There really is not much to say other than this is the original Aquatimer. Yes. Not only is this the first ever Aquatimer released by IWC, it is the first dive watch IWC ever made. Considering the historical importance of this fact, how rare this watch is and also how important the Aquatimer line is for IWC today, the Ref. 812 AD is really one of the most under-appreciated watches on the market in my opinion.
Housed in a 37mm supercompressor case, this IWC is quintessentially representative of dive watches of the 60’s. With its inner rotating bezel, double fish-signed crowns and screw back case, I am surprised these aren’t as celebrated as they should be. Featuring a matte/grained black dial and a gilt script, the watch is just downright attractive. Couple this with the black date wheel, applied index markers and the Gay Freres beads of rice bracelet, what you get is a thoroughbred dive watch from one of Switzerland’s most celebrated brands.
Inside this IWC 812 AD is an in-house automatic calibre 8541 that uses the famous Pellaton winding system- exactly the same movement in the more famous Ingenieur models. I think that because these watches are just so, so rare, it has yet to gain traction as one of the more important and unusual watches from its era.