Photos — Plastiki Boat & David de Rothschild: Luca Babini Date — 20 July, 2011
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As the official partner of the “Plastiki” expedition, IWC Schaffhausen is commemorating the successful mission with an addition to the Ingenieur watch family: a limited special edition of the Ingenieur Automatic Mission Earth Edition “Plastiki”. This watch is the Schaffhausen watchmaker’s homage to the feat of the British adventurer David de Rothschild and his crew, who sailed across the Pacific in 2010 in their pioneering and one-of-a-kind catamaran, the “Plastiki”.
The “Plastiki” expedition made environmental history. Weighing 12 tons and held afloat by 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles, the catamaran sailed from San Francisco to Sydney on a mission to draw global attention to the health of our oceans, in particular the colossal amounts of plastic waste choking the waves. A remarkable man full of bright ideas, David is a lateral thinker and, by passionate conviction, an environmental pioneer. He and his team undertook the project as a practical realization of their vision of a society that views waste as a resource. The Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen backed the adventure as official partner, endorsing its efforts to draw attention to the untoldquantities of plastic waste that litter our oceans. This partnership is celebrated with the Ingenieur Automatic Mission Earth Edition “Plastiki”, Reference 3236, which is limited to 1,000 timepieces.
More than 30 gruelling tests have proved it: the Ingenieur Automatic Mission Earth Edition “Plastiki” is extremely robust and made for adventurers. The stainless-steel case is waterresistant to 12 bar and protects the crown with its firm protective shoulders. Nestling inside is the IWC-manufactured 80110 calibre with selfwinding, which is fitted with a soft-iron inner case for protection against magnetic fields up to 80,000 A/m and protected by an integrated shock-absorption system against impacts. The back engraving commemorates the “Plastiki” expedition and depicts the catamaran and its sea route from San Francisco to Sydney. This masculine timepiece is worn with a blue rubber strap. In fact, David and his crew were wearing watches from the robust Ingenieur family on their arduous sailing expedition, which took over four months. The team overcame innumerable challenges on board the avant-garde catamaran “Plastiki”, whose hull consisted of over 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles. The unique vessel was fitted with solar cell panels, wind turbines, bicycle generators for electricity generation and a sail made of a recycled PET fabric.
It is David and his team’s mission to captivate the imagination, motivate and ultimately activate individuals, groups, organizations and industry to act more responsibly towards our planet using adventure, expedition and exploration. David has no intention of merely pointing out the problems but is committed to driving the innovative real world solutions. “To sustain our ability to live on this planet as we know it, we are going to need to dream bigger, undertake bolder adventures, and deliver more compelling stories around why Nature voice needs to be heard more clearly,” says David with conviction. “As individuals and citizens travelling on spaceship Earth, we must not only learn to reconnect back into Nature and the web of life but we must as a matter of urgency prioritize the activation of the many pioneering solutions that are available to us today.” The environmental adventurer’s solution-oriented thinking also convinced IWC Schaffhausen. “David is a pioneer and passionate fighter for an intact environment,” notes Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen. “He provides the stimulus for innovative ideas on ways of solving the ecological problems of our time. Such commitment deserves to be encouraged. That is why we had already decided on a cooperation in 2007.” The avant-garde thinker and his organization are sure to find further unconventional ways of persuading people, companies and industry to eliminate the problem of disposal by understanding waste as a resource.
With a clear focus on technology and development, the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has been producing watches of lasting value since 1868. The company has gained an international reputation based on a passion for innovative solutions and technical ingenuity. One of the world’s leading brands in the luxury watch segment, IWC crafts masterpieces of Haute Horlogerie at its finest, combining supreme precision with exclusive design. Active climate protection and ecological responsibility are part and parcel of the company’s philosophy. The traditional Swiss manufacturer has lowered its carbon dioxide emissions by 90 per cent in the space of a few years and has been certified as a carbon-neutral enterprise since summer 2007.
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