A true dive watch is, first and foremost, and instrument. The IWC Aquatimer Deep Two 3547-02 packs two instruments into one watch; a unique mechanical depth gauge reinforces the importance of a carefully timed dive. At 46mm in robust stainless steel, this 2009 special edition is a true collector’s item for IWC’s core fan of “tool watch” enthusiasts.
In 1999, IWC raised the bar for the dive watch segment with the historic GST Deep One dive watch with mechanical alarm. As the first-ever combination of both devices, the Deep One embodied one of the first truly original innovations in dive watch design since the 1960s. On the tenth anniversary of the historic Deep One launch, IWC dove even deeper into the multitool diver concept with the Aquatimer Deep Two.
The Deep Two is larger, better equipped, and even more legible than the 1999 original. Its 46mm steel case is built like a submarine and engineered for durability. A unidirectional rotating dive bezel capped by rugged sapphire (shades of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms) enables easy reference at a glance while coordinating dive time and diving depth.
All elements of the dial are legible at a glance, and effective use of color contrast provides the instant recognition that is mandatory for submersible life support equipment. Critically, IWC advertises the Aquatimer Deep Two as a backup depth gauge that supports a diver’s primary dive computer. When electronics fail, IWC steps into the frame with time-tested analog displays and mechanical technology.
And the depth gauge truly takes center stage in the IWC Aquatimer Deep Two. Even on an aesthetic level, the signature mechanism dictates IWC’s design agenda. An immense fine-regulator crown sits secure beneath a crown guard at ten o’clock, and it allows the user to precisely “zero” the depth indicator prior to a dive regardless of altitude or atmospheric condition. Beneath the regulator sits the reset trigger; it resets the “maximum depth” memory indicator after a dive.
IWC offers a true engineer’s interface for the Deep Two. One scale with linear calibration traces the depth of the user from zero to fifty meters. No ornamentation, fatuous graphics, or voguish flourishes obscure the critical indications of current (blue hand) and maximum diving depth (red hand).
In deference to safety, IWC calibrates the depth gauge to 50 meters. The Schaffhausen watchmaker insists that this represents the practical limit for safe recreational diving. In order to survive submergence to the Aquatimer Deep Two’s maximum rated depth of 120 meters, the depth gauge mechanism disengages after the 50 meter mark is reached.
As part of the reborn IWC Aquatimer model line, the Deep Two 3547-02 features that range’s pull-tab strap quick release system. Licensed from Richemont sister firm Cartier, where this system debuted on the discontinued Roadster, the pull-tab lugs enable do-it-yourself strap interchange without tools or jeweler intervention.
While the depth gauge steals the show, an IWC caliber 30110 automatic keeps outstanding time with the durability and serviceability required of a dive instrument. Based on the thin and fine ETA 2892-A2, the 4hz (28,800 VpH) movement is a modern-day workhorse that has seen duty in models from chronometers to grand complications and everything in between. The IWC 30110 variant features custom decoration while retaining the hacking (stop seconds) function and date quickset.
See this rare, sophisticated, and uniquely IWC complication, the IWC Aquatimer Deep Two 3547-02 mechanical depth gauge, in high-resolution images on www.watchuwant.com.
Video and content by Tim Mosso