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IWC Aquatimer Deep Two
How deep is your love?
I am showing my age. I remember the original Bee Gees version before cover versions appeared by Take That et al. Originally released in 1977, it still sounds good to this day.
John Travolta’s flares may look at little passé but the tunes he strutted to in Saturday Night Fever, still make my feet tap.
New entrants to the watchmaking industry send me emails every week. Brands I have never heard of emerge all the time and no doubt some will disappear as quickly. However, a brand which has made watches since 1868, International Watch Company, continues to make watches which make my feet tap and heart skip a beat.
IWC, the soubriquet we have all adopted, to expedite description, have penned some classic hits.
The Portuguese continues to look en-vogue despite the passage of time. IWC are the masters of pilot watches, perfectly demonstrated with its recently updated and enlarged range of models. I may be accused of bias, I own a Big Pilot watch personally, but I never tire of its simple, clear dial and its handsome lines.
The Aquatimer Deep Two is a true diver’s watch. It is water resistant to 120 metres and features a mechanical depth gauge.
The black dial features white indices to impart the hours. The hour and minute hands are white, chunky and outlined in red. The second hand is narrow by comparison with the aforementioned hands, white with a triangular tip, framed in the same red hue.
At 3 o’clock a date aperture is featured.
The added value surrounds the perimeter of the dial. A scale running along the left hand side of the dial is numbered 0 to 60 metres. A red indicator is used to show the maximum depth attained during the dive, whilst a blue indicator is used to show the current dive depth in real time.
IWC have produced a very detailed explanation of how the system works for those who wish to immerse themselves in the minutiae. Needless to say the engineering behind this complication is stunning in its delivery. But this is not surprising as mechanical excellence is part of the IWC DNA.
With the further-developed gauge mechanism, the Aquatimer Deep Two is able to display actual and maximum depths during a dive down to 50 metres. The pressure metering system is housed in a crown on the left-hand side of the case. Water pressure enters the system through miniscule holes in the cover of the depth gauge crown, where it acts upon a spring membrane and pushes a shaft towards the interior of the case. This movement activates a system of levers and, after transmission through a wheel train at the centre of the watch, moves the gauge's two indicators. While the blue indicator moves to show current dive depth, the red one remains at the maximum depth attained in the course of the dive, prevented by a pawl from returning to its original position. The maximum depth indicator can be reset to zero by pressing a button next to the depth gauge crown.
Source: IWC image and words
The considered use of black, white, red and blue is not garish, but aids interpretation when beneath murky waters. Whilst many divers will rely on electronic diving instruments, the IWC watch can be worn as a backup device.
With a case diameter of 46mm, the generous proportions of this watch aid operation beneath the ocean’s surface.
The stainless steel case features an interplay of brushed and polished surfaces. The sparkling finish may attract unwelcome attention from a great white. But then with this beauty on my wrist, I would put up a good fight to fend off the advances of any dorsal finned fiend trying to snatch my prized timepiece.
The bezel features Arabic numerals in a contemporary font, presented in integers of 5 minutes. The area from 0 minutes to 15 minutes is highlighted in blue, in contrast to the black tincture favoured for the rest of the bezel. The blue area provides an aide memoir when returning to the surface.
A conventional crown features at 3 o’clock but is screwed-in to mitigate the risk of potential water ingress.
At 10 o’clock is the depth gauge crown. This incorporates a pressure metering system which allows water pressure to enter through minuscule holes in the cover of the crown where it acts upon a spring membrane. This results in a shaft being moved towards the interior of the case and through a series of levers and wheels moves the gauge’s two indicators. No batteries or electronics to compromise the purity of a mechanical timepiece and tarnish this historical brand. This is haute horology for use beneath the waves.
A pusher at 8 o’clock is used when the wearer wishes to reset the maximum depth indicator to zero.
The solid case back features a diver’s helmet of yesteryear, but there is nothing old fashioned about this watch.
The watch is available on rubber strap or stainless steel bracelet. I personally favour the former. However, should your preference change during ownership, there is a facility to swap the bracelet using the “quick-change” system. A design created by Cartier, I have experienced the same on a Jaeger-LeCoultre timepiece. It is incredibly user-friendly and allows the strap to be changed without tools or trips to a jeweller. Why can’t all watches offer this facility?
Beyond the masterful mechanics of the depth gauge system, there remains an excellent movement for the connoisseur to wax-lyrical.
Pull out the crown and the seconds can be set precisely thanks to the hacking seconds feature. This is a helpful facility when working to small tolerances and for those who wish to synchronise their watch with others.
The watch contains the calibre 30110, oscillating at 28,800 vph, with a date function and power reserve of 42 hours. This automatic movement has also seen esteemed service in the world-renowned IWC Mark XVI.
I saw this watch in a jeweller's window in Bond Street and my affection for its charms has not waned over the months since.
Watch brands come and go, but IWC have been a constant all my adult life. Their watches still make me smile.
The onset of greying hair may lead to melancholy in some, however, I think it brings wisdom and appreciation of the finer things in life.
When it comes to the IWC Aquatimer Deep Two, it is a modern tune, from a great band of craftsman.
How deep is my love for the Aquatimer Deep Two? Profound.
- Model: IWC Aquatimer Deep Two
- Case: stainless steel; diameter 46.00 mm; height 15.5mm ; water resistant to 12 bar (120 metres); sapphire crystal to front.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; central seconds; depth guage with two indicators.
- Movement: calibre 30110, self-winding; frequency 28,800 vph ; 21 jewels; power reserve 42 hours.
- Strap: Rubber strap with stainless steel pin buckle. Stainless steel bracelet also available.