The watcher says, a few days ago, I saw the watches and left message in the forum with member Kchunlok, after I saw his personal collection album, and found his net friend had enthusiastic response to Porsche Design Ocean 2000 by IWC (compared to IWC Aquatimer 2000 of Kchunlok), I could not help but evoke some private sad emotion. If that: There is one hand lead me into the watch world, it should be none other than Ocean 2000.
About seven or eight years ago, when I still worn quartz watch as most of young people (a Seiko diving watch in fact), to be frankly, I had no idea about mechanical watches. I liked my Seiko watch, accurate, good shape, very tough, good waterproof, it was very suited for me since I like tennis and swimming, except for sleeping time, I almost worn on the wrist, until one day a new female colleague came our company. Do not misunderstood, the next is not about love story between men and women, but the induction and fate between time and machinery.
After I was more familiar with this female colleague, and once stumbled: She worn a beautiful watch that the case and strap were shining with gray luster, although I thought the size seemed a bit too large (it was not popular with 38, 40 or 44 mm size today), but the watch was really beautiful, even though on the weak wrist of woman, but also showed beauty and fortitude temperament, it was Porsche Design Ocean 2000 by IWC, what surprised me was: wow woo! the waterproof up to 2000m, (remember I said I liked swimming?). Almost at first sight, I was fascinated by this watch, but when I knew the price was nearly 2 times to my monthly salary, after calculating rent, transportation and living expenses, but to temporarily give up the idea of buying this watch.
However, the interest caused by Ocean 2000 was rising day after day. It was a little lack of watch information at Taiwan that time, there was no world wide web, (latter BBS, do you remember when used 14400 bps modem?), today some Chinese magazines which we were familiar had not yet founded watch information, and no spare money, I did not dare to come into watch shop, so the pursuit and absorption of watch knowledge could be said fragmented and slow. As a result, after I lived frugally long time, gathered enough money and entered the watch shop (it was Tianshui Road Nine Two, as it seemed relatively simple, compared to other magnificent watch shop, no more pressure!), then I knew: Ocean 2000 has been discontinued, all the stores in Taiwan had no inventory! If Ocean 500, they could try to find.
Like lovelorn people, I began to shift attention to other watches, I started to use the network that once appeared than immediately flourished to absorb new knowledge, and began to subscribe foreign magazines, gradually, I became the “mechanical watch fan wearing no watch” in my friends. In fact, I didn’t forget Ocean 2000, I found it in Timezone, Watchnet, Eddie’s Watchnet, Chronograph and other sites, but there was no transaction in the end. Later, I bought an IWC, I chose GST Alarm between Aquatimer and GST Alarm, a bit like a memory of my past feelings to Ocean 2000.
This is the story between Ocean 2000 and me, the beginning of a “beautiful mistake”.
Sometimes I think: after so many years, one day if Ocean 2000 suddenly appears in front of me, will I buy it? This question is a bit like asking things of first lover, but now it is not real, so think of when it really happens!
Talked about the emotional side, might as well talk about the rational side of Ocean 2000, first about the appearance and disappearance reason and process of Porsche Design by IWC.
The 20-year golden age of IWC and Porsche Design
IWC was founded in 1868, it had nearly 135 years of watchmaking history. IWC factory is located in Switzerland near the German border, called Schaffhausen, the local watchmaking history can be traced back to the early 15th century, 459 years earlier than IWC. But until IWC that people can grasp time accuracy. And IWC is proud to stand in Schaffhausen, so the watches they make are labeled with Schaffhausen words, rather than “Geneve” which the general Swiss watches marked with.
But the IWC founder is not Swiss, he is a Boston engineer named Florentine A. Jones. In order to achieve the dream of making the highest quality precise watches, he crossed the waters, he established the earliest mechanical watchmaking factory in the factories near Rhine River in Swiss, to realize his new conceives: used machine to replace some manual works to make more accurate parts, and then the leading watchmakers assembled into extraordinary watches.
In 1868, IWC launched the first pocket watch, from then on, IWC got special status in many aspects in the Swiss watch industry, but also had a pivotal position in the world’s watch manufacturing industry. Since its establishment in 1868, IWC had been the only watch factory that its watchmaking craft did’t become a victim of the industrial revolution. IWC never pursued mass production, even until today, it adheres to its faithful and inherent concept – IWC makes small quantity but extraordinary quality watches. So every IWC watch, even the most minor areas are handled perfectly, it can be used for decades under good care, and it is widely collected by many collectors, Portugieser, Ingeniur, Fleiger and other IWC watches get good comments and are acclaimed on the market.
However, as you know: most Swiss watch factories were under heavy pressure because of the wave of quartz and digital watches in 1970s, IWC also produced some quartz watches, but hoped to restore the appeal of mechanical watches with new ideas and new designs. Based on this idea, IWC allied with Ferdinand A. Porsche in 1978, and created a popular series of Porsche Design by IWC, (Porsche Design was made by Orfina before). But also this series of watches were populared with customers, Ferdinand A. Porsche determined to have its own watch factory and independent brand. In 1996, Porsche bought Eterna with 150 years history, formally ended nearly two decades of alliances with IWC, Porsche Design by IWC ceased production, became a history. IWC launched GST to replace Porsche Design in 1997, and Porsche Design produced its own Porsche watches in April 1998, no longer under IWC.
Among the nearly two decades of Porsche Design by IWC series, the most famous, most valuable one was probably none other than Ocean 2000. The importance of Ocean 2000 at least had three points: First, Ocean 2000 was the first commercial release mechanical diving watch with waterproof 2000 m; second, Ocean 2000 used titanium case and chain belt which IWC and Porsche Design first promoted, it was light but strong and skin-friendly; third, Ocean 2000 was both with brilliant performance and perfect shape design, its unique strap design and joint design had became a classic today.
Military watches were always one of the traditions of IWC, like Mark IX, X and XI were the well-known example, even the Ingenieur was created for military at the beginning. Since 1983, Ocean 2000 also produced special military watches, called Ocean 2000 BUND (or Bundeswehr, meaned West German military), provided for West German Navy. Ocean 2000 BUND had some obvious differences with the general Ocean 2000 in shape, including: the Ocean 2000 BUND bezel was black, minute hand was orange, the surface of crystal glass was flat rather than curved. In addition, IWC provided for military attached with Nylon-Velcro strap, the titanium strap must be ordered separately. What interesting was that, the Ocean 2000 BUND waterproof was marked only 300 meters, it was not that IWC lowered its standard to produce, but the military only tested to this standard.
According to Timezone founder Michael Friedberg: Ocean 2000 BUND was divided into three types, one was IWC Ref. 3509 and 3529 for Divers, the movement numbers were IWC Caliber 375 and 37521, 22 stone, adapted from ETA 2892; the second was IWC Ref. 3519 which was used by Mining Divers in mine military, its movement number was IWC Caliber 3755AM (anti-magnetic), 22 stone, also adapted from ETA 2892; the last style was IWC Ref. 3314 and 3315 for Combat Divers, also used IWC Caliber 2250 quartz movement. The dials of Ocean 2000 BUND for Combat Diver and Mining Diver were marked with 3H in the red circle because of Tritium.
In 2002, IWC and Prada launched a limited sports edition of GST Chronograph Automatic Prada, it was for the America’s Cup yacht race in 2003, with a global production of only 2000 pieces, the dial was marked with IWC for Prada words, and it was engraved with the number of each watch on the back. As it was the first cross-industry cooperation after Porsche Design, and met the moment when LV and Zenith launched Tambour, it caused a lot of attention naturally; however, IWC for Prada only had the modified version of IWC GST Chronograph, by contrast, people can not help but think of the unique and outstanding Ocean 2000.