Fellows, Birmingham, 20 April 2015
Sold for £2,160
IWC was something of a latecomer to the dive watch scene when it introduced the Aquatimer in 1967, more than a decade after rivals such as Blancpain and Rolex had recognised the demand from professional and sport divers for a watch with serious underwater capability. The original Aquatimer featured a black dial and a rotating dive-time bezel mounted beneath the crystal to protect it from accidental movement, and even had a nifty sealing system which became more efficient as water pressure increased.
Powered by the Pellaton-winding calibre 8541 movement, it was a genuine tool watch – but, while the Aquatimer 1816 that followed it in the early 1970s contained the same mechanism, it was altogether funkier in appearance with a choice of dials in red or blue shadow. As an example of thoroughly groovy horology in an of-the-moment, 40mm case it’s hard to beat – especially at little more than £2,000.