Value Proposition: 3536 IWC Aquatimer 2000 in Steel
Last week, I gave a discourse on my appreciation for IWC’s water-resistant offerings in featuring an early Yacht Club. In that text, I linked to some of the less recognized dive offerings from their back catalogue. Now, in my immense power as technocrat here, I can tell what readers click on. More of you clicked on my link for a neo-vintage 3536 than the early Yacht Club I was attempting to feature. I’m not one to skip a good attention grab, so it seemed apropos that I give the audience, you, what you clearly wanted. That will be no hardship, as the 3536 is one of the strongest value buys today for its ruggedness, Germanic charm, and attention to detail.
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 presents decently. It has a relatively unmarked case without too many desk diving clasp scratches. The dial, handset, and bezel are all perfectly and very gently aged into their respective tones. Lugs are sharp. Very sadly, however, the crown is not original. You could probably source a replacement. It’s valued as such. It comes from a small German retailer on C24.
Find this 3536 here on Chrono24 for 5075 USD.