Finds Modern

IWC Aquatimer ‘Galapagos Islands’


Rubber is not a precious material. Despite that, it has been fusing slowly into haute-horology more and more every year. This IWC bathed in vulcanized rubber was one of the first high-end Swiss watches to truly embrace the material. In addition, it was developed for a cause. IWC is a long term partner of the Charles Darwin Foundation, a research organization working to protect and study the diverse life of the Galapagos. That said, we talk secondary market around here. Therefore, what you’re buying is not a cuddly tortoise’s life—it’s just a watch. But a damn good one.


The Aquatimer has a long and storied history, from the 812 AD to the beastly Deep Three. Most recently however, the Aquatimer has been in the shadow of IWC’s pilot offerings. Most of the public would not recognize one as anything seriously upmarket. That’s actually what I like most about this Aquatimer Galapagos and its vulcanized rubber exterior.

If you don’t know what you’re looking at, this is some all black G-Shock-like affair. If you do know what you’re looking at, this is an IWC with an in-house 89365 flyback chronograph, 68-hour power reserve, and 300 meter water resistance (to follow the tortoises till heart’s content). It’s a serious piece of kit: a true wolf in sheep’s clothing. I find that one of the sexiest credentials any watch can hold. It’s like de-badging an AMG.


There was a lot of nervous worry when the Galapagos was released that its vulcanized rubber would not stand the test of time. A 11100 USD watch with a peeling exterior is not a good look. Time has, however, proven IWC’s material engineers correct. I haven’t seen a single example wear poorly. Don’t ever expect less of German engineers. Buy in confidence that this watch will be more than bulletproof on an exterior level. Actually, given the caliber of IWC’s engineering, every level.

Find this Aquatimer Galapagos here from Xupes for 6000 GBP.

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