Picture the scene, it’s 1973. You’re cruising down the French Riviera to pick up your significant other with nothing on your mind other than what ratios you’ll request in your Negroni tonight. You’re in an ‘old’ 275 GTB, not a new 365 Daytona because the ask is a bit dear and and the price of oil is rising at an alarming rate. You need to buy a tender boat for your yacht soon anyway, parked up in Portofino tonight. This is obviously an indulgent departure from reality. However, one part of it doesn’t have to be; the watch that would’ve been on your wrist.
IWC have maintained a consistently excellent line of dive watches since the 812 Aquatimer and don’t really receive much notoriety for it. Don’t believe me? If you want something more contemporary look into the bewitching neo-vintage 3536. Or you could contribute to an effort to help save the Galapagos and snap one of these new. They even make one of the world’s most sophisticated modern divers with a mechanical depth gauge integrated. There’s even a huge amount of nuance in the range, with things like the marbled-dialed Yacht Clubs. Sure there’s no Comex or Naval history, but the German side of Switzerland has made significant strides under the sea anyway.
All of which brings me to this. The Yacht Club was introduced in the late 60s to be a casual yet luxurious mildly-water resistant steel offering. Its design brief was one well ahead of its time, front-running integrated sports watches and the even the 1680 date Submariner. Yacht Club was truly an accurate name for the resulting design, which was effortlessly cool in a way that not may date-divers have been since. Its steel case is 36.5mm, a size most collectors would call a sweet spot. It is powered by the robust IWC calibre 8542, the same used in the 812 Aquatimer with the renown Pellaton winding system. That is the same movement used in the Ingenieur models of the era. This is truly an irresistible and not (yet) insane priced proposition for those who yearn for lines and designs from the 70s. There aren’t many vintage steel sport divers one could credibly call underrated. I believe this is one.
This example has an exquisitely mild patina. The dial has gone golden only very slightly. All indices and fonts are clear. The case has probably seen one polish but nothing terribly abrasive, it’s just fine. Edges very defined still. It comes on an original bracelet from a private party out of Germany.
Find this 811 AD Yacht Club here on Chrono24 for 3000 USD.