SIHH 2014: IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date Month (IW379401)
by Kyle Stults on January 20, 2014
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IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date Month IW379401

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 Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date Month IW379401 closeup

IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date Month Dial Closeup

IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date Month

IWC Digital Date Display

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.