Famed naturalist Charles Darwin (1809 to 1882) is well-known for his theory of natural selection and his book The Origin of Species.
However, this was the shortened 1872 title which was the sixth edition; the title of the original version of 1859 by British publisher John Murray was: On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.
It was during the expedition with the HMS Beagle to the Galapagos Islands in the 1830s that Darwin gathered evidence for his theory on the origin of species.
For 2014, IWC Schaffhausen, which is committed to its support of the Charles Darwin Foundation, is introducing the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Expedition Charles Darwin” (Ref. IW379503).
This “Expedition Charles Darwin” Aquatimer which houses the Calibre 89365 was made as a tribute to Darwin’s visit to the Galapagos Islands and part of the proceeds from the sale of this watch will go to the foundation.
What is noteworthy about the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Expedition Charles Darwin” is that this is the very first IWC wristwatch with its case made of bronze.
With this, IWC is now among the few brands that has offered bronze watchcases. The others being brands such as Panerai, Bulgari (Gérald Genta Gefica), Anonimo and Gucci.
Why did IWC opt for a bronze watchcase? This is because “the metal alloy was one of the materials typically used in shipbuilding at that time,” according to the brand.
At the rear is an image of Charles Darwin on the case back but this is not in bronze. As this area is in contact with the skin when the watch is worn, a hypo-allergenic material would have to be used and bronze will not be ideal.
Interestingly, Darwin’s portrait was on cast bronze medallions produced in 1881 which were based on sketch made by French painter Alphonse Legros (1837 to 1911) during a Royal Society meeting.