As we’re all aware the earth has reached a critical stage with global warming affecting our weather patterns and toxins polluting land and sea on a daily basis.  In response to this endangerment of the earth,  last year environmentalist David de Rothschild (yes, of that banking family) set off on a voyage from San Francisco to Sydney to bring awareness to the environment and the damage we’re doing to it.

He built a catamaran named the “Plastiki”,  held afloat by 12,500 recycled plastic bottles. If you’re wondering about the origins of the Plastiki name, it sort of has that double entendre. The boat is made of plastic, so that makes sense on one level; but, de Rothschild said he took inspiration from Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl’s 1947 expedition across the Pacific, from South America to the Polynesian islands. Heyerdahl christened his raft the Kon-Tiki after the Incan sun god.

De Rothschild took his 4-month journey spanning 15 ports of call not as a bold heroic move but as a way of educating people about the environment and building a community of activists. During the “Mission” de Rothschild and his team traveled the world in an effort to motivate individuals, groups and children (keepers of the next generation) on how to rethink their interaction with the environment. Did you know that the presence of carbon dioxide is the highest it’s been in the last 650,000 years? But de Rothschild wasn’t just traveling around spreading palaver, he offered concrete ways to improve the environment both practical and scientific.


In their continual efforts to play nicely with the environment, IWC teamed up with de Rothschild as an official partner, providing funding and support. In honor of the voyage, IWC made a special Ingenieur for the crew, the Automatic Mission Earth Edition “Adventure Ecology.” A limited edition of 1000 pieces, the watch represents the Plastiki mission with its blue dial, orange markers and engraving of the Adventure Ecology expedition logo on the back. During the expedition, De Rothschild and his crew wore these watches and used them as part of their equipment.

Now that de Rothschild has completed the trip, IWC now presents another limited edition in tribute to his success: a limited special edition of the Ingenieur Automatic Mission Earth Edition “Plastiki”. Inside the stainless-steel case, which is water resistant to 12 bars, is the calibre 80110 self-winding movement with a soft-iron inner cage to protect against magnetic fields. The back is engraved with a catamaran and its sea route from San Francisco to Sydney. A blue rubber strap completes the look.

IWC also meets the requirements for a carbon neutral factory. It’s nice to see the luxury business usually known for excess and waste take an interest in preservation.