The Swiss watchmaking brand will soon start selling its new flagship: the 2009 model year IWC Aquatimer Deep Two (refs. IW354701 & IW354702) diving tool. Being a direct descendant of the now discontinued GST Deep One instrument, the new watch also features a built-in mechanical depth meter: a complication that you will rarely find while searching for a luxury diver.
Capable of measuring depths down to 50 meters, the device features two indicators: one (blue) for the actual depth and one (red) for the maximum depth reached by a diver.
The measurement device is built around a special membrane located inside an additional crown on the left side of the watch’s oversized 46 mm stainless steel case.
The deeper the watch is submerged, the stronger membrane is forced inside the case, actuating both red and blue levers. The red lever always shows the maximum depth, but it can be released with the smaller button, which is ergonomically placed at 4 o’clock, just below the depth gauge “sensor.”
Well, while you still can’t call this a professional diver’s watch, because its water resistance is limited at 120 meters (for example, Favre-Leuba Bathy V.2 and Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Pro Geographic Navy SEALs feature water resistance of up to 300m) it is still a nice watch to have if you are not into professional scuba diving and prefer some occasional snorkeling to going deeper under water in some heavy, dangerous-looking gear.
Just like the rest of the new Aquatimer family, the Deep Two features an external PVD coated rotating bezel with a 60 minute scale and really simple and highly legible dial with prominent markings and huge hour and minute hands with enough luminescent compound on them both to make the hands more contrast in broad daylight and more readable in total darkness.
The bezel finish, by the way, is a bit of a disappointment since, in this price range, you would be right to expect something more durable and scratch-resistant like a ceramic ring or something similar. Well, perhaps someone at IWC decided that the presence of an advanced depth meter justifies the higher price (the Swiss brand plans to sell the watch at MSRP of approximately $16,000 depending on where in the world you currently live.)
The new Aquatimer Deep Two is powered by the IWC caliber 30110 automatic movement that we have already seen in a number of other watches of the brand, including the tiny IWC Ingenieur Midsize 34 mm and some Portofino models.
Based on the well-known ETA 2892-A2, it features some critical components removed and replaced with those made to higher IWC standards.
The IWC Aquatimer Deep Two will be sold with either stainless steel bracelet (Ref. IW354701) or on a rubber strap (Ref. IW354702 and IW354703.)
IWC Aquatimer Deep Two (ref. IW354703) specification
Price range: $16,100 (MSRP)
Movement: IWC caliber 30110 (based on ETA 2892-A2 blank movement,) Swiss Made
Winding: Automatic (self-winding)
Functions & Complications: Hours, minutes, central seconds hand, date, mechanical depth meter
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case material: Stainless steel
Size: 46.00 mm
Case height: 15.50 mm
Hands: Red with white Superluminova
Water resistance: 12 BAR (120 meters)
Crystal: Sapphire, anti-reflective, 1.90mm thick
Back: Solid, engraved