Jacques-Yves Cousteau is a legend. One of the objectives of his expeditions was to inspire love for our fragile blue planet. A second objective was his scientific work. His lifework engenders a deep respect for marine life and the willingness to help protect it. This need to protect endangered species is just as relevant today as it ever was and has the unrestricted support of IWC.
Jacques-Yves Cousteau was a passionate engineer, inventor, researcher and film-maker. He devoted his entire life to the fascinating world of the deep sea. As the leader of major diving expeditions and a tireless campaigner on a political level, his main motivation for his research expeditions was to protect and preserve the fragile equilibrium of marine ecosystems. Dedicated to helping ordinary people to discover, understand and love their blue planet, Jacques-Yves Cousteau produced more than 120 movies, wrote numerous books, published articles in hundreds of magazines and invented or improved a vast range of scientific equipment. Instantly recognizable by his red cap and gaunt silhouette, Cousteau was co-inventor of the aqualung, which enabled divers to explore ocean depths for extended periods and opened a window to an entire world then virtually unknown to humankind.
The next ambitious goal of the Cousteau Society and IWC Schaffhausen is the refurbishment of one of the world’s best-known research vessels
In 1973 he created the Cousteau Society, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection of ocean life. Now headed by President Francine Cousteau, the late Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s widow, the Society today has more than 50,000 members worldwide. It continues the unique explorations and observations of ecosystems all over the world that have helped millions of people understand and appreciate the fragility of life on a planet that is more than 70 percent covered by water. Half a century of protecting our oceans has expanded to embrace a wide variety of programmes, such as the Cousteau Label, that encourage communities to achieve sustainable harmony with nature.
In 2004 the Cousteau Society embarked on its first joint venture with an industrial organization when IWC joined it aboard a research expedition to the Red Sea. This anniversary voyage, 50 years after the first, was designed to deliver further information about the state of the coral reefs, and its findings have been made available to the scientific community through various publications. The next ambitious goal of the Cousteau Society and IWC Schaffhausen is the refurbishment of one of the world’s best-known research vessels and the ship Jacques-Yves Cousteau used to travel the seven seas for more than 40 years, the legendary Calypso. Following a collision in Singapore harbour in 1996, the converted minesweeper was seriously damaged and sank. After years of uncertainty, the ship has now been transferred to a special wharf in Concarneau, France, where the extremely complex business of refurbishing it is now under way. It is hoped that the Calypso will soon be setting out again as an ambassador for the world’s seas and oceans, bearing the legacy of Captain Cousteau and the Cousteau flag all over the world. IWC Schaffhausen is co-sponsoring the cost of the ship’s complex renovation. IWC paid tribute to the ocean-going pioneer with 4 limited special editions and a 5th, the Aquatimer Chronograph Edition Jacques-Yves Cousteau, celebrated the 100th birthday of the famous researcher and film-maker on 11 June 2010.
Immerse yourself in the world of the Cousteau Society: www.cousteau.org