In 2014, IWC introduced the completely re-designed IWC Aquatimer collection, with the Aquatimer 2000 (Ref. 358002) as its most performance-oriented representative: its 2,000-meter water-resistance, titanium case, in-house IWC 80110 caliber, and new “SafeDive” bezel system made it one of the most interesting dive watch releases of that year.
But what may be the most interesting fact about the Aquatimer 2000 is that it still offers the same 2,000-meter water-resistance as its predecessors did. (IWC was the first manufacturer to release a 2,000-meter water-resistant watch, in 1984.): Compared to the 44-mm version of the Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea (Ref. 116660), for example, which offers nearly twice as much water-resistance, the current IWC Aquatimer had to overcome at least two completely different obstacles in order to remain as water-resistant as before.
First, IWC increased the diameter of the case from 44 to 46 mm, which automatically affected the diameter of the sapphire crystal as well. Then, IWC added the new bezel system, which not only meant that the dive scale would be covered by the crystal, but – as you might have figured out by now — also meant the crystal had to be substantially larger than what one would normally want to be faced with when given the task to design an ultra water-resistant watch case.
This not only explains why IWC could not increase the water-resistance from 2,000 to 4,000 meters as initially planned, but also why the new Aquatimer 2000’s case turned out to be more than 20 mm in height and also features one of the largest sapphire crystals currently available in an ultra-deep dive watch.
So, even though the modern IWC Aquatimer 2000 may not have broken another record in terms of water resistance, it remains a technical milestone simply by upholding a record that was set 30 years before.