From the laboratory of horological evolution: IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition Galapagos Islands
The Aquatimer Chronograph Edition Galapagos Islands is the star attraction to mark a new partnership by IWC Schaffhausen in aid of the environment. It comes from the laboratory of horological evolution in Schaffhausen. And it is the bearer of a remarkable message: the new Aquatimer Chronograph Edition Galapagos Islands not only represents the harmonious further development of the fa mily of professional diver’s watches from the manufactory. It is also the programmatic statement of a new partnership in aid of the environment, which IWC Schaffhausen has entered into with the Charles Darwin Foundation with a presence on Galapagos. This non-profit organization was established fifty years ago and has set itself the objective of conserving the island group, situ ated a thousand kilometres west of Ecuador, as a world heritage site.
It is a well-known fact that the Galapagos Is lands were the location where the British naturalist Charles Darwin, who was born 200 years ago, carried out his most important field research for what was, at the time, his pioneering theory of evolution on the origin of species through natural selection and adaptation. Nowhere else is this illustrated as vividly as in the animal and plant species that are peculiar to the Galapagos Is lands – both above and below the water. The Charles Darwin Foundation, which takes its name from the father of modern biology, re - searches, works and teaches in this laboratory of evolution and champions the fight to maintain the balance between the ecological uniqueness of the island group with economic and tour istic challenges.
Galapagos needs help
IWC has given a commitment, starting in the Darwin bicentenary year of 2009, to make a significant contribution in support of the Foundation generated by the proceeds from the sale of the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition Galapagos Islands. At the same time, the result of the continuing development of its family of diver’s watches – the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition Galapagos Islands – is an at tractive, useful and extremely sporting symbol of this collaboration: black like the lava of the volcanic islands born from the ocean, and white like the clouds floating by above them. An intricate relief engraving of a giant tortoise on the back of the case, surrounded by the inscription “Tribute to the Charles Darwin Foundation – Ga lapagos Islands”, represents the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos Islands.
Speaking of volcanos
The Aquatimer Chronograph Edition Galapagos Islands features a matt black rubber coating, produced by a complex vulcanization process, turning the 44-mm diameter stainless steel case into a visual experience. Every individual case is permanently bonded to this warm-to-the touch, yet at the same time impact-resistant and non-slip material under pressure and heat in a special mould. A similarly black rubber strap is attached to the case with the new bracelet quick-change sys tem of the new Aquatimer family.
The new Aquatimer watch family as a whole has undergone an eye-catching transformation with the newly developed external rotating diving bezel with its indexing in steps of one minute, which can be adjusted only in an anti-clockwise direction. In contrast to the mechanics of the in ner rotating bezel, which is adjustable via a crown, the non-slip external bezel offers two advantages: it can be operated more easily when wearing gloves immediately before the dive. And it affords a far better opportunity to highlight the brilliance and luminosity of this important diving parameter (in combination with the minute hand). This external rotating bezel is a new design and will now be a component part of all the Aquatimer models. Its measurement scale comprises of a 4-mm wide sapphire crystal ring, printed underneath, which fits accurately with the surface of the bezel. The underside of the sapphire crystal ring is coated with a thick layer of Super-LumiNova®* luminous pigment, which shines through the non-printed surfaces or numerals of the sapphire crystal ring as the light fails. This “evolutionary” innovation contributes to safety.
The second advantage: the innovative bracelet quick-change system permits the bracelet or strap to be removed from the watch and replaced by another by the manual release of a mechanical locking mechanism within the lug. No tool is required for this purpose. And only a few seconds are needed for this “flying” exchange, in which the rubber strap can be exchanged for a longer hook-and-loop strap, for example, which also enables the watch to be worn over the diving suit.
The Aquatimer Chronograph Edition Galapagos Islands, as a chronograph with a pressure-resistance that has been tested to 12 bar, is equivalent in technical terms to its proven predecessor, the Aquatimer Chrono-Automatic, with a power reserve of 44 hours when fully wound and ag - gregate time recording up to 12 hours. The lettering on the dial and the rotating bezel is still in a highly contrasting white against the black background. Only the small seconds hand features yellow as an indicator used for checking the function.