IWC and the Charles Darwin Foundation unite in friendship
This year – 2009 – marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s The Origin of Species, as well as the 50th anniversary of the Charles Darwin Foundation. It is the perfect moment for IWC to offer its support to Darwin’s legacy and the unique Galapagos Islands archipelago.
A living museum and evolution showcase
Situated in the Pacific Ocean some 1,000 km from the South American continent, these 19 islands and the surrounding marine reserve have been called a unique living museum and showcase of evolution.
Located at the confluence of three ocean currents, the Galapagos are a melting pot of marine species. The extreme isolation of the archipelago led to the development of unusual animal life that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection following his visit in 1835, during his 5-year voyage as official naturalist on the HMS Beagle in its circumnavigation of the globe.
Much has been done to make sure that this gem of nature is preserved. In 1959, the centenary year of Charles Darwin’s publication of The Origin of Species, the Ecuadorian government declared 97.5% of the archipelago a national park. In the same year, the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) was founded under the auspices of UNESCO. The organization carries out scientific research and complementary actions with collaboration from local, national and international partners to conserve the Galapagos archipelago.
In 1986, the surrounding 70,000 square km of ocean was declared a marine reserve, second in size only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. In 1978, UNESCO recognized the islands as a World Heritage Site and, in 1985, a Biosphere Reserve.
The beginning of a beautiful friendship
Despite all this attention, the archipelago’s ecosystem is constantly at risk because of an ever-changing surrounding environment. In order to show its support to the efforts to conserve Galapagos, IWC announced that it would donate US$ 1.5 million to the Charles Darwin Foundation over the course of three years. This donation was a pledge to the partnership between the luxury watch producer and the only conservation research organization dedicated specifically to Galapagos.
In addition to helping fund the foundation’s primary research, IWC will collaborate in events to raise public awareness about the unique and fragile ecosystems of the archipelago. As part of this campaign, an IWC-produced film on the CDF and Galapagos will be released at different events that IWC will hold this year around the world.
Pictures are more powerful than words
Everyone knows the impact an image can have, but to rely entirely on images, requires images of breath-taking beauty. Filmmaker and diver Grégorie Koulbanis led the expedition to the Galapagos Islands and is responsible for the magnificent underwater images in this movie.
The 10-minute film, in which not a single word is uttered, tracks the staff of the Charles Darwin Foundation as they go about their business. The film captures fabulous images of the islands and their many one-of-a-kind inhabitants.
The need to adapt
As a symbol of the cooperation between IWC and CDF, IWC has introduced the “Aquatimer Chronograph Edition Galapagos Islands”.
The watch was designed with the people involved in the expedition in mind. This newest member of the Aquatimer family is pressure-resistant to 12 bar and was thus the ideal watch to have while filming the underwater footage. The stainless-steel case, covered in black vulcanized rubber, makes this a tough watch with a sporty appeal.
IWC has created a watch that truly captures the friendship between IWC and the CDF as well as the essence of Darwin’s theory. To use the master’s words: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the most adaptable to change.”
Article by David Sidler