IWC Aquatimer: Diving Deep Since 1967
The Aquatimer is IWC Schaffhausen's diving watch. Its main feature is its internal ring for safely measuring dive times. Top models are water-resistant to 2,000 m (200 bar, 6,562 ft) or combine a chronograph with a perpetual calendar.
A Versatile Swiss Diving Watch
The IWC Aquatimer is innovative, robust, and versatile. Its distinctive internal bezel dates all the way back to the original model from 1967. The oldest version has an additional crown for operating the special bezel. While IWC still equips modern Aquatimers with internal diving bezels, they have replaced the corresponding crown with an external bezel. This so-called SafeDive system is unique to IWC and is a key feature of Aquatimer watches. It prevents the wearer from accidentally adjusting the bezel.
The Aquatimer Automatic series is home to many three-hand watches. The most robust version is the Aquatimer 2000, which is water-resistant to 2,000 m (200 bar, 6,652 ft). This sports watch traces its roots back to the Porsche Design Ocean 2000 from 1982, which is made of titanium and also water-resistant to 200 bar. Another interesting model is the Aquatimer Automatic Edition "Boesch" with an in-house IWC caliber.
The Aquatimer collection also contains several mechanical chronographs under the names Edition Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Galapagos Islands, Expedition Charles Darwin, and Laureus Sport for Good. IWC produces these models in stainless steel or bronze.
IWC released the collection's top model, the Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition "50 Years Aquatimer," in 2017 in celebration of the Aquatimer's 50th anniversary. This 49-mm timepiece features the same in-house caliber 89802 found in IWC's Ingenieur collection. Its case is made of matte black Ceratanium – a scratch-resistant titanium and ceramic alloy. The Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition "50 Years Aquatimer" is limited to a run of 50 pieces.
Reasons to Buy an IWC Aquatimer
- Unique rotating bezel with the SafeDive system
- Rare limited editions
- Water-resistant to 2,000 m (200 bar, 6,562 ft)
- Deep Three model with a depth gauge
- Top models with a chronograph function and perpetual calendar
Prices at a Glance: IWC Aquatimer
|Reference number||Price (approx.)||Material, diameter|
|IW379503||10,000 USD||Bronze, 44 mm|
|IW376805||6,600 USD||Stainless steel, 44 mm|
|IW329005||5,200 USD||Stainless steel, 42 mm|
|IW376705||5,400 USD||Stainless steel, 45.6 mm|
|IW3548||3,400 USD||Stainless steel, 42 mm|
How much does an IWC Aquatimer cost?
Prices for the IWC Aquatimer depend on the watch's functionality and case material. The ref. IW329001 on a rubber strap is the most affordable of the newer three-hand models and costs around 5,200 USD. You can purchase a chronograph like the ref. IW376803 for as little as 6,600 USD. This model also comes on a rubber strap. Both watches demand a few hundred dollars more paired with a stainless steel bracelet.
Just the Basics: The Aquatimer Automatic
The Aquatimer Automatic is IWC's most basic diving watch. Its features include three hands generously coated in luminous material, a date display at 3 o'clock, and an internal diving bezel. Older models have an additional crown at 4 o'clock to operate the bezel, and more recent versions use an external bezel. While the external bezel is bidirectional, the internal bezel can only rotate counterclockwise thanks to a sophisticated sliding clutch system. The first 15 minutes are clearly marked so you can easily keep an eye on the time left in your dive.
The Aquatimer Automatic ref. IW3290 is 42 mm in diameter and 14.2 mm thick. The automatic caliber 30120 powers its hands. This precise movement is based on the ETA 2892-A2 and comes with a 42-hour power reserve. A screw-down crown and case back guarantee water resistance to 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft).
A mint-condition IWC Aquatimer Automatic costs about 5,200 USD on a rubber strap. The same watch on a stainless steel bracelet costs a few hundred dollars more, both new and used. Older Aquatimer Automatic models bear the reference number IW3548 and sell for under 3,600 USD in very good condition. IWC produced this dual-crown timepiece from 2004 to 2014. Its 42-mm stainless steel case is water-resistant to 1,000 m (100 bar, 3,281 ft).
Water-Resistant to 2,000 m: The IWC Aquatimer 2000
If you're looking for a particularly robust diving watch, the Aquatimer 2000 is a great option. As its name suggests, this automatic watch is water-resistant to 2,000 m (200 bar, 6,562 ft).
The Aquatimer 2000's history stretches back to the 1980s, when IWC teamed up with Porsche Design to develop the Ocean 2000. This was is also water-resistant to 2,000 m (200 bar, 6,562 ft) and was commissioned by the German military for their combat divers. The Ocean 2000's titanium case was revolutionary in the early 1980s. Today, pre-owned models change hands for roughly 6,000 USD.
More recent IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 models are made of stainless steel, measure 44 mm in diameter, and are listed under the reference number IW3568. Unlike the titanium ref. IW3538, these stainless steel watches feature a conventional diving bezel with no internal ring. You can purchase a mint-condition timepiece for roughly 4,100 USD. The titanium edition with the reference number IW3538 is 2 mm smaller and costs around 3,600 USD.
Taking Time: The Aquatimer Chronograph
The chronograph function is as popular as it is practical. The IWC Aquatimer Chronograph combines a stopwatch with the robustness of a diving watch to create the ideal tool watch. Recent models with the reference number IW3768 have 44-mm stainless steel cases that are 17 mm thick and water-resistant to 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft). The internal/external SafeDive bezel system makes setting dive times safe and easy. The proven caliber 79320 based on the Valjoux 7750 provides this timepiece with its power and accurate stopwatch function.
Prices for the IWC Aquatimer Chronograph ref. IW376803 with a rubber strap sit around 6,600 USD new. The version on a stainless steel bracelet has the reference number IW376804 and demands about 7,200 USD in mint condition.
Launched in 2004, the Aquatimer Split-Minute Chronograph is a true highlight. As you may have guessed, this watch comes with a split-minutes mechanism for measuring intervals of multiple minutes. Most double chronographs can only measure intervals of less than a minute, which is why they are often referred to as "split-seconds chronographs."
The split-minutes mechanism has its advantages. For example, you can use it to time decompression stops when reemerging from a dive. Pressing the push-piece at 8 o'clock causes the additional minute hand to decouple from the normal minute hand. This makes it easy to tell if you've spent enough time at that stop. Thanks to this innovative mechanism, the Aquatimer Split Minute Chronograph is the perfect companion for any diver. You can purchase a never-worn timepiece for roughly 7,200 USD.
Prices for Special Editions
In addition to the standard models, the International Watch Company also creates special-edition Aquatimer watches. One example is the Aquatimer Automatic Edition "Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau." This timepiece is dedicated to the eponymous filmmaker and researcher. The Cousteau Society has promoted the protection and research of our oceans since 1973, and a portion of the proceeds from every sale of this timepiece goes toward protecting our marine habitats. The main feature of every Jacques Yves Cousteau watch is its blue dial. The Automatic Edition is 42 mm in diameter, 14.2 mm thick, and water-resistant to 30 bar (300 m, 984 ft). An engraving of Cousteau occupies the case back. Never-worn versions of the ref. IW329005 sell for about 5,200 USD.
The Aquatimer Chronograph Edition "Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau" is 2 mm wider and almost 3 mm thicker than its three-hand sister model. IWC equips it with the same movement as the Aquatimer Chronograph, namely the caliber 79320 based on the Valjoux 7750. This special edition timepiece bears the reference number IW376805 and will set you back around 6,700 USD.
The Aquatimer Chronograph Edition "Expedition Charles Darwin" ref. IW379503 is another coveted collector's item. Highlights of this 44-mm watch include its bronze case and the in-house caliber 89365 with a 68-hour power reserve and flyback function. At 16.9 mm thick, this watch makes its presence known. What's more, it's water-resistant to 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft) and features an engraving of Charles Darwin on its case back. If you're interested in this bronze timekeeper, be sure to set aside around 10,000 USD for a new model.