Inside The Wave: The IWC Aquatimer Collection Embraces Ecological Commitment

IWC has sponsored and supported the Charles Darwin Foundation since 2009, making a substantial contribution for the continuation of its mission. The Charles Darwin Research Station, on the archipelago of Santa Cruz, was set up by the Foundation in 1964 and is today the scientific epicenter of Darwin’s legacy.

There, over 100 scientists, students, teachers and volunteers from all over the world study the indigenous flora and fauna and work to preserve the Galapagos World Heritage Site from destruction.

“IWC Schaffhausen pledges itself to ecologically responsible behavior and pursues a corporate strategy based firmly on sustainability,” says Georges Kern, CEO of the watchmaking company. “As the manufacturer of diver’s watches, IWC believes it has a special obligation to preserve the unique world of the Galapagos, both above and below water.”

IWC created the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “50 Years Science for Galapagos,” a limited edition of 500 pieces, to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Charles Darwin Research Station. Technically identical, the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Galapagos Islands,” is a symbol of the commitment IWC has shown since 2009, and for the first time, it is equipped with the IWC-manufactured Caliber 89365. Of course, part of the proceeds of sales of the watches goes to the Darwin initiatives.

Both watches have a matte black rubber coating on the stainless steel 44mm case, which is applied in a complex vulcanization process in which each case is placed in a special mold and subjected to heat and pressure to bond it with the rubber. While the Galapagos Islands edition has the familiar black and white contrast on the dial, the hands and indexes of the anniversary edition are a luminescent blue.

The new external/internal rotating bezel makes operation easier—particularly with diving gloves. The rotation of the bezel is transmitted through a sliding clutch system to the internal rotating bezel. The IWC SafeDive system ensures that the bezel may only be turned in one direction, counterclockwise.

The IWC-manufactured caliber 89365, with 68 hours of power reserve, displays elapsed minutes in the upper subdial at 12 o’clock; intervals of less than a minute are measured by the central stopwatch hand. The seconds hand is at 6 o’clock indicates that the watch is running normally and may be stopped to enable synchronization. The integrated flyback function is ideal for measuring decompression stops: by pressing the reset pushbutton the stopwatch hand goes to zero and immediately starts timing again. Both editions are equipped with the IWC bracelet quick- change system and are water resistant to 300 meters.

High Complication

In this limited edition of just fifty watches available exclusively at IWC boutiques, the new Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month offers a substantial digital display showing the date and month. Designated as the flagship of the Aquatimer collection, its technical design is further characterized by the extra-large numerals of the perpetual calendar, which is mechanically programmed until 2100. The date and month disks provide a view of the complex switching mechanism at work—particularly at the end of the month when all four date discs move simultaneously. The four-year leap year cycle is also shown digitally.

The 49mm rubber-coated titanium case makes this watch the second largest in IWC’s history, after the Big Pilot’s Watch of 1940. The external rotating bezel is 18-karat gold, as is the protective cover on the left side of the case for the sliding clutch system, which transmits the rotation of the external bezel to the internal rotating bezel. The see-through case back offers a view of the automatic 474-part IWC-manufactured 89801 movement with sixty-eight hours of power reserve. The casing ring, pushpieces and crown are made of rubber-coated titanium, and the black rubber strap has a black alligator leather inlay.

Inside The Wave

IWC celebrated the relaunch of the Aquatimer with a unique event held in Geneva: a performance designed especially for IWC by Cirque du Soleil. Ewan McGregor opened the “Inside the Wave” gala with the words, “Time may be a gift, but it is a priceless one.” The event also underscored the anniversary of the Charles Darwin Research Station, which coincided with the evening. Guests included Kevin Spacey, Marc Forster and Luis DFigo.

“The world faces enormous ecological challenges. The solutions we develop for the relatively small, self- contained natural world of the archipelago could well serve as models for the entire planet. We are very grateful to be able to count on the generous support of our long-time partner IWC Schaffhausen, which continues to make substantial contributions toward the preservation of the fauna and flora of the Galapagos Islands,” said gala attendee Swen Lorenz, CEO of the Charles Darwin Foundation.