Over the past decade, the IWC Aquatimer has lived a very discreet life, as the brand’s promotional activities have been largely dominated by the Pilot and Portugieser collections. A dive watch with a classic look, solid construction and original internal bezel construction, the Aquatimer has long been underrated. To bring the watch back into the game without changing much of its design, IWC decided to apply the same recipe used with the new Mark XX series and the new Pilot Chronograph 43. So here is the 2022 IWC Aquatimer Automatic Collection, now equipped with a 5-day power reserve movement.
As you can see from our side-by-side comparison above, the IWC Aquatimer Automatic has evolved very little… or, to put it simply, almost nothing has changed when it comes to design, specifications or case dimensions. It all depends on the new movement. Also, the basic concept of the Aquatimer Automatic remains unchanged. There may be some minor changes regarding the size of the fonts or some details of the finish, but that’s what you’d expect from a design perspective.
The new (and old, in this case) Aquatimer Automatic is a 42mm dive watch with a thickness of 14.10mm. The shape of the case is a signature element of this collection, based on the specific construction of the rotating diving bezel. While most dive watches on the market have an external dial, the Aquatimer has an internal 60-minute scale printed on the angled bezel. But here again, it’s not like your typical “compressor-like” watch, where the secondary crown drives this rotating element. Here, IWC has implemented a mechanical connection that does not require the crown to be unscrewed or actuated (water entering the case is always a risk). The outer bezel rotates and as you move it, the inner bezel rotates accordingly, thanks to the winding mechanism at 9 o’clock.
The rest of the watch is classic, with a steel case, finished with brushed surfaces and some polished accents. The dial is protected by a sapphire crystal with AR coating, the crown is screwed down and there is also a solid steel caseback. In total, this gives us a comfortable 300 meters of water-resistance.
One of the developments for this 2022 IWC Aquatimer Automatic collection is about the dial options. Previously only available with a black dial (at least from the permanent collection), IWC now adds a blue edition with a sunray-brushed finish, paired with a textured blue rubber strap and closed with a pin buckle (reference IW328801). The matte black model is still available with a matching rubber strap (reference IW328802) or a brushed stainless steel bracelet closed with a folding clasp (reference IW328803). All are equipped with a practical quick-change system. As for the dial and handset, no developments are noticeable and all three models feature large hands and markers filled with white Super-LumiNova.
That really changes in the case of the 2022 IWC Aquatimer Automatic. Previously, these watches were powered by a 4Hz automatic movement with a 42h power reserve from caliber 30120, ETA or Sellita (2892-A2 or SW300-1). This year, the movement is replaced by caliber 32111, which is produced at the Richemont Group’s ValFleurier facilities and shares its construction with Panerai and Baume & Mercier’s Baumatic. The main advantage of this movement, which is intended to replace ETA calibers with the same measurements, is to have a highly improved power reserve of 120 hours (or five days). It beats at 4Hz and although it is hidden under the caseback, it is decorated with Geneva stripes and perlage.
These new members of the IWC Aquatimer Automatic family are part of the permanent collection and are now available at retailers, boutiques and online at iwc.com. There is a retail price EUR 6,300 on the gasket and EUR 7,350 On a steel bracelet. For more details, please visit iwc.com.