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IWC Watches

IWC Schaffhausen has a long history of association with aviation. Continuing on the same spirit, they made their entry into the world of water sports and diving. From the launch of the first IWC W.W.W watch to the release of the newest versions after 2010, they have come a long way. Now the IWC Aquatimer collection is hailed as one of the most successful diving watches ever made. The collection underwent major innovations in the 1970s and 80s and launched some of the most memorable models. Among them, the IWC Aquatimer 2000 is perhaps the most iconic. The modern editions of the Aquatimer series continue this tradition of innovation.

IWC made its first mark in the marine field in 1945. It was on this year that IWC manufactured the first diving watches for the British Navy. However, the watch came to the market as "W.W.W." which referred to "watch, wrist, waterproof". In reality, the watch was closer to be "water-resistant "than waterproof. Its water resistance was estimated to be up to a diving depth of 10 meters. That was not sufficient for most water sports. 

In spite of initial shortcomings, IWC continued to work on the technology with its hallmark spirit of innovation. Their diving watches eventually evolved to become one of the best in business. Collectors and watch connoisseurs often use the misnomer "Mark X" for this 1945 diving watch. It was not like the other so-called "Dirty Dozen" military W.W.W. watches. IWC made use of a unique snap-on case back that had a lead inner sealing ring to improve water resistance.

After launching their initial diving watches, which did not have any remarkable capability, the first true IWC water-resistant wristwatch was launched almost two decades later. In 1976, IWC brought to the market the first true Aquatimer watch as an IWC diver watch. This model was known with the reference 812 and had a water resistance of up to 20 atmospheres which translates to around 650 feet. 

The IWC Aquatime bore a close resemblance to other IWC sports watches. It came with the characteristic large and heavy dial that contributed to enhancing its sporty look. This 1976 IWC dive watch also had widely spaced lugs in it. It came with a rotating internal bezel and two crowns, with one of them operating the bezel. The extreme conditions of high pressures beneath the sea, saline water, and freezing low temperatures created a need for a chronograph that could ensure a diver's safety. The IWC Aquatimer successfully did that by performing effectively and accurately even under such harsh conditions.

At the time of IWC Aquatimer's release, IWC Schaffhausen had already made a significant mark in the field of high-quality pilot/aviation watches. The IWC Aquatimer diver watch was similarly expected to live up to those high standards. Upon its launch, it gained widespread popularity in very little time. The association IWC Schaffhausen with marine and diving watches began with this robust, reliable, and rugged Aquatimer watch. Owing to its quick popularity, the Aquatimer watch collection has since become a pillar of the IWC professional watch house.

Günter Blümlein, the iconic IWC CEO, took over in 1981 and strengthened the company's partnership with Porsche Design. In 1983, a Porsche-designed revolutionary new model was launched with the Reference 3500. It was called the Porsche Design "Ocean 2000." It had a water resistance rating of 200 atmospheres, which equated to around 6500 feet at 2000 meters. Although no amateur diver could safely descend to that depth, its exceptional water resistance was a remarkable feat of engineering. The Ocean 2000 came in a titanium case that appealed to a youthful and energetic consumer base. It provided a significant water-resistance range for every diver, for both professionals and amateurs. After the success of the Ocean 2000, several IWC/Porsche Design Ocean models were released, including the historically significant "Ocean Bund" - used by the German military for diving.

In 1999, the new and innovative Aquatimer Deep One Ref. 3257 was launched. Ten years later, in 2009, IWC released the successor of Aquatimer Deep One. The new Deep Two Ref. 3547 came to the market at a time when its precursor had already seen considerable success. Both IWC Deep One and IWC Deep Two had mechanical depth gauges to display the wearer's present depth in water. The IWC Deep Two was further upgraded to be more water-resistant than the Deep One. Both watches were capable of recording the wearer's maximum depth dive. Then in 2014, the new IWC Aquatimer Deep Three was released. This new watch was a worthy descendant of its precursors in both mechanics and design.

The current IWC Aquatimer watches make use of a whole new case design incorporating the IWC SafeDive System. They come with an external/internal rotating bezel.

IWC manufactured a selection of special edition watches in collaboration with the Darwin Society and its research station in the Galapagos Islands. These watches include the IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition "Expedition Charles Darwin," IW379503. This is a one-of-a-kind bronze-cased chronograph that is capable of withstanding up to 300 meters of depth.

  • To commemorate the Aquatimer collection's 50th anniversary in 2017, IWC decided to launch a line of Aquatimer special models. One significant innovation in these Aquamaster special editions was the use of Cera Titanium. Cera Titanium is known for being exceedingly hard, unbreakable, and scratch-resistant. The special editions were designed keeping in mind the spirit of the Aquatimer collection.

The IWC Aquatimer collection was inspired by professional divers and water sports but has since grown to become one of the most popular collections from the house of IWC Schaffhausen. From its earliest models, it has tried to bring something new and innovative to the world of watchmaking. As a result of IWC's constant improvement and innovation, the IWC Aquatimer collection has become one of the most remarkable watches in the world. They continue to enjoy widespread popularity and both commercial and critical success.

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