Horologium was recently invited by IWC to attend the Australian launch of this year’s Aquatimer collection, whose worldwide launch was at SIHH 2014 in January. As I am covering the event for another publication, I’ll not be covering it on the blog, although you will find some photos from the day on the Horologium instagram account.
The first part of the Sydney launch was a ‘scuba diving experience’, during which participants were given an Aquatimer to wear. I ended up with an Aquatimer Automatic, but today’s post is about the watch that I’d fantasised about the possibility of wearing for the occasion but which, due to its rather limited production status, unfortunately was not available for us to even play with as a desk diver– the Deep Three.
The Deep Three is, as the name indicates, the third of series of mechanical depth gauge diver’s watches. The first was the GST Deep One (1999) and the second, the Aquatimer Deep Two (2009). Like the internal/ external ‘Safe Dive’ bezel system in the Aquatimer collection, the depth gauge on the Deep Three is the latest chapter of IWC’s dive watch development. During a dive, the blue depth indicator moves to show current dive depth, whilst the red indicator remains at the maximum depth attained, down to a maximum of 50 meters.
The Deep Three’s case is made of titanium, measuring 46mm x 16.5mm. Apart from the depth gauge, the basic features of the Deep Three are a date display, hacking seconds, two-tone SuperLuminova luminescent hands (depth, dive time, minute and seconds displays in green, hour hand and indices are blue), screw-in crown, the SafeDive system of course, engraved caseback, and IWC’s quick-change strap system. Inside is the automatic IWC calibre 30120 with a forty-two hour power reserve.
The pressure metering system of the depth gauge is housed in a pressure converter/ crown case at 9 o’clock. There are micro holes in the convertor’s cover, so that when water pressure acts on the membrane it pushes a pin towards the interior of the case. This moves the gauge’s two indicators – as mentioned, the blue depth indicator moves to show current dive depth, the red maximum depth indicator remains at the maximum depth attained during the course of the dive.
The reset button for the maximum depth indicator is at 2 o’clock. The titanium cover at 4 o’clock conceals the sliding clutch mechanism for the new rotating bezel system. The internal rotating bezel, which engages in precise one-minute intervals, can only be moved anticlockwise.
Oh and of course we must not forget the water resistance – 10 bar.
Thanks to its titanium case, the 46mm Aquatimer Deep Three feels far less bulky than its size would indicate, and it feels like somewhere between a 44-46mm on the wrist.
It was the centre of IWC attention in Geneva, and it’s obvious why. It’s a funky, legible and practical piece of high-end dive watchmaking.