Which Watchmakers Are Protecting the Environment?
by roberta naas
Top-notch watch brands are stepping in to lend a hand to environmental organizations and foundations.
1. This Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer watch ($6,550) is crafted in stainless steel and is a COSC-certified chronometer.
2. Designed with celebrity environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio, this TAG Heuer Link Special Edition NRDC Chronograph ($4,450) features a custom blue dial and signature caseback.
3. From Audemars Piguet, this Royal Oak Chronograph ($24,300) is crafted in steel and features a Grand Tapisserie–patterned dial.
Many of the world's top watch brands are supporting wildlife preservation, nature and water conservation, and other environmental causes—from creating watches whose proceeds go to supporting organizations or directly financing eco-friendly projects.
Since 1976, Rolex has bestowed the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, which celebrate entrepreneurial individuals who take on major challenges to improve quality of life or protect the planet. Each year, Rolex Laureates are awarded support to pursue their goals, with many projects brought to fruition. One current project has laureates developing new tracking technologies, which provide powerful resources in the race to save endangered species.
Another watchmaker taking steps to aid environmental causes is Audemars Piguet, which works to reforest parts of the world via the Audemars Piguet Foundation. Created in 1992 to safeguard forests and similar environments, the foundation thus far has supported 80 endeavors, including a current project aiding farming in the Cerrado, Brazil, where it is financing the creation of nurseries and training young farmers. This is part of a larger program to recreate biodiversity in the area and help inhabitants escape poverty.
TAG Heuer has defended environmental endeavors in support of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Through its relationship with brand ambassador and passionate environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio, TAG Heuer works with the organization, which has been safeguarding people, animals, and the environment for more than 40 years. This collaboration with DiCaprio has yielded a specially designed, limited-edition TAG Heuer with automatic chronograph movement; royalties from these 1,000 watches will benefit NRDC.
photography by jeff crawford; styling by terry lewis