Making A Splash

Making A Splash

Sales Of Limited Edition Watches Benefit Clean Water Research And Marine Conservation

From climate change to pollution, clean water—arguably our most precious natural resource—currently is under threat around the world. For watch brands looking to support worthy causes, drawing a link between popular dive models and initiatives that support research and conservation of water, the oceans and the life they contain, is a no-brainer. In recent years, brands including Oris, Breitling, Panerai, Blancpain, IWC, and Carl F. Bucherer have launched limited editions to benefit such initiatives.

According to a joint report by the World Health Organization and UNICEF last year, 785 million people still do not have easy access to clean water. Another report by the World Bank referred to “the invisible water crisis” detailing how deteriorating water quality is threatening the well-being of humanity and the environment.

“We believe passionately in conserving [water] for future generations, and also in acting responsibly as citizens of the world to bring positive change,” says Rolf Studer, co-CEO of the Swiss watch brand Oris. “Every year, we seek out pioneering organizations who share these values and work to protect the world’s water.”

Sales of this year’s Oris Lake Baikal Limited Edition (US$2,400) will support research conducted by Point No.1, the Lake Baikal Foundation’s conservation project run by the Scientific Research Institute of Biology at Irkutsk State University in Siberia. Founded in 1945, it is regarded as the longest-running and most detailed environmental water monitoring project in scientific history.

The Siberian lake, believed to be 25 million years old, is the deepest in the world at 1,642 meters and holds 20% of the world’s fresh lake water reserves. It is currently under threat from industrial pollution. Oris will produce 1,999 pieces of the Lake Baikal Limited Edition, based on the brand’s flagship Aquis dive model, in a nod to the year in which Russia adopted the Baikal Law protecting the lake.

Sales of this year’s Oris Lake Baikal Limited Edition model benefit a water-monitoring project
Sales of this year’s Oris Lake Baikal Limited Edition model benefit a water-monitoring project.

With water-resistance down to 30 meters, the automatic 43.5 mm stainless-steel model has the requisite dive watch features, such as a unidirectional rotating bezel and luminous hands and indices filled with Super-LumiNova. The caseback is distinguished by a special Lake Baikal insert and engravings.

Meanwhile, last year, Breitling enlisted the help of its Surfers Squad ambassadors Kelly Slater, Sally Fitzgibbons, and Stephanie Gilmore to launch the Superocean Heritage Ocean Conservancy Limited Edition (US$6,250) with a beach cleanup effort in Bali that disposed of hundreds of kilograms of trash and plastic. A portion of the sales of the watch will be donated to Ocean Conservancy and its global fight against ocean pollution.

Limited to 1,000 numbered pieces, the 44 mm stainless steel Superocean Heritage Ocean Conservancy Limited Edition is water-resistant down to 20 bar (200 meters) and fitted with a caseback engraved with the Ocean Conservancy logo and the watch’s designated number in the series.

Breitling’s Superocean Heritage Ocean Conservancy Limited Edition is water resistant-—naturally.
Breitling’s Superocean Heritage Ocean Conservancy Limited Edition is water resistant-—naturally

The sporty chic chronograph is powered by a Breitling Caliber 13 mechanical chronometer movement and features a scratch- and shock-resistant unidirectional rotating bezel with a luminescent central dot at 12 o’clock. The minute and hour hands are also coated with Super-LumiNova that glows blue instead of the standard green to complement the watch’s aesthetic.

Each watch comes with a pair of fabric NATO straps made of Econyl yarn, an innovative recyclable material repurposed from nylon waste, such as discarded fishing nets. The watch’s packaging is also made from 100% recycled material.

“What we have seen here and on beaches and in oceans around the world is shocking,” said pro surfer Slater at the Bali event. “Everyone can contribute to a cleaner environment—for ourselves and for future generations.”

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