Many watch enthusiasts enjoy seeing timepieces connected to the world of film and television, although it is often the ways that the connections are established that become the divisive topic among the enthusiast community. Rather than putting a character’s face on the dial of a watch, a far more nuanced approach is to create a timepiece that could believably exist within that character’s respective world. However, IWC has gone one step further and collaborated with the new Warner Bros. Pictures film Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom to create glowing red and blue prop replica watches for sale that will be worn on-screen by the movie’s villains. Additionally, beyond its involvement in supplying the watches for the film, the Schaffhausen-based manufacture has taken the glowing red and blue concept of the screen-worn props and used it to create a pair of AAA UK fake IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month watches that will each be produced as limited editions of 25 examples.
When discussions first started about IWC supplying top replica watches for the film Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Director James Wan (who was already a personal fan of IWC) wanted to have the film’s villains Black Manta and Dr. Stephen Shin (played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Randall Park, respectively) to have watches that could compliment their high-tech underwater suits. To achieve this vision, Christian Knoop, IWC Chief Design Officer, said, “We talked about fitting the humans in the film with perfect IWC copy watches, and then we showed him [James Wan] our secret concept world for the Aquatimer. He saw some very interesting light concepts and luminosity concepts we were exploring at the time, and this more or less formed the starting point of doing something together.”
Realistically speaking, Aquaman himself has no need for a watch while underwater, although a wrist-mounted timepiece perfectly plays into the futuristic equipment used by the film’s two villains as they venture deep into the underwater world. From there, the goal became to design timepieces that could become part of the silver-age comic book world that had been created for the film, as these fantasy characters would not be wearing standard off-the-shelf replica watches with Swiss movements if they also had technology like helmets that shoot laser beams.
With that in mind, by the time everything was squared away and it was decided that the prop 1:1 fake watches would be based upon the Aquatimer design DNA with an all-black finish and glowing red or blue dials to complement the accents on their respective character’s outfits, IWC then had only ten days to produce functional prop watches and get them to London for the start of filming.
As movie props, the cheap super clone watches that IWC produced for filming are very different from the watches that it creates for its customers, although they still had to be durable enough to stand up to daily wear and the rigors of filming action scenes. Rather than being constructed from premium materials like ceramic or Ceratanium, the cases of the prop watches are simple black-finished brass, and instead of containing in-house-mechanical movements, the internals of the prop watches consist of battery packs and small lighting systems that illuminate their display in either red or blue. A total of six prop watches were produced (three examples for each color), and by looking at them, you can tell that they received a rather significant amount of wear and tear during filming as the black finish has been almost completely rubbed off the caseback.
Rather than producing commercially available versions of the same best quality replica watches that appear in the film, IWC has instead used the overall aesthetic of the movie props and their glowing red and blue concept to produce two limited-edition versions of the Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month, which has previously existed in a few limited-edition executions. Crafted entirely from black Ceratanium, the pair of new IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” watches are most closely related to the limited-edition “50 Years Aquatimer” model from 2017, which was created to celebrate the model’s half-century anniversary. The external design of these two new watches is incredibly similar (if not identical), and there is enough overlap in their structure that the prototype photographed for this article is fitted with the caseback from the 50th-anniversary model, which is why you see the “one out of 50” engraving, despite the fact that both of these “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” watches are each limited to 25 pieces.
In terms of their dimensions and on-wrist experience, the new pair of wholesale 2024 fake IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” watches are properly enormous and imposing creations, with Ceratanium cases that measure 49mm in diameter by 19.4mm thick. On the right-hand side of the case, you get a signed screw-down crown flanked by a set of pushers that are used to operate the chronograph, while the opposite side of the case receives the cover for the sliding clutch mechanism of the Aquatimer’s signature SafeDive bezel (which frequently gets mistaken for a helium escape valve). With this internal/external bezel system, the outer bezel ring is free to rotate bidirectionally, although the inter-bezel section with the 60-minute elapsed time scale only turns with the outer ring when the bezel is rotated counter-clockwise.
Sitting inside the outer rotating ring of the internal/external bezel is a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both inner and outer surfaces, while the reverse side of the watch is fitted with a screw-down display caseback that is constructed from Ceratanium with a flat sapphire display window. Compared to the 49mm diameter of the case, the 22mm lug width seems comparatively small by wristwatch standards, although this ultimately improves the overall wearability of the IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month, and it gives the watch a similar stance on the wrist as something like a dive computer or underwater wrist compass. Fitted to the lugs is a chunky black rubber strap with an equally chunky black tang-style buckle, and due to its Ceratanium construction, the watch is ultimately rather lightweight given its objectively large size.
Despite having the appearance of something that could venture to the bottom of the ocean, the IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month features only 100 meters of water resistance, although this will realistically be more than enough for all real-world applications. As a perpetual calendar chronograph with a set of digital displays, this model is ultimately one of the more complex offerings in IWC’s modern lineup, and given that these are the versions inspired by the props from the Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom movie, I doubt anyone who owns one will find themselves in a situation where they need more than a 100-meter depth rating. Additionally, while this is the same water resistance that accompanied previous versions of the Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar, I still wish that IWC had given these models some truly excessive depth rating in the true spirit of their Aquaman-themed inspiration.
The dials of the new AAA China replica IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” watches follow the same overall design and layout as previous models that have been based upon this platform, although this latest duo features an entirely black appearance with bold markings in either red or blue to represent the two glowing watches that are featured in the film. The ref. IW379405 is the red version inspired by the watch worn by Black Manta, and it features bright red Super-LumiNova on its dial, hands, and internal bezel, while the ref. IW379406 is the blue version worn inspired by the Dr. Stephen Shin watch, and it features these same details finished in an equally bright shade of blue Super-LumiNova. Aside from their colorways, the actual design of the dials is the same as what you will find on previous Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month watches, although it does lend itself particularly well to the theme of these particular pieces.
Like previous limited-edition versions of the IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month, the new “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” models are powered by the brand’s Caliber 89802 automatic movement, which runs at a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 68 hours. Along with being a perpetual calendar with digital numeral displays for both the month and date, the IWC Cal. 89802 also offers a 12-hour chronograph with both the hours and minutes displayed by the same register on the upper half of the dial. Meanwhile, the running seconds and leap year indicator appear opposite the chronograph register on the lower half of the display. To match the all-black technical theme of the fake watches online shop, the rotors fitted to the movements have been skeletonized with a mechanical pattern, and they have been given a blackened nickel-plated finish, which extends to a number of other components that sit visibly through the sapphire windows of their casebacks.
Personally, I would have loved to see IWC make the duo of commercially available models the exact same as the screen-worn watches, although a simple time-only Aquatimer almost seems like too much of a mass-market offering to restrict to a limited-edition Aquaman-themed release. Additionally, the goal of the new IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” replica watches for men wasn’t to make a screen-worn prop available to the public but rather to create a striking expression of an already bold and highly technical IWC model, which is inspired by the fictional high-tech timepieces worn by the film’s supervillains. People say that watch brands should create movie-themed timepieces that actually look like they are from the imaginary worlds that inspire them, and the duo of IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” models are arguably far more aesthetically outlandish offerings than the prop watches that actually appear in the film.
As someone with fairly small wrists, the colossal profile of the IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month places it beyond the realm of possibility when it comes to watches that I could comfortably wear on a regular basis. However, when it comes to timepieces that embody the larger-than-life world of comic book superheroes and action movies, these Swiss made replica watches truly deliver on that experience, as they offer a case made from a high-tech proprietary material, along with a complex movement that pairs a chronograph with a unique presentation for one of horology’s most prestigious complications. As such, these limited-edition models are also priced accordingly, and the IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” watches are accompanied by an official price of $57,600 USD for either of the two colorways, with production limited to 25 examples of each. While I would have loved to see IWC turn the screen-worn prop watches into commercially available offerings, it’s important to remember that the brand has a long-term plan for the Aquatimer, and I imagine that we will only continue to see developments within the collection in the future.