IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 IW358001: please say "Ciao!" to the new Deep One
Last year, through a very short post and two simple digital pics, I managed to launch a double message; I told you what diver’s watch would soon join my wish-list and I also showed you, like other colleagues of mine had done too, what diver’s watches’ aficionados could expect from IWC the following summer. January was the month that the manufacturer from Schaffhausen devoted entirely to their Pilot collection and if we had even mentioned the Aquatimer once at that time, we would have made a blunder, since that was the very and only moment when IWC had made the TSC virtually alive again.
During the days spent at the SIHH, I again focused a bit of my attention on the new IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 IW358001. While my photographer focused on the Pilot watches that you can (and will again and again) admire on Horbiter, I decided to try on this Aquatimer, an odd but spontaneous deed given the formal attire and atmosphere surrounding me during the event that would definitely not inspire me to dream about the deepness of oceans and seas. The IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 IW358001 is an incredibly evocative timepiece for those of you, like me, who are over 40 years of age and who grew up with the Ocean 2000 ads on mags like AD (Architectural Digest), the very same commercials that inspired my very first real article about the brand from Schaffhausen.
When I was little I would read AD “by exclusion”, meaning that I would only look at timepieces’ ads, I knew that a real passion was growing inside me and, today, my priorities have changed and I read that mag quite often and I still keep old issues of it that I use to take pics of the old IWC ads. Unfortunately, on this particular occasion, I could not take any pics of these ads because I am currently in Milan and my mags collection lies on a bookshelf in my house in Naples.
Let’s now go back to the IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 IW358001 and to the adjective “evocative” that I used before. In my opinion, the Aquatimer has had two milestones in its lifecycle; the original model from 1967 and the Ocean 2000 that was designed by Porsche Design with the addition of some features of the famous third-last edition and of the GST too. This timepiece has stood out for its original style that features a simple dial, a rotating inner bezel and, on the third-last edition, a double crown that allows the rotation of the bezel. Last but not least, another main focal point; the use of titanium for its crafting.
The last series that was released before the 2014 revamp had somehow lost that special alchemy that makes you immediately say the word “Aquatimer” with the absence of the IWC logo too despite the presence of a beautiful sapphire-made bezel, a very expensive solution that gave this timepiece an exceptional look and feel. The IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 IW358001 marks the come-back of the first original Aquatimer with a clear infusion of features taken from the Ocean 2000.
Are you wondering what I am talking about? Take a look at those grooves on the bezel! You won’t find a second crown either because it has been replaced by the SafeDrive system and by a new idea that involves a mechanic interaction between the timepiece and its user and that IWC are slowly introducing across all of their timepieces and whose most original application has culminated in the Timezoner.
It seems like the artisans of Schaffhausen have tried to push even further that particular centricity of the dial of the IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 IW358001 and move the focal attention on to the case. The size of the case has been increased to 46mm and it is now much more imposing and thick “thanks to” the presence of the in-house built caliber 80110 that adds in additional value and thickness to the caseback rather than to the casemiddle and thanks to the thicker sapphire glass whose profile extends beyond the edge of the bezel. Last but not least, the rubber-made winding crow is tiny, black and almost invisible (personally, I would have preferred it made of titanium.)
To top it all off, here comes the yellow colour of the applied indexes and of the counters; the typical nuance of the Aquatimer 2000 and the missing link between this collection and the GST one that, with its Deep One, has represented the zenith of the IWC-made diver’s watch. I took plenty of pics of the IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 IW358001 and I analyzed it in details and despite the fact that this timepiece features a rubber-made strap and an extra replacement strap that is similar to a NATO strap and that is sold as an accessory, I can well say that this is a diver’s watch that you feel like wearing again and again, not only when you plunge into the water.
I cannot understand why IWC have not thought about adding on an integrated titanium-made bracelet, maybe they thought that it would be too similar to the Ocean 2000? Is it a risk that Christian Knoop has tried to avoid, as he confirmed about the Heritage Pilot when we interviewed him? If this timepiece will become a new style icon like the Ocean 2000 only time will be able to tell, but I can definitely say that if you are looking for a premium diver’s watch whose price hovers around 9,000 euro and that is also a statement of style and an original unique piece with no technical faults, you should definitely try this watch on at least once and then tell me what you think about it!
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®