For more than forty years Jacques-Yves Cousteau travelled the Seven Seas with one of the world’s best-known research vessels, the legendary Calypso. However, on January 8, 1996, while anchored in Singapore, Calypso was preparing to depart for an expedition along China’s Yellow River when it was rammed by a barge, puncturing its hull so severely that water overwhelmed its evacuation systems.
Calypso keeled over and sank…
It was always Cousteau’s wish that his ship should be restored for use and “remain at the service to science and education”. After years of uncertainty and legal wrangling, the ship was transferred to a special wharf in Concarneau, where the extremely complex business of refurbishment started.
IWC has long celebrated the peerless career of legendary oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, and several special-edition watches have been created over the years to support the research and conservation work of the Cousteau Society.
This is one of them!
Here we have an unworn IWC Aquatimer Chronograph “Tribute to Calypso”, part of a limited edition of 2500 pieces in honour of Jacques Cousteau.
It features a bold 44mm stainless steel case and it’s in perfect condition. The dial is deep blue (and a lovely blue too!), with applied luminous hour indices, printed white minute markers, a day/date double aperture at 3 o’clock, and contrasting-tone sub-registers, all complimented by polished-finish hands with luminous in-fills. The contrasting inner diver’s bezel, an iconic feature for these watches, is actuated by the crown at 4 o’clock.
The case back has a printed image of the Calypso on its underside and is engraved with “Tribute to Calypso” and Limited Edition number 0250/2500. Money from the original sale of these watches was donated to the Cousteau Society for Calypso’s restoration.
Powering this special edition Aquatimer is a self-winding IWC 79320 (Base ETA/Valjoux 7750) chronograph calibre that boasts 31 jewels and a 44-hour power reserve.
The watch is presented on an integrated black rubber strap with a brushed steel tang buckle.
It is supplied with its original inner presentation box, with the original warranty card, instruction and warranty booklets, dust cloth and adjustment tool. The full set!
So, there you have it, a beautiful “Tool” watch with just the right amount of “Sunshine” added.