Flash news: IWC Aquatimer Deep Three

By Thierry Ané on January 16, 2014

The world of sports watches can be divided into Air, Land and Sea with specific watches for each segment: pilot’s watches for “Air”, motorsports models for “Land” and diver’s watches for “Sea”. The watch brands are well-aware of the appeal of these three sectors on the public and devote a large part of their marketing efforts to them. Prestigious sport events and famous sportsmen are extensively used to help associate a particular watch to one of these three universes in the mind of the consumers.

It seems fair in this context to ask ourselves whether there are watch functions or complications that we can truly associate to Air, Land and Sea? Try to find some and you will be surprised to find out that they are not as numerous as you would have initially thought. More often than not, the link between the timepiece and the sport segment it alludes to remains superficial. Very few timepieces with an alleged sporting origin actually showcase functions or complications that are relevant to the sport universe they are made for.

IWC’s first depth gauge model: the GST Deep One

In the field of pilot’s watches, one could mention the G-meter for current and maximum recorded G's on the De Motu DMG 11 or the scales and bezel of the Richard Mille RM 039-01 Aviation E6-B that provides the same information as the E6-B flight computer. The chronograph is certainly the most useful complication for motorsports, whether it is a split-seconds as with the Blancpain L-Evolution Split-Seconds Flyback Chronograph Large Date or a flyback as with the Chopard Superfast Flyback Chronograph. For diver’s watches one can mention the display of the lunar cycle and tidal range for Northern or Southern hemisphere of the Oris ProDiver Pointer Moon but the most useful complication remains the depth gauge.

the Aquatimer Deep Two introduced in 2009

Despite its evident utility for divers, very few brands have produced models with a mechanical depth gauge. In 2008, Jaeger-LeCoultre presented the Master Compressor Diving Pro Geographic, while in 2012 Blancpain announced its X Fathoms and in 2013 Oris released the amazing Aquis Depth Gauge Dive. If we don’t count the Bathy V2 Diver that Favre-Leuba presented in 2008 but never produced, to my knowledge, IWC is the only other brand that has ventured on this domain. And it is definitely the brand with the longest experience with depth gauges. It all started in 1999 with the GST Deep One. When the brand revamped its Aquatimer collection in 2009, they came up with a new depth gauge model known as the Aquatimer Deep Two. Time goes by very quickly and as we have mentioned on the article about the Aquatimer 2014 CollectionFlash news: IWC Aquatimer 2014 Collection, it is time for the Schaffhausen manufacture to update the diver’s watches again this year and, logically, they will unveil a new depth gauge model, the Aquatimer Deep Three.

Like the original GST Deep One, the third generation of IWC’s diver’s watches to feature a mechanical depth gauge Aquatimer Deep Three is crafted in titanium (the Aquatimer Deep Two is in stainless steel). It also features an inner rotating bezel like the first opus (for the Aquatimer Deep Two, the brand opted for an external unidirectional rotating bezel). Aesthetically though, the new Aquatimer Deep Three is very close to the Aquatimer Deep Two: same black dial, red hour and minute hands with white SuperLuminova, same blue indicator for the current depth and red indicator for the maximum depth reached during the dive. Powered by the automatic 30120 calibre, this watch is equipped with the brand’s quick-change bracelet system that was also present on the Aquatimer Deep Two. However, the depth gauge on the Deep Three has been further developed and improved relative to prior iterations to provide a complete and reliable backup system to a dive computer.

This is clearly a very nice choice for anyone in search of a true diver’s watch. Personally, though, I am a little disappointed that it is aesthetically so close to the Aquatimer Deep Two. As I own the Aquatimer Deep Two, I find the Aquatimer Deep Three a little redundant for my collection.

For a technical description of the timepiece and additional pictures: