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Novelty watches for him: IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition ‘Sharks’ released with book by photographer Michael Muller

The timepiece, which is meant to raise awareness of the plight of sharks, is additionally sold alongside a bite-proof cage

Apr 06, 2017 | By Ashok Soman
The grey dial of IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Sharks” references the colour of the species it was named after

The grey dial of IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Sharks” references the colour of the species it was named after

New watches are often called novelties and the origin of this is from the French word “nouveauté” [this is disputed but not disproved – Editor] but translated as “novelty” due to the linguistic quirks peculiar to the watchmaking trade. Sometimes, new watches fit the novelty bill to a tee, as in the case of the IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Sharks”. Surely, offering a watch as part of a package with a book, all presented in a bite-proof metal shark cage, must count as novel!

Called Sharks, the book in question is by American photographer Michael Muller and it is one of those heavy-duty Taschen affairs. This limited-edition collector’s item comes with the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Sharks”, and is a boutique exclusive for IWC. So don’t go looking for it in Kinokuniya, folks.

Obviously, the Chronograph Edition “Sharks” is the same Aquatimer we looked at a couple of years ago, with some tweaks. The watch is limited to 500 pieces and features a hammerhead shark engraving on the solid case back. We’ll revisit some of the other details in a bit. First, more about the photographer, his project, and why IWC was interested.

If the name Michael Muller sounds familiar, but you aren’t a devoted follower of the National Geographic Channel (NGC), don’t fret. Actually, his work was featured on the Travel Channel, not NGC. Banter aside, Muller photographs celebrities and works on advertising campaigns. You’ve probably seen his work and not even guessed it. Happily, he’s not just Insta-famous…

Anyway, sharks are Muller’s particular passion and he travelled the world documenting shark species for this book. IWC describes his work here as having “an unprecedented degree of technical perfection”, which probably explains why the Schaffhausen-based watchmaker was drawn to him.

Hammerhead sharks are featured on the back case of the IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Sharks”

Hammerhead sharks are featured on the back case of the IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Sharks”

Muller’s work in “Sharks” illustrates the plight of the fish species, of which an estimated 100 million are caught and killed every year. This unbelievably large-scale slaughter drew IWC to the project. Raising awareness is the name of the game here, so we’re happy to play our part too.

Protecting endangered species is one of the key themes in IWC’s commitment to environmental issues. That is why, since 2009, we have also been working intensively with the Charles Darwin Foundation as it campaigns for various causes such as the preservation of the shark populations in the Galapagos Marine Reserve,” explains Georges Kern, CEO of IWC.

So, what is different about the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Sharks” then? Aside from the engraving on the case back, the grey dial is meant to evoke the distinctive colouring of many shark species. In terms of hands, hour markers, numerals, functions, and movement, this edition is the same as the standard Aquatimer Chronograph.

It is also worth noting that the edition of Muller’s “Sharks”, which comes with the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Sharks”, is signed by the photographer.

Specifications

Movement Self-winding Calibre 89365 with flyback chronograph
Power Reserve 68-hours
Case 44 millimetres in stainless steel
Water Resistance Up to 300 metres
Strap Black rubber with stainless steel pin buckle
Price S$17,400

This article was originally published in WOW.