Watchmakers That Protect Our Waters
by roberta naas
Leading watch brands are ensuring that our oceans stay healthy for years to come.
It’s no secret that the ocean is under severe stress due to overfishing, pollution, and climate change. A number of top watch brands are recognizing the need to support the protection and preservation of the world’s seas by launching timepieces that give back.
Blancpain, a brand well known and respected in the dive community, helps facilitate conservation with projects around the globe such as the Pristine Seas expedition. Conducted by National Geographic explorer Enric Sala and his team, Pristine Seas is an effort to explore, research, and protect some of the last unspoiled places in the sea.
Similarly, through its relationship with Unesco, Jaeger-LeCoultre supports the protection of 46 marine sites around the world on the Unesco World Heritage list. The luxury brand has been involved in this project for more than half a dozen years and provides immediate financial backing for Unesco to support the daily activities conducted at these crown jewels of the oceans.
Still other brands have created special timepieces that contribute to ocean conservation. Omega designed its Seamaster Planet Ocean GoodPlanet as a tribute to its partnership with the GoodPlanet Foundation for environmental conservation. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this watch fully funds a project to preserve mangroves, sea grasses, and coral reefs in the seas of Southeast Asia. IWC supports a host of ocean involvements that range from projects in the Galapagos to partnering with the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Cousteau Society. It regularly creates watches in honor of these relationships and commits portions of the proceeds from every sale to them.
1. The Fifty Fathoms Automatic watch by Blancpain ($15,100) features an antimagnetic inner case, one-way rotating bezel, and is water-resistant to approximately 1,000 feet.
2. This 44mm Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M GoodPlanet watch ($8,100) is fitted with the Omega Co-Axial caliber 8605 and equipped with a helium escape valve.
3. From Jaeger-LeCoultre, this Deep Sea Chronograph ($11,800) houses a 340-part mechanical automatic movement, is crafted in steel, and is water-resistant to 330 feet.
4. IWC’s Aquatimer Chronograph Edition Expedition Jacques-Yves Cousteau ($7,200) honors the explorer’s 1971 voyage to the Galapagos archipelago. Its caseback bears an engraving of the explorer with his trademark red wool beanie.
photography by jeff crawford