When diving with oxygen tanks began to gain popularity, IWC introduced the first Aquatimer in 1967. This diver’s watch, water-resistant up to 200 metres, had an internal rotating bezel for setting the dive time. This established a tradition of diver’s watches from Schaffhausen, which have been reliable companions for adventures both underwater or on land ever since. IWC is now celebrating the 50th anniversary of the same watch family with the first watch case made of Ceratanium®: “Since we already had a pioneering role in the use of titanium and ceramic in the 1980s, we are now once again highlighting our expertise with materials by employing Ceratanium®,” explains Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen.
The Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “50 Years Aquatimer” (Ref. IW379403) is limited to just 50 pieces. Its most striking feature is the Ceratanium® case. The material experts at IWC have been working on the development of this particular composite based on a titanium alloy for more than five years. The special manufacturing process gives the metal a black, ceramic-like surface. As a result, Ceratanium® is as light and unbreakable as titanium, but also as hard and scratch-resistant as ceramic. The material also scores well for its high skin tolerance and corrosion-resistance. The dial is black, and some components of the IWC-manufactured calibre 89802 have also been coloured black, such as the rotor of the selfwinding system. The technical features include a digital perpetual calendar. This displays the date and month in large numerals in the style of a digital watch, automatically recognising different month lengths and leap years. The chronograph with flyback function displays stop times, combined in a totalizer at “12 o’clock”.
Like all Aquatimer models, this watch, which is water-resistant up to 10 bar, features an external/internal rotating bezel for setting the dive time. The IWC SafeDive system ensures that the internal rotating bezel can only be adjusted when the external bezel is rotated in an anticlockwise direction. As a result, even if the external bezel is accidentally moved, zero hour – the time at which the diver can return to the surface without the need for decompression stops – cannot be exceeded. Thanks to the quick-change system, the black rubber strap can simply be replaced with another strap. The special-edition Aquatimer with a Ceratanium® case will be available in IWC boutiques from September 2017 at the price of CHF 50,000.