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Ocean Discovery

王烨昇Johnny Wang 2018-08-16 15:19

On the blue planet Earth, the ocean covers approximately 71% of the entire surface. To explore the mysterious marine world, we must reach under the surface. Now, unprece-dented numbers of ocean enthusiasts are joining in, more research programs being raised, as well as an increase in organisations conducting long-time research on key locations throughout the world.

Underwater Photographer Fred Buyle

Belgian underwater photographer Fred Buyle is a world-famous adventurer. Recently, he released a new series of marine photography, featuring a host of ocean creatures. Buyle also stands rmly with eco-photography and actively participates in marine protection campaigns around the globe. Meanwhile, Buyle established close relationship with several NGOs and marine biologists in discovering the biological features of ocean animals for further research and protection.


Underwater photography seems exciting and romantic. However, it is more dangerous than you think. Time control is highly demanding in submarine activities. Not only because of oxygen usage, but also because of the high pressure below the surface. On the land, nitrogen, which makes up 78% of the air, has a very low solubility in our blood. However, in deep water, the increased pressure pushes the nitrogen into our blood. This means that when divers come back to surface, they must ascend slowly to prevent abrupt pressure change and avoid what divers call ‘the bends.’ As such, diving time is limited as the high level
of nitrogen in blood impacts nervous systems unavoidably. All these safety issues depend on meticulous time-control—hence how diving watches came into being.

This time Buyle’s works are featured with the Ulysse Nardin Deep Dive, which is equipped with helium valve, removable Titanium watch-head, adjustable rubber band and manoeuvrable 12-teeth bezel. Laurent Ballesta, the renowned biologist and underwater photographer, wears the similarly featured Blancpain watch.


Exploring Project

Besides Buyle, Laurent Ballesta is also a notable scholar and adventurer in marine research. Recently his new photography debuted at the Gombessa Show in Geneva. The exhibition is part of Blancpain’s Ocean Commitment project, which provides a comprehensive view of human exploration in the marine world.

In fact, the ocean refreshes our perspectives of life from time to time—for example the gombessa fish, which died out more than 650 million years ago, now provides critical evidence for scientists researching the evolution of the earth’s earliest species. The exploration project summoned geneticists, palaeontologists and biologists together and started one of the most comprehensive studies into the gombessa fish in the natural environment. To conduct the research, the divers went into the deep water multiple times. Under 120 metres of water, they succeeded in evaluating the marine environment, compiling it into a 90-minute documentary.


Blancpain’s brand-new 2018 Ocean Commitment wristwatch also follows in this glorious tradition. The watch inherits the features from the 1953 initial Bathyscaphe and adopts the reliable Cal. 1151 automatic movement to ensure four days of consecutive power. The watch strap is equipped with silicon strings to prevent magnetic interference. The new watch is 30-bar water-resistant, which equals to about 300 metres and facilitates with single-way bezel, on which it is engraved with clear and easy- to-read scales. The indicators and time marks are all painted with Super-LumiNova, to guarantee readability in the underwater environment.

Galapagos Islands — Oceanecology Research Site

For ecological scholars, certain locations attract extra attention—one example being the Galapagos Islands. These islands, 1,000 km away from the continent, embrace a rich bio-diversity. Iguanas, mantas and hammerheads are native residents. The amazing diversity is also remarkable for many species that are unique to the islands, which have provided endless research opportunities for Darwinist theories. However, the paradise discovered by Darwin back in 1835 is now facing immense threats. Blame goes to humanity’s lack of care for nature. Henceforth, the Charles Darwin Foundation now joins hands with IWC, aiming to protect the feeble eco-system of the Galapagos.


To support the foundation, IWC released a Galapagos edition. The stainless case is sulphureted to create a misty rubber layer. The watch has 12 bars of water resistance and terri c design: black as the lava, white as the fog above the volcano. In addition, a portion of the pro ts from the watch will be donated to Charles Darwin Foundation.

The ocean is full of mysteries and wonders. Watches record every second of time, and humans write the poetry of oceanic exploration, relentlessly.


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