Bas Dekkers hails from the Netherlands, a country that’s 35% below sea level. No wonder he’s passionate about IWC Aquatimers. IWC Collectors’ Forum moderator Tonny Berteloot talks with Bas about his love of this particular timepiece.
BD: Bas Dekkers
TB: Tonny Berteloot, IWC Forum Moderator
TB: Bas, thank you for having this interview at your place. I see you have a passion not only for IWC but also for art. There are a lot of Dutch IWC collectors. Any idea why?
BD: I guess it is a bit the story of the chicken and the egg; which comes first? I see that existing collectors become friends, bring new customers to the brand, and they bring friends.
TB: You are an active forum user. Since when are you a member?
BD: I started on the forum around mid 2005, but knew the brand before. Now I spend some time on the forum every day reading and posting.
TB: Since when are you into watches and IWC ?
BD: In the mid 90’s I was in the army and had an joint forces commando training in Germany with the German Kampfswimmer. On the way to the site I bought a yellow Casio in a service station along the road. I told the guys I was with that the Casio was the official combat watch of the Dutch army. Some of the German guys liked the modern looks so much they wanted to trade with their IWC Ocean Bunds. But as a captain, I didn’t dare to make such a trade. But my interest for IWC was triggered and after graduation, I bought my first IWC, the UTC, then a Pilot’s Watch Chronograph (IW3706).
TB: Strange move from Bund to Pilot’s and then back to Aquatimers, what is the story behind that move?
BD: During my time with the Special Forces, I did a lot of parachute jumps. A plane was a natural habitat for me so I bought some Pilot's Watches first. The shift to the Aquatimer family was made because I do a lot of sport, so I wanted watches that I could wear during these activities. The Aquatimer line is for now the only line I collect, I can wear these in daily life and when running, swimming and diving.
TB: What will be your next watch?
BD: An Aquatimer (laughs). I love the first Aquatimer Cousteau (IW3548) so maybe that one, maybe an Ocean 2000, we will see.
TB: If you could keep only one watch from your collection, which one would it be?
BD: It would be the Aquatimer (IW3231) from the vintage collection. For me a perfect design, high level of comfort to wear, clear to read, versatile - I put the Jan Ulrich strap on it - so in short, a perfect watch.
If I would be asked to design an Aquatimer, it would be even more pure, without a date. Although I am very fond of the Split minute. I once called it on the forum, the “forgotten” complication, works great for divers, very useful.
— Dekkers' IWC collection
TB: Do you and your wife share the same past times?
BD: I am very lucky that we can spend a lot of time together and share the same passions like golf or diving. She has attended a collectors meeting in Amsterdam and has a very beautiful IWC, not an Aquatimer, but still a nice one, the Portofino Automatic Moon Phase 37 (IW459008).
TB: Next to your job as a business consultant and your hobbies, you are also active in charity work.
BD: I am active in some charity events like Race against Cancer, taking children around the race course with my race motorbike and helping out in charity golf tournaments. Some of the forum members know this and have reached out to contribute.
TB: Any future diving adventures planned yet?
BD: As you know I’ve done some expeditions in the past, like to Mount Everest and Kilimanjaro. We are preparing a new expedition, the post with pictures will follow on the forum. You’ll see the IWC I chose for that expedition.
TB: Looking forward to reading that post, thank you for the interview.
Tonny Berteloot is moderator of the IWC Collectors’ Forum.
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