Aquatimer Calendrier Perpétuel Digital Date et Mois © IWC Replica Watches
At IWC, 2014 will revolve around the Aquatimer diving watch. This year, the Aquatimer collection, first launched in 1967, will feature a greater number of Manufacture movements, an unprecedented internal and external rotating bezel and a patented interchangeable braceletsystem.No fewer than nine new models now join the Aquatimer 2014 collection.
Georges Kern, at the helm of theIWC Manufacture for the last twelveyears, sums up the 2014 vintagein the following terms: “IWC has continued to plow its own furrow, with a complete makeover of the timepieces in the Aquatimer collection. This collection, first launched in 1967, has undergone a complete change andsignificantdevelopment, with a series of updated products whose perceived and actual value have clearly increased, thanks in particular to the integration of our Manufacture movements. These movements have become increasingly important for IWC as they equip timepieces that now represent 60% of our turnover.”
Even before detailed inspection, the look of the new models in the IWCAquatimer collection makes the older models lookseriously outdated—even though they only date back to 2009. While this will no doubt have a positive effect on a clientele constantly seekingnew productsin line with the latest trends,it will be less joyful news for retailers who will now certainly find it harder to clear their old stock. That said, the makeover has once again been perfectly executed in line with IWC’s 10-year-old habit of refreshing each of its collections in turn and focusing for an entire twelve months on that year’s star collection.This strategy is unique to the Schaffhouse brand and it seems to be paying off in terms of results,if Georges Kern is to be believed: “The stats tell me that we are in seventh position among watchmaking brands on a global scale, but we can do better still and I’m very confident about the future.”
Average price rising
In the immediate future, IWC will be unveiling its new Aquatimer collection at the SIHH.Key distinguishing features include a more understated overall look (gone are the yellow and orange bezels!), a new external and internal rotating bezel equipped with a patented system, a new system of interchangeable bracelets—also patented—and the inclusion of several Manufacture calibers in the collection. Leading, naturally enough, to a rise in average price.
Sincethe first Aquatimer in 1967, IWC’s diving watches have been distinguished by their internal rotating bezel, which has become a genuine hallmark. However, whilst offering the benefit of greater protection from outside impacts and shocks, the bezel proved less than easy to manipulate, especially when diving. Which is why IWC returned to the more standard external rotating bezels for the collection’s last makeover in 2009. This year, the collection’s new models feature a double external and internal rotating bezel which is designed to combinethe advantages of both systems while eliminating the drawbacks. And indeed, the new SafeDive systemcombines the advantages of the internal rotating bezel—particularly the protection of the mechanism from salt water and dirt and the precise setting in one-minute increments—withthe user-friendliness of an external bezel that can be easily manipulated, even with diving gloves or cold hands.A clutch system links the two bezels, transmitting the rotating movement of the external bezel to its internal counterpart. Another noteworthy technical innovation on the new Aquatimers, which may prove of real interest to divers: the use of luminous colors on the dial: green for diving time indicators and blue for the normal time.
A 49 mm case!
The other feature common to all nine models in the new collection is the patented interchangeable braceletsystem. Besides its practical aspect—replacing the thin steel bracelet with the rubber strap and vice versa is both quick and easy—the new system guarantees optimal safety: simply slip the bracelet upwards between the lugs, and a click tells you that it is firmly in place. To remove the bracelet from the case, just lift the stop lever with your thumb and pull the bracelet upwards. An XXL version of the rubber waves bracelet can be worn over a diving suit.
Of particular note among the new models is the Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date and Month, which not only includes an haute horlogerie caliber in a very sporty model but is also the second largest Breitling Replica watches in the history of IWC(with a 49 mm diameter). The third model of the line after the 1999 and 2009 models, the Aquatimer Deep Threefeatures an improved mechanical depth gauge (like the Deep One and Two): the blue hand indicates the actual depth while the red hand remains fixed on the maximum depth reached. Meanwhilethe Aquatimer Automatic 2000 is water resistant to 200 bar (2,000 meters) and its titanium case serves as a reminder that IWC was the first to use this material in its mass production models in 1982 with the Ocean 2000 designed by Ferdinand A. Porsche. And finally, note the launch of the three chronographs equipped with Manufacture movements (caliber 89365): the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “50 Years Science for Galapagos”, the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Galapagos Islands”, both in black rubber-coated steel, and the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Expedition Charles Darwin” with its distinctive bronze case—afirst for IWC.