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Why We Love It
When it comes to vintage dive watches, the first generation IWC Aquatimer is a model that often gets forgotten - despite the popularity of their current collection.
Introduced in the 1960's (and still thriving), the Aquatimer was IWC's first dive model making it a significant and foundational piece in the brand's history.
This Aquatimer Reference 812 features a 36.5mm EPSA Super Compressor case and a rarely seen two-tone dial with silver center and black inner-rotating dive timing bezel. Fitted with correct Jenny-signed crowns, this particular example was treated to a full factory servicing in Schaffhausen a few years back, ensuring reliability and authenticity.
We can't stress the rarity of this model. In fact this is only the second example we've ever had the opportunity to offer. And while other surviving Aquatimer examples bear the scars from a lifetime of hard use, ours has blessedly escaped that fate.
As IWC’s first dive watch, the Aquatimer holds a special place in the hearts of vintage watch enthusiasts. IWC came to the dive watch game late, over a decade after Rolex and Blancpain dipped their toes into that vast sea. In fact, with the Fifty Fathoms’ endorsement by Jacques Cousteau, and the Submariner's as-then unsurpassed depth rating of 200m, there seemed little room for improvement in dive watches.
But IWC quietly started developing a prototype of a dive watch in 1964; three years later, the Aquatimer would emerge.
For its design and internals, IWC took its popular anti-magnetic watch, the Ingenieur, as inspiration. Indeed, in appearance the Aquatimer owed much to the Ingeniuer, having a similar dial and bracelet. However, IWC built the Aquatimer with its aquatic destiny in mind, fitting it with a thicker bezel and sealing the case with a patented technology.
Moreover, the case itself was the very same SuperCompressor design used by brands as diverse as Longines and Jaeger-LeCoultre. The SuperCompressor, conceived by EPSA, relied on a spring-loaded case back to keep water out. IWC further improved this with a sealing technology of its own, resulting in a watch that was as robust as it is handsome.
Although IWC would go on to improve and perfect the Aquatimer, and still produces it to this day—even releasing a reissue of this exact design a few years back—the original is a qualified classic… and a rarely seen one.
In fact, it’s only the second time we’ve been able to offer one for sale.
Stainless steel compressor case is approximately 36.5mm (excluding the dual crowns). IWC Reference 812. Automatic Winding Movement. Circa 1960s.
Overall Condition: Case is in excellent condition overall with factory polish. Luminous silver tone dial is in excellent condition. Factory re-lumed handset. Dual signed crowns.
Includes black leather strap.
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options