Unveiled at the beginning of the year, this IWC Aquatimer Chronograph in Red Gold (Ref. IW376903) is one of the dressiest models in their whole range of “tool” watches. With its black-red-white unidirectional rotating bezel nicely accented by 18-karat rose gold and supported by black carbon-fiber, the chronograph gives you the best of two worlds: while extremely dressy and elegant, it is also highly legible and ergonomic.
Like the rest of the family, the luxury diver is good for depths up to 120 meters, which makes it suitable for most amateur divers. However, something tells me that about 99 percent of these guys will never taste the salty seawater, so let us just skip this part.
Still, this dressy diver may be an excellent choice for those planning to spend a couple of weeks onboard a small yacht cruising along the Mediterranean shores.
Those familiar with IWC’s current model range may have noticed a family resemblance between the model 3769 and the gorgeous Big Ingenieur Chronograph. If you compare the images, both models feature the same dial layout with only minor styling differences.
Just like its slightly bigger land-bound brother –and unlike the rest of the collection–, the Aquatimer Chronograph is powered by an in-house Caliber 89360 automatic movement featuring generous 68 hours of power reserve.
The movement also allowed the Swiss watch company to get rid of the familiar-to-boring tri-compax dial layout in favor of much more engaging bi-compax design, however retaining the normal chronograph functionality and improving its usability.
The sub-dial at 12 o’clock looks like a GMT display but is, in fact, a two-in-one chronograph totalizer.
The sub-dial has two time-scales –minutes on the outer and hours on the inner circle– and two –hours and minutes– hands making it especially easy to tell elapsed time. The sub-dial at 6 o’clock is reserved for the small seconds counter and the date display window.
Of course, the case sports a sapphire transparent back cover offering a great look at its finely decorated movement. The bad news is that the decoration is identical to that of all other IWC models powered by the Caliber 89360 movement. Well, that’s aptly called “mass production.”
Inspired by IWC’s pre-war pocket watches, the mechanism was designed to power its oversized collections. As a result, the mechanism not only looks more proportional when admired through the Aquatimer’s sapphire case back cover but also happens to house longer mainspring that gives it a more modern power reserve of 68 hours. That’s about 50 percent better than an average ETA 7750-powered chronograph can give you.
At a price of more than $22,000 the Aquatimer Chronograph looks a bit expensive, but, hey, it’s crafted from red gold and features an in-house caliber, so the price sorta comes with the territory.
See also: IWC Aquatimer Deep Two diving instrument
IWC Aquatimer Chronograph in Red Gold (Ref. IW376903) specification:
Price range: $22,100
Movement: Caliber 89360, in-house, automatic, 40 jewels, 28,800 vph, Swiss Made
Complications: Date, bi-compax fly-back chronograph
Power reserve: 68 hours
Case: Red gold
Size: 44.00 mm
Case height: 15.50 mm
Dial: Black carbon fiber
Water resistance: 120 meters
Crystal: Sapphire, spherical, antireflective coating on outer and inner sides