Introducing: The IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition '50 Years Aquatimer' In All-New Ceratanium
First arrangement IWC Aquatimer ref. 812, from the assortment of Alfredo Paramico, as found in a scene of Talking Watches.
The original of Aquatimer watches were all cased in stainless steel, and were created in three unique forms up until 1982: references 1812, 1816, and 1822. The ref. 1812 began as reference 812AD in 1967 – A for Automatic and D for date – with a changeover to a four digit reference number happening some time in the early 1970s. The latter two had pad shaped cases, also in stainless steel, and were constrain resistant to up to 30 bar/300 meters, with mineral crystals and hued dials; all utilized the famous IWC caliber 8541, with an automatic winding framework planned by IWC’s renowned technical chief, Albert Pellaton. The Pellaton framework was depicted by the generally laconic Donald DeCarle, in Complicated Watches And Their Repair, as “…a basic and most smart framework, well developed and beautifully finished.”
The IWC Porsche Design Titan Chronograph, 1980
The collaboration between IWC and Porsche configuration began with an agreement between IWC and creator Ferdinand Alexander Porsche (who also planned the 911) dating to 1978. For a complete history of Porsche Design watches, check out Jason Heaton’s top to bottom story here.
It wasn’t long, however, before IWC jumper’s watches became the vehicle for a most intriguing innovation: the utilization of titanium. The primary wristwatch to have a titanium case didn’t come from Switzerland, yet from Japan; Seiko utilized titanium for the case of its 600 meter genius jumper, in 1975, at which time titanium had started to move out of the aerospace business and into customer items interestingly (for an astounding look from 2002 regarding the matter of titanium in jumper’s watches, Carlos Perez’s Titans Of The Deep is still an authoritative read ). However, credit goes to IWC not just for making the main titanium Swiss watch yet additionally for making the principal titanium watch with an integrated titanium bracelet: the Porsche Design Titan Chronograph, of 1980. And in 1983, the Porsche Design by IWC Ocean 2000 became the principal all-titanium-cased jumper’s watch from IWC.
The Porsche Design by IWC Ocean 2000, 1983.
The 2000 meter water-resistant Ocean 2000 of 1983 was a revolutionary watch, and it was delivered in several unique adaptations. Two regular creation civilian models were made, from 1982 to 1998; these were the Porsche Design Ocean 2000, and the Ocean 500. IWC also created the watch for the German Federal Navy, in four distinct renditions: two with automatic developments based on the ETA 2892; one with a quartz development for combat jumpers; and one with the extraordinary caliber 3755 Amag, which had an amagnetic development, and was made for jumpers engaged in the manual defusing of mines with magnetic wires, which seems like an energizing occupation (excessively energizing by half if you were to ask me). The latter models are amazingly rare – just about 50 should have been made and the model was never offered to people in general. The agreement between Porsche and IWC reached its decision in 1998.
Now, the intriguing thing about all this for historical reasons for existing is that none of the Ocean 2000 models were part of the Aquatimer family as such. However, the GST (Gold, Steel, Titanium) sports arrangement of watches which appeared in 1998 as well, revived the Aquatimer name. The IWC GST Aquatimer ref. 3536 was created from 1998 to 2004, with a titanium case and bracelet. The most famous of the GST watches from a jumper’s point of view is certainly the GST Deep One (planned by in all honesty then-IWC watchmaker Richard Habring), which was the primary jumper’s watch with an exact mechanical profundity gauge; this was also cased in titanium, with a titanium bracelet.
IWC GST Deep One, with mechanical profundity gauge.
Thought the GST was ceased in 2004, that was also the year that a new form of the Aquatimer was presented. This adaptation, similar to the original Aquatimer, had two crowns, with one operating an internal rotating bezel; that plan was retained until 2009, when the two-crown configuration was replaced by a more present day variant with a conventional unidirectional rotating bezel. The flagship launch in 2009 was the Deep Two – an updated form of the Deep One.
Deep One utilized what’s called a Bourdon tube, which is a semicircular cylinder that water enters; as you go further, water pressure will in general power the cylinder into a less bended shape and the deformation of the cylinder is changed over to development of the profundity gauge indicator. It’s an exact framework, yet relatively delicate and trash can enter the cylinder, making it a somewhat high maintenance arrangement. Profound Two conversely, utilizes a pressing factor converter membrane located inside a crown-like aperture at 10:00.
IWC Aquatimer Deep Two, 2009.
The last major modification to the Aquatimer family was in 2014, which included another update to both the style and the technical features of the Aquatimer. This was the year in which the SafeDive framework was presented – an unusual combination of an external and inward rotating bezel. In the SafeDive framework the external bezel carries no markings; it serves similarly as a control framework for the internal bezel.
IWC Aquatimers, 2014 update.
2014 also saw the presentation of the third iteration of the “Profound” arrangement of mechanical profundity gauge watches. The major update in Deep 3 was that Deep 3 can show both the maximum profundity achieved, as well as the current depth.
IWC Aquatimer Deep 3, 2014.
Thus far, in spite of the fact that 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the Aquatimer, IWC has been rather low-key about the assortment. The major launches this year at the SIHH were a revamped Da Vinci assortment, not a revive of the Aquatimer (which would have been opportune however perhaps premature given the fact that the whole line was updated just three years ago, with a commitment to a new bezel plan that it would probably not have made a lot of sense to abandon or significantly overhaul). However, IWC has announced a new case material, and a new, extremely complicated watch to go with it: the Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “50 Years Aquatimer.”
Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “50 Years Aquatimer”
The 50 Years Aquatimer utilizes IWC’s caliber 89802; this is a perpetual calendar with a two digit, digital indication of the month and the date, as well as a digital leap year indication. It’s also a chronograph, with the hour and moment totalizers combined in a subdial at 12:00. The perpetual calendar isn’t generally considered as a complication particularly suitable for a games watch, however the digital configuration utilized by IWC certainly loans itself preferred to such an application over any traditional perpetual calendar plan. The other notable feature about the 50 Years Aquatimer, which interfaces the watch to IWC’s set of experiences both as an innovator in ceramic and titanium watch cases, is the case material: it’s made of something IWC calls Ceratanium, which is a titanium alloy that after going through heat treatment, builds up a ceramicized surface coating.
Various stages in the manufacturing of a Ceratanium watch case.
Ceratanium cases in the sintering oven.
IWC has been in the ceramic watch case business returning to 1986, when it released ceramic-cased Da Vinci watches in a variety of tones. As you’d expect this is certifiably not a small watch; 49mm x 19.5mm, however the Ceratanium case ought to do a great deal to hold weight down (if not mass). This, however, is certifiably not a ceramic watch case per se.
The manufacturing measure is significantly unique in relation to that utilized for a steel case, and yet, it’s also quite not the same as manufacturing an unadulterated ceramic case. In an interview for WorldTempus, IWC’s head of materials improvement, Lorenz Brunner, portrays a portion of the challenges as well as a portion of the contrasts between an unadulterated ceramic case, and a Ceratanium case.
“Ceramic is a powdery raw material that is blended to create a homogeneous mass, shaped and then sintered in a stove at very high temperatures. During the sintering cycle, the material therapists by around a third. We need to factor the decreased measurements into the plan phase. The microscopic tolerances acceptable for mechanical watches make the work staggeringly demanding. Apart from that, it is beyond the realm of imagination to expect to machine ceramic utilizing conventional cycles. For example, you can’t bore openings in it after sintering because it may part. For all these reasons, planning a ceramic watch is an alternate ball game from making a metal one.”
“Ceratanium is based on a titanium alloy delivered specially for IWC. We make all the case components from this metal, processing, turning, boring and cleaning them until they’ve reached their final shape. Really at that time do the parts go into the stove. The special composition of the titanium alloy initiates a dispersion cycle and the surface of the material is transformed into ceramic.”
A number of components have been given the blackout treatment to match them to the case material, including the dial and a portion of the development components, including the winding rotor. As with all 16 watches in the momentum Aquatimer assortment, the bezel is IWC’s SafeDive plan, and water resistance is 100 meters – which may appear to be rather inadequate for a professional jumping instrument yet as we’ve referenced elsewhere, 100 meters is already more profound than any recreational jumper is apt to go, and anyone requiring greater water resistance in a professional setting isn’t probably going to be genuinely considering a perpetual calendar wristwatch regardless (Aquatimer or not).
The 50 Years Aquatimer retails for $46,800. The huge news for the greater part of us is probably not going to be simply the watch to such an extent as the new case material, which it is fascinating to find in more absolutely utilitarian Aquatimers (something IWC says is likely). The clock’s ticking on the 50th anniversary year of the Aquatimer and it appears to be increasingly impossible that IWC will do anything really paradigm-moving to the assortment to mark the occasion, however it is wonderful to see somewhat more from the company before 2018 moves around. While the Aquatimer doesn’t have the congruity of creation of some other jump watches, it’s actually been widely utilized professionally throughout the long term and been part of IWC’s larger narrative of genuine instrument watches, and personally I’d love to see something meaningfully associated with that narrative, with regards to the Aquatimer, for the occasion. Amagnetic minesweeper Aquatimer re-issue, anyone?
The Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “50 Years Aquatimer” Ref. IW379403: cost, $46,800. Case, 10 bar/100 meters water resistant, Ceratanium alloy case measuring 49mm x 19.5mm, with sapphire front and back. Bezel and lock also in Ceratanium. Development, IWC in-house caliber 89802, frequency 28,800 vph with 68 hour power hold. Digital perpetual calendar with digital display of the date, month, and leap year; chronograph with hour and moment totalizers at 12:00. Restricted to 50 pieces worldwide. More data at iwc.com.