leap year (6 o’clock). The flyback chronograph function provides hours, mins and seconds — the hour and minute counters are combined into an easy-to read sub-dial up at the top, center-set chrono seconds hand. The small seconds down low (integrated with the leap year readout) is the normal running seconds, and it is hacking (it stops when the crown is pulled out, enabling great accuracy of time setting and/or synchronicity). Look closely and you can see the neat honeycomb pattern which gives the watch a higher-tech look and provides a look at the digital date and month wheels.
IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date Month (IW379401)
Limited Edition 50 Pieces
49mm x 19mm red gold case and bezel (casing ring is rubber-coated titanium), automatic mechanical IWC Cal 89801
IWC Digital Date Display
IWC produced the first “digital” watches in its history as early as 1884. These timepieces, known as Pallweber watches, displayed the hours and minutes using numerals, while the seconds were shown in analogue form with a hand. The state-of-the-art Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month calendar movement, which is now likewise found in the new Aquatimer family, shows not only the date but also the month in large numerals. The energy required to advance the month display discs is built up continuously throughout the month by a quick-action switch. A spring-loaded lever on the quick-action switch is lifted a tiny bit further each day by a cam. At the end of the month, the tension in the spring has reached its maximum, and it is time for all that energy to be released; the quick-action switch jumps instantaneously to its starting position and advances both of the month display discs individually, or together, by one position, depending on the month. On 31 December, the leap year disc is also advanced at the same time.
by Kyle Stults on January 19, 2014
Black rubber coated case…
This watch is defined by its black rubber-clad case, while sharing the new features of the 2014 IWC Aquatimer collection (the SafeDive internal/external bezel system, the IWC strap quick-change system, etc.). More at IWC 2014 Aquatimer Collection.
IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Galapagos Islands” (IW379502)
44mm x 17mm rubber-coated steel case, automatic mechanical IWC Caliber 89365
Next week I will show you a second Galapagos model “50 Years of Science for Galapagos” with rubber coated case and blue dial accents — a 500 piece limited edition.
by Kyle Stults on January 19, 2014
Bronze case…IWC first…
I’ve previewed already many of the new IWC Aquatimers for 2014, but there are still a few special editions I want to share in advance of next week. This IWC Aquatimer “Expedition Charles Darwin” Edition. The watch shares all the new features of the Aquatimer 2014 collection — including the SafeDive internal/external bezel system and also the IWC strap quick-change system which I have not focused on in my prior articles. Of course the best part about this watch is its bronze case, a first for IWC.
Specs and more pics on the click
Although I’ve already showed you several of the new IWC Aquatimers, we haven’t yet look at the Deep Three…and here it is. The Deep Three follows in the footsteps of the GST Deep One (1999) and the Aquatimer Deep Two (IW3457) (2009) as the third generation of IWC’s mechanical depth gauge diver’s watch (pictures below). Like the internal/external bezel system (“IWC SafeDive”) which I discuss here, the depth gauge on the Deep Three has been further developed and improved vs. prior iterations. During a dive, the blue depth indicator moves to show current dive depth, while the red maximum depth indicator remains at the maximum depth attained, down to a maximum of 50 meters.
The case is made of titanium (as does the Deep One; the Deep Two has a steel case) with dimensions of 46mm x 16.5mm.
Other features included two-tone luminescent hands, dial and internal bezel; screw in crown; back engraving; IWC quick-change bracelet system. Inside is the automatic mechanical IWC caliber 30120.
IWC Aquatimer Deep Two (2009)
IWC GST Deep One (1999)
IWC Mechanical Depth Gauge
The pressure metering system of the further-developed depth gauge mechanism is housed in a pressure converter on the left-hand side of the case. Through minuscule holes in the cover of the pressure converter, water pressure acts on a spring membrane and pushes a shaft towards the interior of the case. This movement is transmitted through a system of levers and moves the gauge’s two indicators at the centre of the watch. While the blue depth indicator moves to show current dive depth, the red maximum depth indicator remains at the maximum depth attained in the course of the dive, prevented by a pawl from returning to its original position. The maximum depth indicator can be reset to zero by pressing a push-button next to the pressure converter.
More on the IWC 2014 models can be seen here on our brand-by-brand breakdown for SIHH 2014>>>
Perpetuelle presents the new 2014 IWC Aquatimer collection. Click any image below to see full details, images and more on each watch.
The Evolution: A Decade of IWC Aquatimers
The new IWC Aquatimer Automatic (IW 3290-03)
As you know from my last two articles (2014 IWC Aquatimer preview, SIHH 2014: IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 (IW358002)), after only a few years after the IWC Aquatimer collection is again getting a facelift and then some. From a mechanical innovation standpoint there is, most notably, the new IWC SafeDive system with the outer/internal dive bezel system).
The most conspicuous technical modification on the new Aquatimers is the external/internal rotating bezel. The IWC SafeDive system which is actually an external/internal rotating bezel system. It brings the advantages of an internal rotating bezel – protects against external abrasion, dirt, seawater, and so on — with the ease of use of an external rotating bezel. The system is “counterclockwise rotation” only, too (something rarely seen in internal bezels). A sliding system connects the two rings by the rotation of the external bezel being transmitted to the inside of the case and the internal bezel.
IWC last overhauled the Aquatimer collection in 2009. At the time it was a fairly extensive refresh of the line, taking case sizes at 44mm and going from an internal to an external rotating bezel with sapphire inserts. The 2014 collection represents a further evolution of the line, giving both the production and the limited edition models a cleaner look and more subtle colors. There is also a new IWC quick-change strap system — take straps on/off at the push of a button.
For 2014, the Aquatimer Automatic now has a 42mm case, the smallest member of the family. It will be offered in stainless steel case with four references: IW329001 / IW329002 / IW329003 / IW329004. It is a basic 3-handed watch, with a black or silver-plated dial, complemented by a matching black rubber strap or stainless steel bracelet. The Aquatimer Chronograph is also offered in four references for 2014, all stainless steel case: IW376801 / IW376802 / IW376803 / IW376804, with a black or silver-plated dial. The new Aquatimers will again use two colors of Superluminova, with blue for time display and green for dive times.
Now, let’s turn to what I consider to be the “special edition” models. The 50 piece limited edition IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month (Ref. IW379401) (udpate: see it here) is the first IWC diver’s watch equipped with a perpetual calendar. At 49mm, it is also the second-largest wristwatch in IWC’s history, after the Big Pilot’s Watch of 1940.
Following in the footsteps of the GST Deep One of 1999 and the Aquatimer Deep Two of 2009, the IWC Aquatimer Deep Three in titanium (Ref. IW355701) is the third generation of IWC’s diver’s watches to feature a mechanical depth gauge.
Then there is the IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 (Ref. IW358002) as I previewed for you a few days ago. And also the Aquatimer Chronograph Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
Last but not least are 1) the IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “50 Years Science for Galapagos” (Ref. IW379504), limited to 500 pieces and honoring the 50th anniversary of the Charles Darwin Research Station, 2) the IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Galapagos Islands” (Ref. IW379502), likewise an expression of IWC’s commitment to the threatened archipelago. Both watches are powered by an IWC-manufactured 89365 calibre and have a black rubber coating. And 3) the IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Expedition Charles Darwin” (Ref. IW379503), again a Galapagos-related watch. The Charles Darwin is an exciting watch in that it uses a bronze watch case, another IWC first.
IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Galapagos Islands” (Ref. IW379502)
rubber clad case
IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Expedition Charles Darwin” (Ref. IW379503)
bronze case (IWC first)
Click the links above for my more detailed reports on all of these watches.
Rubber B is an independent company which exclusively makes high quality aftermarket rubber straps. Their first product offering was rubber straps with tang buckles for a variety Rolex watches (they are now working on straps precision engineered to even fit with the Rolex Glidelock clasp). And now I see that they offer rubber straps for Panerai as well. Rolex does not offer a rubber strap so there is a clear gap in the market they are filling, though some Panerai’s do come with a manufacture rubber strap (the Luminor Submersible for example) so it is interesting to see that Rubber B sees an opportunity with such a product.
Rubber B uses very high quality materials (vulcanized rubber, Gore Tenara stitching) and craftsmanship so that the strap integrates perfectly the watch. They refer to their production process as “blocked integration” which provides “tight, motionless, rotationless and gap-free mount to the intended watch head” designs.
Definitely a cool product — I will try to get one and do a hands-on review to share with you one of these days. Though $250 a pop (depending on the model) I have to wonder if it is really worth it. No doubt it is truly a luxury accessory as compared to alternatives such as a NATO strap which can be had for $10-$20, but from what I recall the price is comparable to an OEM Panerai rubber strap. Click on over to the Rubber B website (site also available en francais and espanol as well) to learn more.
If you have any experience with Rubber B straps please leave a comment below and let me know what you think.
by Kyle Stults on January 01, 2014
Following up the first look at the 2014 IWC Aquatimers I gave you a couple weeks ago, here is a closer look at one of the new pieces, the IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000. That’s 2000 as in 2000 meters which is the water resistance rating on this particular watch which has a 45mm titanium case. Its titanium case and minimalist design are reminiscent of another iconic though not well known IWC model: the Ocean 2000, created by Porsche Design (Ferdinand A. Porsche) in 1982. Inside is the IWC (in-house) caliber 80110 with the Pellaton winding system.
Lots more looks and details on the click
2014 will be the year of the Aquatimer for Schaffhausen-based IWC. Last year it was the Ingenieur; the year before that was the year of the Pilot watch. Here is a first look at the new Aquatimers which have now surfaced…both chrono- and basic 3-handers. Looks like we also have a return to an inner-rotating bezel. Nice looking straps, too. More details to come…
The Cartier dive watch is here: the Calibre de Cartier diver. Well, almost here — coming in 2014! But here’s your first look at a new piece for Cartier, one of four new pieces I am previewing today. I must say the Calibre de Cartier design works very well as an ISO 6425 diver’s watch. This watch is rated to a robust 1,000 feet water resistance, with unidirectional DLC-coated bezel, lumed indices and small seconds chapter ring. The 42mm steel case has a nice mix of brushed and polished surfaces (The watch will also be offered in a pink gold case). And at 11mm thick, it’s safe to say this watch will retain a bit of elegance as well. Still, I’m not a big fan of the tri-date window. Not a limited edition by any means, the Calibre de Cartier diver will price at 5500 EUR on rubber (about $7,500), 6000 on metal (about $8,250) and will surely be a big seller for Cartier.
Lots more looks, on the click
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