Additionally, the 913 has a glucydur balance wheel with gold micrometric regulating screws, which makes it adjustable and also more shock-resistant than its predecessor. There is also an improved winding system which uses a ball-bearing mounted rotor. The sapphire case back reveals the rotor, which is red gold with a snailed bevel, glistening chamfers and straight and circular Côtes de Genève patterns. The Caliber 913QL is fitted with a moon phase module, a wheel with 59 cogs covering two complete 29.5-day lunar cycles. It has a 40-hour power reserve.At 29.2mm, the Blancpain Villeret Date Moonphase is a very small watch considering there is a moon period and a date and a seconds hand, a rare edge in a small women’ automatic. It’s proof of Blancpain’s commitment to creating size-appropriate high-grade calibers devoted to ladies’ watches at its elite groups. The date is elegantly spaced out only inside the hour trail, signaled by a red-tipped pointer. The bezel is set with 48 diamonds and there are eight diamond indicators as well as four applied Roman numerals in the touch Villeret font. Even as purveyors of arguably one of the world’s first genuinely purpose-built dive watches, there is no denying it’s been a long time since Blancpain has even been remotely near the tool watch kingdom it once pioneered. That said it’s still neat to see the newest revisit those days with a marked level of panache from the newly declared Tribute to Fifty Fathoms Mil-Spec — a watch which may cost $14,000, but it is still every bit the capable tool once relied upon by combat divers in the late fifties.
Introduced in 1982 as a wristwatch for German navy divers before being sold commercially, the IWC Porsche Design Ocean 2000 was styled by Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, the designer behind the iconic 911 sports car. A remarkably sleek yet functional timepiece, the Ocean 2000 is the inspiration for the newly unveiled Aquatimer Automatic 2000 Edition “35 Years Ocean 2000”.
Forty-two millimetres in diameter and made of titanium just like the Ocean 2000, the new Aquatimer is also the thinnest dive watch in the IWC collection. But it is still 14.5mm high, almost 50% thicker than the Ocean 2000, which was just over 10mm.
The Aquatimer also features the SafeDive bezel that’s found on all current IWC dive watches. It’s an unusual mechanism with an inner rotating elapsed time ring that sits under the sapphire crystal, which is controlled by the external bezel. Both are linked by gears hidden under a cap on the case at nine o’clock.
And the one element of the new Aquatimer that’s exactly the same as the Ocean 2000 is the movement, the IWC cal. 30120 that is actually an ETA 2892-A2. It’s robust, easy to service, as well as self-winding with a 42-hour power reserve.
Price and availability
Limited to 350 pieces, the Aquatimer Automatic 2000 Edition “35 Years Ocean 2000” (ref. IW329101) is already available at IWC boutiques and retailers, priced at US$7400 or S$11,200.