3524 IWC Porsche Design Ocean 2000

I’m not sure a single watch has ever been so drastically ahead of its time as IWC’s Ocean 2000 was when it arrived to the civilian market in 1982. It defies categorization and expectation in every dimension. In the 80s, Rolex’s 16660 Sea-Dweller was capable of diving 1220m. IWC hit 2000 thanks to development through Bundeswehr frogmen. But it wasn’t just a dive watch, it was a completely integrated and considered design, more sporting than any Royal Oak and just as unique. Except it was more unique, because IWC realized this design in full titanium, when almost no one was capable that. And as if that weren’t enough, this chunk of alien Star Wars spaceship looking titanium had actually been designed by Porsche, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche to be specific, the very same man who designed the original 911.

3524 IWC Porsche Design Ocean 2000

Günter Blümlein is largely to thank, who in 1981 sought to expand IWC’s ability through collaboration. That led to Kurt Klaus’s ingenious perpetual calendar, their first (and one of the earliest) titanium chronographs developed with French aerospace company Aerospatiale, dive contracts with the Bundeswehr, and even Porsche. When such great minds come together, it’s not 1+1=2. The math is more 1+1=10. Omega is thought to have been first to make a titanium watch case in prototype Ploprofs. But IWC was not far off with the Titan chronograph in 1980, and this followed shortly after. You’ll find them with dials branded Porsche or IWC, or both. Some even have a 3H, issued to the German Navy. There’s a lot to learn and collect in Ocean 2000, even an extremely rare 50-example ref. 3519 which had a special a-magnetic movement issued to Bund minesweeper divers. 


It’s a watch that I can’t stop singing the praises of because the value is still laughable today. The civilian ones are around 10K today, which is too much to recommend them to people just starting in watches yet absurd value. I think of the Ocean 2000 today like I do something called the Cizeta-Moroder V16T. This was another dream and drug-fueled child of the 80s, a foolishly ambitious Italian sports car, designed by Gandini in collaboration with Giorgio Moroder of eurobeat and daft punk fame (really). It was a V16, two Lamoborghini Urraco V8s shoved together, and looked like a cyberpunk Diablo with a coke habit. At over 650K in the 90s, only 12 ever sold. This IWC had a sticker just above 2000 EUR, which in 1990 Germany was laughable for any wristwatch. But unlike the Cizeta, these somehow sold well enough to keep production up. They’re really something of a miracle; total ambition, realized. Because of the connection, I hear Daft Punk’s Giorgio every time I see one of the civilian versions on wrist. And that’s no bad thing. If any watch deserves dry ice smoke and lasers every time you wear it, it’s this.

This example is in strong overall condition. Thankfully, you can’t really polish this case. It shows light surface wear commensurate with age and no significant bashes. Its dial’s tritium is more pumpkin than most, which looks mega. The hands are often slightly lighter in tone than the dial tritium, that’s normally a red flag but totally kosher in these. It comes with its full set from a well-regarded Shanghai retailer.