3536 IWC Aquatimer 2000 Steel
If the 3536 were a person, it would be a Michael Fassbender type. I know you think I’m talking nonsense, hear me out: like-able in a slightly bold and brash way, fastidious in attention to detail, broadly capable, not overly fussy, lightweight (that one’s a bit literal), cool yet not trying too hard, and you get the sense it would win in a bar fight. I don’t know exactly what about a watch design leads me to believe it would win a bar fight. ’90s IWC, somehow, have made that impression. What shame it predates the GPHG, I’d bet its awards could’ve outnumbered Fassbender’s Oscars.
A watch as legendary as the Ocean 2000 is a hard act to follow. IWC couldn’t back off the ridiculous water resistance for fear of seeming less technically accomplished and yet had to update the design. How did they manage? With typically Germanic no-nonsense focus. Now that Porsche was out of the picture, IWC revived the 812 Aquatimer’s moniker and brought the aesthetic into the new millenium. It was 42mm with a 14.5mm rise in either steel (shown here, -2 reference) or titanium (-1). Not exactly a Panerai, but no Polerouter sub either. The titanium was the most common production, with steel slightly rarer. This was the Germanic/Austrian answer to Rolex’s five-digit Sub.
IWC’s professional diver was executed with professional attention to detail. Interestingly, the bezel is spring-loaded, the only one I’m aware of of its type. You actually need to push into it in order to rotate it counterclockwise. Neat, right? The dial is a mix of tritium and superluminova. It features a highly modified ETA 2892 with almost everything but the architecture being replaced by IWC’s own components, including a 21k gold rotor. It runs at 28800 vph and features hacking with a quick-set. This is function taken to such an extreme that it becomes luxury; sturdy luxury. Neo-vintage does have some real gems waiting to be discovered en masse.
This example has a great case. Full lugs, minimal wear. Likewise, its dial and tritium are flawless. It comes with a full set from a well-regarded London retailer.
Find this 3536 here from Subdial for 5450 GBP.