Aquatimer Chronograph “Cousteau Divers”
The legacy of the Commander
The Watch Quote™ - May 28th, 2006
The cooperation between The Cousteau Society and IWC, first entered into in 2004, has since grown into a close friendship. The anniversary expedition to the coral reefs in the Red Sea in the year 2003, undertaken with the support of IWC, marked the start of this cooperation: 50 years after the legendary voyage of Jacques-Yves Cousteau into these maritime wonders of nature on his research vessel Calypso, the divers of The Cousteau Society were able, by making direct comparisons, to find evidence that the submarine biotopes were still predominantly in a reassuringly good state and were in need of strict conservation measures. 50 years after the voyage, a new film was also made in this wonderful “Silent World”, which backs up this statement.
Now, through a second campaign, the Schaffhausen watch manufactory is again supporting the active marine conservationists and the heirs of the Commander: Part of the proceeds from sales of a Special Edition of the Aquatimer Chronograph limited to 2,500 watches will go to The Cousteau Society.
In this way, every purchaser of an Aquatimer Chronograph “Cousteau Divers” not only enters into an idealistic alliance with the active marine conservationists of The Cousteau Society, led by Francine Cousteau, the widow of the Commander. He also becomes an associate and participant in an ecological challenge of the first order, which Cousteau himself described as follows: “People protect what they love.”. From an ecological point of view, the tropical coral reefs can be regarded as the rain forests of the oceans.
Jacques-Yves Cousteau was the pioneer who not only recognized this relationship, but also brought it to the attention of the world through his popular films. His spirit lives on. The proximity to the ideas of the most famous Frenchman of modern times finds expression in a quite unusual way in the Aquatimer Special Edition: Every watch incorporates a small piece of the legendary Calypso, the first vessel from which Cousteau and his crew dived on the world’s oceans. Inlaid in the steel back of the watch and secure behind the sapphire glass is a sliver of timber from the converted minesweeper, presented to the marine researcher by the Irish brewer Noel Guinness shortly after the end of the war.
Current research remains the central area of activity of The Cousteau Society to this day, and this would most certainly have been the intention of Cousteau, who popularized diving as a sport and made marine conservation a topic of global significance. Through his films, millions of people all over the world accompanied him into unknown underwater paradises. The man in the red woollen cap, who died in 1997, opened the eyes of mankind not only to the magic of our oceans, but also to the threat faced by them. Without his films and books, the “Silent World” – the title of the award winning film, made in the Red Sea in 1953 – would most likely have become a world in which the natural fundamentals of life were overexploited. The Cousteau Society, founded by the Commander in 1974, operates today as a non-profit organization under the auspices of UNESCO, and for the first time it has accepted a cooperation partner from the world of business on board in the form of IWC.