Always a fan of good watches for great causes, this is the fourth year running that I’ve featured IWC Schaffhausen’s special watch for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Since 2006 IWC has launched several limited editions in honour of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. In addition to their blue dial color, these watches are distinguished from regular counterparts by the caseback which features an exclusive engraving on the back based on the winning entry in a drawing competition organized by IWC for children involved in Laureus projects. They are given a specific topic as a guideline and asked to produce a work of art showing how the project has positively affected and inspired them. The caseback of this year’s winner is seen below.
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Following the well received launch of two special editions dedicated to the 70thanniversary of the book “Le Petit Prince” last year, IWC now launches a third edition in honor of the beautiful tale of friendship and compassion (more on The Little Prince, here). The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Le Petit Prince” follows in the tradition of the classic cockpit design of IWC’s Pilot’s Watches and comes with a midnight blue dial. It is a beautiful watch, my only reason for pause is that I am not a fan of tri-date windows. Unlike last year’s editions, this one is not a limited edition, so you IWC fans who like it should be able to get one on your wrist without too much trouble via any IWC boutique.
Perhaps the most conspicuous technical modification on the new IWC Aquatimers is the external/internal rotating bezel aka “SafeDive”. Naturally, many watch enthusiasts are wondering how exactly the new IWC “SafeDive” bezel works. Allow me to explain with the help of some material and video provided by IWC, and a few pictures of my own.
IWC SAFEDIVE SYSTEM
Through the combination of the schematic above and the video below, you can get a good sense of how the SafeDrive internal/external bezel system works. Note that the views you are seeing are from the back (the underside) of the bezel (i.e. the crown is on the left). What appears to be a second crown on the left side of the case (again–right side in the images and video shown here) is actually a housing for the drive wheel and pinion.
For safety reasons, the internal rotating bezel can only be turned anticlockwise. This guarantees that even if the external rotating bezel is inadvertently moved, the dive time – during which the diver can return to the surface with no need for decompression stops – is not exceeded.
photos by Perpetuelle
Why Such a System?
The SafeDive combines the advantages of an internal rotating bezel with the ease of use of an external rotating bezel. The external rotating bezel with its SafeDive system can be moved simply and precisely in steps of one minute, even when wearing diving gloves or with cold fingers.
I hope you found this short primer helpful. Please ask any more questions in the comment section below.
What a nice surprise, IWC fans will like this one. The 2014 Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau” with its traditionally blue dial is the sixth special edition to bear the name of the famous Frenchman. Identical to the Aquatimer Chronograph in construction, it boasts all the features of a diver’s watch designed for expedition use. The engraving on the back of the cover shows “le Commandant” with his trademark red woollen beanie. Part of the proceeds from every sale goes directly to the Cousteau Society and helps fulfil the legacy of the committed environmentalist.
IWC Aquatimer Chronograph “Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau” (IW3768)
44mm x 17mm steel case, automatic mechanical IWC caliber 79320, Mechanical external/internal rotating bezel with SafeDive system, IWC strap quick-change system
Scuba diving pioneer, researcher and film-maker Jacques Cousteau once called the Galapagos Islands the world’s last natural sanctuary. He travelled to the archipelago in the early 1970s for his legendary TV series “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau”, while his film “The Dragons of Galapagos” familiarized millions of viewers with the mysterious marine iguana. In 1973, he founded the Cousteau Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting maritime life. IWC has been a partner of the Cousteau Society since 2004 and has supported the organization in its work to set up marine conservation zones. This is considered to be one of the most effective methods of protecting the fragile underwater world from over-fishing, poaching and environmental destruction.