It’s time to save the planet for these five luxury watch brands that are working to keep the Earth safe.
James Bond and Jack Reacher might be saving the world in the movies, but companies that contribute to environmental conservation are the real heroes in our world, and several watch companies are among them. From cleaning up the world’s oceans to studying the effects of climate change, the following brands support environmental initiatives aimed at preserving the planet in some way. You can look like a debonair spy, all while helping to save the world for real.
Rolex recently consolidated its decades-long support of environmental initiatives into one program called Perpetual Planet. The three-pronged approach includes: a partnership with the National Geographic Society that involves an expedition to Mount Everest to study the impacts of climate change; support for biologist Sylvia Earle’s Mission Blue Ocean conservation program; and the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, which recognize people working to advance our well-being and/or protect the environment. One of this year’s five laureates is Canadian Miranda Wang, who is working to turn previously unrecyclable plastic waste into products like cars and electronics.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer II, $9,300
A portion of the sales of Omega’s Seamaster Planet Ocean collection is earmarked to support the GoodPlanet Foundation, whose mission is to raise awareness about environmental conservation through photo exhibits, films, and other campaigns. Omega collaborated on two conservation projects in Indonesia, one of which focused on protecting the ecosystem and coral reefs in the northern region of Sulawesi. The Planet Ocean watch is one of Omega’s elite collections, with Co-Axial chronometer movements that have been certified for accuracy by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS).
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph, $10,000
When Breitling introduced its first SuperOcean dive watch in 1957, it was one of only a handful of watch companies who could make a water-tight case. Today, special editions of the modern series support an organization called Ocean Conservancy. The newest, the SuperOcean Heritage Ocean Conservancy Limited Edition, was launched at a beach cleanup event in Bali last May to support the organization’s goal to remove plastic from the world’s beaches. Breitling’s “surfers squad” of ambassadors was on hand to help, including surfers Kelly Slater from the US and Sally Fitzgibbons and Stephanie Gilmore of Australia. Ocean Conservancy has organized tens of thousands of coastal-cleanup operations for more than 30 years in 153 countries.
Breitling SuperOcean Heritage Ocean Conservancy Limited Edition, $7,250
Blancpain has been supporting ocean conservation since it introduced one of the world’s first diving watches, the Fifty Fathoms, in the 1950s. The limited edition Fifty Fathoms Ocean Commitment collection is dedicated to the case. Blancpain will donate 1,000 euros from the sale of each of the most recent edition, for a total of 250,000 euros (it is limited to 250 pieces). The brand has also co-financed 18 major scientific expeditions over the years, resulting in the doubling of marine protected surface area around the world.
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Ocean Commitment III, $18,800
Each watch in Oris’s Ocean trilogy is dedicated to a specific environmental program. The Blue Whale Limited Edition (200 pieces) supports the work of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation, the Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition III (2,000 pieces) supports the Reef Restoration Foundation program to regrow devastated coral reefs, and the Clean Ocean Limited Edition (2,000) supports a partnership with Pacific Garbage Screening, which is developing technology to capture plastic before it enters the oceans. Each watch, and the trilogy set, comes in a box with an outer shell made of environmentally friendly algae and a recycled plastic inlay.
Oris Clean Ocean Limited Edition, $2,900
Panerai was the official watch of the Italian Navy in the 1940s and ’50s, and became the favourite of 1990s action heroes Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sly Stallone. It is also worn by professional adventurers, including Panerai ambassador Mike Horn. The globetrotting explorer became famous in 2001 after his year-and-a-half solo journey around the equator without any motorized transport. His latest expedition is Pole2Pole, a two-year circumnavigation of the globe via the two poles. The case of Panerai’s Mike Horn Edition of the Luminor Submersible is made of EcoTitanium, a material first introduced into the world of high quality watchmaking by Panerai, was obtained not from the exploitation of natural resources but from recycled titanium.
Panerai Mike Horn Submersible (PAM984), $25,900
Chopard is uniquely serious about tracking its supply chain in support of sustainable luxury. The cases of its elite gold watches, most in the L.U.C collection, are made with Fairmined gold, sourced from certified responsible artisanal and small-scale mining operations who meet high standards of working conditions, including fair labour practices, the prohibition of child labour, social development, and environmental protection. The Fairmined Standard also ensures miners are given a fair price for the gold they produce. The premium is used to improve living and working conditions for artisanal miners and their communities.
Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF, $27,100