The IWC Aquatimer Tribute to Calypso

May 18, 2018

With the Limited Edition Aquatimer Tribute to Calypso, IWC seems to have escaped their Teutonic restraints and created a dive watch that is as fun as it is functional. If you love the sea and love a watch with a story, this watch packs all that with a punch of color that stands out.

A history of the IWC Aquatimer

For a company founded in 1868, it seems crazy that IWC didn’t create a dive watch until 1967. When they did, the design was done with their typical care and thought.  For the first Aquatimer, Ref. 812, IWC moved the rotating bezel under the crystal so that it could never be knocked or accidentally moved during the dive.

The Porsche Ocean 2000

Inspired by their Porsche collaboration (from 1978 to 1998), IWC introduced the  Ocean 2000 dive watch in 1982 with a titanium case and pressure resistance of a then-record 2000m.

IWC Aquatimer


An Aquatimer for minesweeping

An astonishing leap forward in 1988 really captures the pragmatic working spirit of IWC. The Ref. 3519 is a non-magnetic dive watch designed for underwater clearing of mines. The special movement, the IWC 3755AM (also called the Amag), won’t set off magnetic devices.

The Aquatimer goes the extra depth

In ’98 and ’99, IWC introduced the GST Aquatimer.  The Ref. 3527 dive watch, called the Deep One, features a unique complication in its Caliber 8914 movement: a mechanical depth gauge that shows how deep a diver has descended.

The Aquatimer for two

In 2004, IWC added a split minute chronograph to the collection. The Minute Memory, Ref. IW 3723, is useful for timing events during a dive.

Sea turtle diving in the Galapagos

The IWC/Darwin Galapagos Partnership

In 2014, IWC relaunched the dive watch under a partnership with  the Charles Darwin Foundation. The First Expedition Charles Darwin features an unusual 44m bronze case. Water resistant to 300m, the IWC 89365 movement also introduces their SafeDive system, which prevents accidental changes of dive time.

IWC also brought out the Deep Three in 2014, which shows both the maximum depth of the entire dive and the current depth, a highly useful function.

The Aquatimer out of the water

Even dive watches spend time on dry land.  IWC’s Aquatimer for the 2017 50-Year Celebration edition features a perpetual calendar date/month aperture.  It’s made from their innovative Ceratanium, a compound that delivers the lightness of titanium and the durability of ceramic.

About the IWC Aquatimer support of the Cousteau Society

Anyone who grew up watching Jacques Cousteau on television remembers the dives from the Calypso, the repurposed 140’ wooden  minesweeper that Cousteau turned into a mobile film studio, home for his family and base for his research. Sadly, the Calypso sank in 1996 and in 2003 IWC began sponsoring the Cousteau Society.

IWC actually put a piece of the Calypso in the first tribute Aquatimer, the  limited edition Calypso dive watch Ref. 378-201 (not this one).  A stainless steel silhouette of the ship floats in the center of the wood.

IWC also issued the “Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau”, Ref. IW329005,  in 2015, which features an etched portrait of the oceanographer in his iconic fisherman’s beanie.

IWC Aquatimer Tribute to Calypso

The Limited Edition Tribute to Calypso Ref. 378-203

The limited edition Aquatimer dive watch 378-203 is a breakthru in style for IWC.  Only 2500 stainless steel watches were made and they are unforgettable.  The 378-203 sports a  bright beach blue dial and a Super-LumiNova® florescent green  indicator bar readable even in murky waters.

Like the first Aquatimer, the luminescent indicators are all protected under the sapphire and you can read the entire bezel in dark water – not just a dot at 12.

Caseback view of IWC Aquatimer Calypso

A special case for the Tribute to Calypso

The 378-203 case is a chunky 44m with smooth descending lugs that make it comfortable on the wrist. The caseback also features a 3D image of the Calypso riding blue waves in playful salute.

Who is the Aquatimer made for?

This is a timepiece ready to go ship to shore, with a the patented IWC bracket that lets you change straps from steel to rubber and back in a snap, with a haptic click that satisfies.  The bright blue and green dial says relax, while the IWC complications command respect. If you’ve been looking for the perfect summer watch, this is as great as it gets.

Want one of your own? Call Ron at Palisade Jewelers and he will be happy to discuss your needs. 201 871 0400.