As its first 2021 debut, Zenith launches Chronomaster Sport, an evolution of the bedrock Chronomaster, the Le Locle watchmaker’s most direct link to its historic El Primero automatic chronograph, which debuted in 1969.
Already sporty in its historical guise, the new 41mm steel Zenith Chronomaster Sport more directly –and boldly – displays its split-second timing abilities with the added utility of a wide black ceramic bezel etched with 1/10-of-a-second measurement marks.
The new bezel enhances the visibility of the timing function, linked to the El Primero’s 36,000 vph frequency, beyond even the clean black ceramic bezels found on the existing Zenith Chronomaster 2 limited edition references. As far as we’re aware, the new Chronomaster Sport is the only production sport watch that offers a 1/10-of-a-second timing scale linked to its central chronograph hand. When activated, the hand rotates once around the dial in ten seconds.
To underscore the robust nature of the new Chronomaster Sport, Zenith here uses the El Primero 3600, the movement Zenith debuted in that earlier Chronomaster 2. The caliber, with a newly blued column wheel and “new architecture,” is more efficient than earlier El Primeros, according to Zenith, and offers a higher power reserve, now rated to sixty hours. Zenith has affixed a new skeletonized rotor to the movement, visible through a clear sapphire caseback.
The new dial
In addition to adding a wide ceramic bezel with 1/10-of-a-second scale to the front side of the new Chronomaster Sport, Zenith has also enhanced the collection’s dial and bracelet to differentiate it from previous Chronomaster offerings.
Both dial options, matte white and black, appear to contrast more starkly with the three subdials. The steel case, with familiar pump-style pushers, now links to an integrated steel bracelet similar to those conceived by Gay Frères, which has historically supplied many of Zenith’s metal bracelets. Zenith also offers a sharp-looking blue or black rubber strap option with a steel deployant buckle.
As noted, Zenith is offering the Chronomaster Sport with either a white dial or black dial in two references. Whether the black or matte white dial, both with signature El Primero tri-color chronograph registers are blue, anthracite and light grey, each graduated to sixty.
Price: $10,000 (steel bracelet) and $9,500 (strap)
Specifications: Zenith Chronomaster Sport
Movement: Zenith El Primero 3600 automatic, frequency: 36,000 vph (5 Hz), power-reserve of 60 hours.Functions: Hours and minutes in the center. Small seconds at 9 o’clock, 1/10th of a second Chronograph. Central chronograph hand that makes one turn in 10 seconds, 60-minute counter at 6 o’clock, 60-second counter at 3 o’clock.
Case: 41 mm stainless steel with black ceramic bezel, water-resistance to 100 meters.
Dial: White or black matte dial with three different applied colored counters, hour-markers and hands are rhodium-plated, faceted and coated with SuperLumiNova
Bracelet: Steel, blue or black rubber bracelet. Double folding clasp with security mechanism.
Price: $10,000 (steel bracelet) and $9,500 (strap)
Zenith reaches back to 1969 once again with its latest Revival debut, the Chronomaster Revival A385, a near-exact 37mm reproduction of the original El Primero chronograph from 1969.
As one of very first automatic chronographs, and the very first operating at a high frequency of 36,000 vph, Zenith’s A385 debuted alongside the Zenith A384 and A386. The A385 was notable for its smoked brown gradient pattern, which Zenith revives on this new release.
To accurately echo the original, Zenith says it conducted a “reverse engineering” of the 1969 watch to create the new model. As a result, each part of the A385’s 37mm tonneau-shaped stainless-steel case (even its pump-style pushers) mimics the original. The only differences here are the domed sapphire crystal, which replaces an acrylic version, and a clear sapphire back that replaces instead the original’s closed solid steel caseback.
The clear back offers a view of the newer El Primero caliber, Zenith’s 400 chronograph movement with column-wheel, that powers the watch.
But it’s the dial here that draws eyes, and Zenith has nailed the attractive brown gradient dial, which notably features a vignette effect that blackens towards the edges. This colorful slight of hand appears to deepen the dial, mimicking the light-bending effect of a domed crystal, but without the dome.
To further deepen the nostalgia, Zenith adds the same red chronograph central second hand and silvery-white chronograph counters found on the original model.
Zenith offers the Chronomaster Revival A385 in two options. One is equipped with a steel “ladder” bracelet, a modern remake of the Gay Frères bracelets Zenith utilized on those original models. The second option is a light brown calf leather strap that will develop a patina over time.The Zenith Chronomaster Revival A385 is available at Zenith Boutiques and online shop, as well as at authorized retailers.
Price: $7,900 (leather strap) and 8,400 CHF (approximately $9,500) for steel bracelet model.
Case: 37mm steel with sapphire back, 50 meters water resistance.
Movement: El Primero 400 automatic column-wheel chronograph with 36,000 Vph (5 Hz), power-reserve of 50 hours.
Functions: Hours and minutes in the center, small seconds at 9 o’clock. Chronograph: Central chronograph hand, 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock, 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock. Tachometric scale. Date indication at 4:30.
Dial: Smoked brown gradient dial with white-colored counters. Rhodium-plated, faceted hour markers and hands, coated with beige Super-LumiNova.
Bracelet: “Ladder” bracelet with stainless steel double folding clasp, or light brown calf leather strap with protective rubber lining and a stainless-steel pin buckle.
Price: $7,900 (leather strap) and 8,400 CHF (approximately $9,500) for steel bracelet model.
Porsche Design applies the principles behind the Porsche car configurator to its wristwatches.
Few topics rev up collectors as much as watches and automobiles. Porsche Design has known this ever since Ferdinand Alexander Porsche designed the first Porsche Chronograph 1 in 1972. It was the first-ever all-matte-black watch, and it set the stage for five decades of cutting-edge wristwatch creativity from his then-new studio, Porsche Design.
This year, Porsche Design has launched a program meant to inspire budding F. A. Porsches who, like Professor Porsche, want to design and wear a wristwatch inspired by –and infused with – Porsche’s automotive legacy.
Watch collectors and Porsche owners can now create a customized Porsche Design chronograph that perfectly matches the Porsche 992 or Porsche 911 of their dreams – or the one in their garage.
With the new Porsche Design Custom Built Timepieces program, fans can combine an almost endless array of colors, materials, fonts and displays using the new Porsche Design online watch configurator. The configurator, found directly on the Porsche Design website, offers options and operations far exceeding any other online watch customization program, effectively placing the Porsche enthusiast directly behind the leather-covered wheel, with a clear roadmap toward designing a truly individualized watch.
Porsche Design released the streamlined online configurator this September after six years of development. The process itself echoes the customization process that Porsche has offered buyers of its famed 911 for years, but expands the type and breadth of options from which a buyer can choose when creating a dream chronograph.
For more than thirty years, Porsche customers have been able to enhance their personal dream car with many individual details through Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur, even to the point of designing a one-off vehicle.
This experience has now been expanded with the ability to design a Porsche Design chronograph based on an individual’s personal taste or Porsche 992 vehicle configurations. It’s an experience that ultimately ends with the customer taking ownership of a Porsche they designed themselves.
“As with the online car-design process, the watch is digitally visualized down to the smallest details and customizations are shown to the customer in real time. The customer begins by selecting the case of the watch and then continues choosing from more than 1.5 million configuration possibilities,” explains Gerhard J. Novak, General Manager Timepieces, Porsche Design Group.
“Once the customer has finished designing the chronograph, an individualized configuration code is created, and from there it is sent, or brought in, to any authorized U.S. Porsche dealer where the order is placed. Delivery takes between eight to twelve weeks.”
The rendering of the watch is based on CAD data from the designers at Studio F. A. Porsche in Zell am See, Austria, and the Porsche Design engineers in Solothurn, Switzerland.
“It quickly became clear that these custom components had to be interchangeable without the need to develop a new watch each time,” explains Rolf Bergmann, Managing Director, Porsche Design Timepieces AG. “Offering a wide range of options while manufacturing small quantities of custom-built timepieces is possible thanks to the sequential production process transferred from Porsche sports car production. The principle of zero-defect tolerance was a necessary prerequisite for the implementation of a watch concept like this.”
A New Engine
Key among the components of the customer-designed watch is an entirely new engine.
Porsche Design developed a new movement to serve as the engine for the online-designed timepiece. The new Caliber WERK 01.100 is a COSC- certified chronograph movement that now enters serial production for the program.
But the WERK 01.100 offers Porsche Design customers more than simply its novelty.
“For the first time customers can individualize a part of a Porsche Design COSC-certified movement by choosing the winding rotor that features the various wheel designs of the latest-generation Porsche 911,” Bergmann says. “The color on the rotor edge can also be customized to match the color on the outer edge of the wheels of the 992,” he adds.
Customers select their choice of rotor design after choosing which case to place it into. Porsche Design offers a 42mm case based on the one it used in Chronotimer Series 1. The user can opt for a glass-bead blasted natural titanium or a black titanium case coated in titanium carbide via a PVD-process.
Next, the customer chooses his or her strap.
Bands can be titanium or leather and are offered in three sizes with up to 300 different configurations. All leather straps (with butterfly clasp) are crafted from the same hides Porsche uses for its car interiors and come in the fourteen official interior colors of the current Porsche 911 series. Leather wristband stitching is offered in the nineteen different colors of genuine Porsche yarn.
Porsche Design has created dial options for the program that start with the matte black look of the current Chronotimer Series 1, with its minutes counter at the top of the dial, hour counter at the 6 o’clock position and running seconds at 9 o’clock.
But the user can add color using one of many colorful inlaid ring options, with colors based on those used on the current Porsche 911, to frame the black dial to either complement or contrast the choice of strap.
More dramatically, the watch collector then opts for either a brushed bezel or a black tachymeter bezel set with minute markers in the style of the design-defining classic speedometer developed by F. A. Porsche.
Each custom-built timepiece can be further individualized with a laser engraving on the back of the case as well as on the exclusive watch box, according to Bergmann.
“If desired, the corresponding car visuals, a graphic logo or the fonts and lettering featured on the rear of the customer’s car can also be applied to the watch box,” he adds.
Porsche and Porsche Design
While watch collectors have long heard about buying “a racecar for the wrist,” from makers of auto-influenced watches, Porsche Design is confident that its new online configurator comes closest to the truth of that metaphor.
“Customers who order their own custom-built Porsche Design chronograph will take a piece of the Porsche sports car lifestyle with them when not behind the wheel,” notes Novak.
The direct relationship between the watch and the car is undeniable, he adds.
“The experience of designing a Porsche Design masterpiece based on the current 992 generation is one-of-a-kind – from the rotor and bezel to the genuine Porsche leather straps,” he adds. The program will be expanded to include additional Porsche models in the near future.
The six-year project required a deep restructuring of Porsche Design watchmaking and development, he explains.
“The greatest challenges certainly were in regards to the order and production processes; after all, this had never been done before. The idea of a “sports car on the wrist” was different for every customer, and it required us to rethink our entire process. Everything from engineering, sourcing and production had to be adjusted. To do so we tapped into the brand’s heritage and pulled key learnings from Porsche’s unique automotive production expertise.”
North American Launch
Thus far, with only a few months of processing orders, Porsche Design says reactions to the program have been very positive.
“The very first order we received after the program launched in the United States was actually from a Canadian customer,” Novak reports. “He had heard about the custom-built timepieces program and reached out to see if he could design a watch to match his 992 and place an order in the U.S. He will actually be picking up his “sports car for the wrist” at an East Coast dealership in the coming days.”
“We are looking forward to continuing to introduce the program to new Porsche Design and Porsche customers alike,” says Novak.
Indeed, customization has been a buzzword among high-end watchmaking for the past few years, and several watchmakers have embraced the possibilities of made-to-order watches, mostly with very limited color or material options.
Novak points out that as Porsche itself has enjoyed a positive customer experience with personalized automobiles, Porsche Design’s careful development of the process with timepieces makes perfect sense. “Introducing this unprecedented level of personalization in the luxury watch segment was a natural next step for us,” he says.
“The timepieces business unit is extremely important for Porsche Design globally and in the United States, and we believe we are keeping pace with the general desire for more individualization in watches.”
For Porsche, that customization perfectly unites its automotive realm with the burgeoning watch division of Porsche Design, as supported by its German engineering and Swiss manufacturing facilities.
“Not only does the program highlight the connection between Porsche sports cars and Porsche Design timepieces,” says Novak, “it embodies the premium aesthetic, attention to detail and optimal performance expected of all things associated with the name Porsche.”
Porsche Design Custom-built timepieces are priced starting at $5,150 and, depending on the selections made, can range up to $11,600.
Hublot has updated its Fusion Concrete chronograph by expanding the amount of the material used to construct the watch, and by enhancing the resilience of the material itself.
The watchmaker first debuted the watch in 2016 with only a concrete bezel set on a ceramic case that framed an open-worked dial. Now, Hublot introduces the Fusion Concrete Jungle New York, a second generation example of the unusual watch with concrete not only forming the watch’s bezel, but also its 45mm case and its two-subdial chronograph dial.
With the new watch, Hublot says it has created a more durable concrete mixture, now made of sixty-five percent to seventy-five percent fine cement, twenty-five percent to thirty percent epoxy resin (replacing the water in standard concrete) and five percent to ten percent fiberglass, replacing steel to reinforce the concrete.
Hublot in-house design team upgraded the epoxy resin with an anti-UV additive. This will prevent any color changes from occurring within the concrete components. In addition, Hublot added an anti-graffiti treatment to the finished components to prevent the concrete from becoming contaminated with dirt or other particles.
Like the first edition of the watch, this new limited-edition model is also dedicated to New York City, known historically as the first ‘concrete jungle.’ Hublot will first make the watch available at Hublot’s Fifth Avenue boutique in New York, and online, prior to being launched in stores across the United States.
Hublot has installed its in-house HUB1143 automatic chronograph movement into the watch, which also features black ceramic pushers and crown and an all-black textile strap with black stitching. Limited to fifty pieces, the Classic Fusion Concrete Jungle New York is priced at $18,800.
Specifications: Hublot Fusion Concrete Jungle New York
MOVEMENT: HUB1143 manufacture automatic chronograph, frequency of 4Hz (28’800 bph), power reserve of 42 Hours.
REFERENCE 521.XC.3604.NR.NYC20 Limited to 50 pieces.
DIAL: Composite Concrete Dial, micro-blasted and ruthenium anthracite plated hands, bezel made of composite concrete with 6 H-shaped black PVD titanium screws.
CASE: 45 mm x 13.85mm Composite Concrete, water resistance to 50m, caseback is micro-blasted black ceramic engraved with “LIMITED EDITION XX/50” and sapphire crystal.
STRAP: Black rubber and black textile with black stitching, micro-blasted black ceramic and black PVD steel deployant buckle clasp.
Tutima has launched the Flieger Friday Edition, a limited edition that echoes the German brand’s famed pilot watch from 1941. In place of the original’s brass case, Tutima cases the new model in satin-finished steel as it did with its vintage-inspired Ref. 783-01 Flieger model from the early 1990s. The case size of the new watch is the same as the 1941 model however, measuring 38.5 mm in diameter.
Just as importantly, however, to collectors of vintage pilot watches, Tutima retained all the original model’s significant tactile features. Thus, here we find a bi-directional, fluted, rotating bezel with red reference marker. In addition, Tutima has designed the watch’s large cathedral hands to match the original. The dial features the Tutima logo and numerals in the watch’s original fonts.
Equally impressive to purists is the movement, which, like the 1941 edition, is built from a Valjoux 7760 chronograph caliber that Tutima enhances with a flyback function.In its original run, the movement was known as Caliber 59 and was the first German-made two-pusher flyback chronograph wristwatch. Today, Tutima refers to it simply by its base manual-wind caliber, now made to modern specifications by ETA, and again enhances it with a flyback function.
Tutima has also updated other features on the watch, including the illumination of hands and markers. All are now treated with a bright SuperLuminova compound. Similarly, Tutima has coated the domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating for maximum legibility.
Also new, the caseback is fitted with a sapphire crystal to better showcase the gold-plated bridge Tutima has placed in the ETA Valjoux 7760 caliber. The clear back also exposes the Tutima engraving. The 1941 original was housed in a nickel-plated brass case with screw-down caseback.
The limited-edition new member of Tutima’s Flieger collection comes with a vintage pilot style leather strap. Each of the 25 editions are individually numbered and engraved, and all arrive with a printed certificate of authenticity.
Hublot expanded the role Berluti leather on the latest edition of its co-branded Big Bang Unico with a new 100-piece limited edition called Big Bang Unico Berluti Cold Brown. In addition to boasting a very unusual leather dial, which matches the leather strap, the new version of this stylish watch also features a leather bezel.
In addition, Hublot and the famed Italian leather maker Berluti worked overtime to open the leather dial in the center, exposing gears, portions of the date wheel and even the chronograph’s column wheel.
Hublot and Berluti constructed the leather bezel in two parts. Artisans insert and glue one part of the bezel, measuring about 1mm thick, onto the second part, which is a lower black ceramic base. They then screw both layers, made rigid with a special resin, onto the 45mm black ceramic case.
As with the leather strap, the bezel will also take on a patina over time. The dial, however, is encapsulated between two pieces of sapphire, which means the appearance of the dial remains frozen in time in its Cold Brown hue.
Berluti’s Cold Brown leather color is the end result of artisans applying a new glacé finish on top of a historical Berluti leather color. Inside Hublot has cast its impressive Unico manufacture chronograph movement with flyback function and a lengthy 72-hour power reserve.
Hublot is delivering each watch in this limited in a chest signed by Hublot and Berluti along with a Berluti shoehorn key ring and travel case. As noted, the Hublot Big Bang Unico Berluti Cold Brown will only be available in a limited edition of 100 pieces. Price: $26,200.
Bell & Ross expands the raw sportiness of its Vintage collection this week as it adds the BR V3-94 Black Steel, a black-dialed, steel-cased chronograph measuring 43mm in diameter, which is a two-millimeter boost in case diameter for the popular Vintage series’ Black Steel edition.
While the case size matches that of Vintage V3-94 models within the existing Bell & Ross Renault series, here the watch boasts a steel bezel set with a cleaner black aluminum 60-minute scale and without the Renault-yellow flange and accents.
The new case’s solid strap/bracelet attachment offers buyers a new option with its subtle cushion shape, marginally bolder than the classically round case of the 41mm Vintage BR V2-94 Black Steel.
Of course, with more room on the dial, Bell & Ross moves from the smaller model’s two-register chronograph dial to a more contemporary three-subdial chronograph. Inside you’ll still find the watchmaker’s Caliber BR-CAL.301, an enhanced ETA-based chronograph movement, which Bell & Ross makes visible through a sapphire caseback. White numerals and indexes contrast nicely with the black dial.
Bell & Ross will offer the new BR V3-94 with a polished and satin-finished steel bracelet ($4,600) or with a black leather strap ($4,300).
Specifications: Bell & Ross Vintage BR V3-94
Movement: Calibre BR-CAL.301, and EA-based automatic caliber
Case: 43 mm satin-polished steel, bi-directional rotating steel bezel with anodized black aluminum ring and 60-minute scale. Screw-down crown, sapphire case back, curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, water-resistance to 100 meters.
Dial: Matte black, numerals and indexes coated in SuperLuminova, metal skeletonized SuperLuminova-filled hour and minute hands. Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds at 3 o’clock and date. Chronograph: 30-minute counter at 9 o’clock, 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock, central chronograph seconds, tachymeter scale on the flange.
Strap: Black calfskin or satin-polished steel with folding satin-polished steel buckle.
During the 1970s Jack Heuer presented 18-karat gold Heuer Carreras to Ferrari Formula 1 drivers during the watchmaker’s partnership with Ferrari. TAG Heuer this week revives the decades-old ‘good luck’ gesture by introducing a new gold Carrera, offering 188 of them as a limited edition to the non-racing general public.
But TAG Heuer has also applied a few new accents to the retro-inspired chronograph. Most notable are the stylized infinity loops to the center of the dial symbolizing Jack Heuer’s 88th birthday and the subtle seconds counter at 6 o’clock. TAG Heuer also updated the date display and the hands, which have been resized to match the hour markers. TAG Heuer has also attached a black alligator strap bearing Jack Heuer’s signature in gold lettering.
TAG Heuer has equipped the new watch with the estimable Caliber Heuer 02 manufacture movement with a column wheel, vertical clutch and an impressive power reserve of eighty hours.
From the back of the watch, the one-hundred eighty-eight owners of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Jack Heuer Birthday Gold Limited Edition will see the caliber’s oscillating mass engraved with Jack Heuer’s motto “Time never stops, why should we?”
“I’m very touched that TAG Heuer reimagined my favorite watch for my birthday,” says Jack Heuer, TAG Heuer’s Honorary Chairman. “It reminds me of many dear friends and thrilling years on the race track. I will wear it with pride and look forward to seeing it on the wrist of new generations of daring characters as well.”
Look for the watch in TAG Heuer boutiques and online in February 2021. Can’t wait? TAG Heuer is taking pre-orders now.
Specifications: TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Jack Heuer Birthday Gold Limited Edition
Movement: Caliber Heuer 02 Automatic chronograph with column-wheel, vertical clutch and 80-hours of power reserve.
Case: 42 mm polished and fine-brushed rose gold, beveled, domed sapphire crystal with double anti-reflective treatment, rose gold screw-down sapphire caseback with special numbered limited-edition engraving, water resistance to 100 meters.
Dial: Opaline with silver flange and 3 counters:
– 3 o’clock: black “azurage” minute chronograph counter, rose-gold-colored polished hand
– 6 o’clock: permanent second, rose-gold-colored polished hand
– 9 o’clock: black “azurage” hour chronograph counter, rose-gold-colored polished hand
Rose-gold-colored polished applied indexes with white Super-LumiNova, rose-gold-colored polished TAG Heuer applied logo, date display, CARRERA Heuer 02 80 Hours printed on the dial
Strap: Black alligator leather with black lining, rose gold pin buckle, TAG Heuer logo.
Price: $18,450. The watch is a limited edition of 188 pieces.
Fresh from winning the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) award as the year’s Best Chronograph for its Streamliner Flyback Chronograph, H. Moser & Cie. this week underscores the collection’s distinctive H. Moser design by offering a new edition of the watch with a Funky Blue fumé dial, a signature color for the brand.
Moser has applied the Funky Blue dial, with its sunburst pattern and eye-catching gradient color effect, throughout its collection, complementing similar fumé style dials with brown, red and even green hues. The color appears light in the center of the dial and becomes darker and deeper towards the outer edges.
This newest edition H. Moser Streamliner Flyback chronograph retains the technical ingenuity of debut that re-shapes how a flyback chronograph tracks elapsed time. Instead of developing a flyback function for a central seconds hands, H. Moser devised a wholly original method of tracking elapsed time with two chronograph hands, one for the minutes and one for the seconds. The minimalistic dial also shows current time with two display hands, one for the hours and one for the minutes.
The movement wizards at Agenhor developed the column-wheel chronograph with support from the technical teams at H. Moser & Cie. Also notable is the placement of the tungsten oscillating weight, which lies between the movement and the dial, allowing a clear view of the beautifully designed and finished caliber through the caseback.
The watch’s handsome steel cushion case measures 42.3mm in diameter, features an off-center crown and is topped with a slightly domed glass box-type sapphire crystal. Its new integrated steel bracelet features fluid lines based on organic forms. H. Moser named the Streamliner to recall the curved shapes that dominated the first high-speed trains of the 1920s. Price: $43,900.
Movement: Automatic Caliber HMC 902 developed with AGENHOR for H. Moser & Cie., frequency of 21,600 vibrations/hour, bi-directional winding, tungsten oscillating weight, positioned between the movement and the dial, double barrel, column wheel chronograph, two-stage chronograph mechanism, horizontal clutch with friction wheel; smooth wheel equipped with micro-teeth, tulip yoke allows the chronograph to be triggered or released. Power reserve: minimum 54 hours
Case: 42.3mm by 12.1mm steel topped by a domed sapphire crystal, chronograph push-buttons at 10 and 2 o’clock, screw-in crown at 4 o’clock adorned with an engraved M, see-through case-back.
Dynamic water resistance to 120 meters, allowing the chronograph and flyback function to be used underwater.
Dial: Funky Blue fumé, hour and minute hands with Globolight inserts, minute track for the elapsed seconds and minutes, tachymeter on the flange, Hours and minutes displays, chronograph with central display and indication of the elapsed minutes and seconds, flyback on the minutes and seconds.
Bracelet: Integrated steel, folding clasp with three steel blades, engraved with the Moser logo.
Between the COVID pandemic, wildfires on the West Coast, hurricanes in the South, and other turmoil, we are living through exceptionally difficult times. Our daily lives, whether professional or personal, have changed in fundamental ways—particularly when it comes to in-person events. With all the current restrictions in place, companies have had to be creative to not only promote their brands but the causes they believe in too.
I received an email from Blancpain recently inviting me to attend a virtual event organized by Oceana. With the tagline “Protecting The World’s Oceans,” Oceana, based in Washington, D.C., is the largest international organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation.
Although it was only possible to attend the event online, it was clear that Oceana put in the extra effort. I then received from Andrew Handschin, general manager of Blancpain USA, a lovely package with bread, patés, specialty butter, a festive bottle of champagne, and an invitation to enjoy the live event from home.
Then, a link to attend the online “Oceana Virtual New York Gala” and silent auction was sent via email.
While the spirit, excitement, and inspiration of an online occasion cannot compare to an in-person event with hundreds of people sharing the same space, the message of “Protecting our oceans and future” was still conveyed passionately.
The Oceans & Hayek
Blancpain is famously involved with causes focused on saving the ocean, its eco-systems, and its species. At the helm of this involvement is Blancpain CEO, Marc A. Hayek, who is an enthusiastic scuba diver and a vocal advocate of ocean conservation. He has even received several accolades for his efforts.
Blancpain’s connection to marine conservation is further emphasized by having marine scientist, deep diver, and underwater photographer Laurent Ballesta as an ambassador of the brand. Blancpain’s Lettres du Brassus magazine frequently publishes Ballesta’s incredible photography and stories as he travels the globe.
The fascination with the ocean is not new to Blancpain. It was the first watchmaker to develop a professional diving watch in the form of the Fifty Fathoms in 1953—beating out the Rolex Submariner as “the first” by a few months. Since then, Blancpain has always had a spiritual affinity with the oceans of the world.
As a result, it was only natural for Blancpain to partner with Oceana, assisting with the organization and publicity of the “Oceana Virtual New York Gala” event. The night’s hosts were Susan and David Rockefeller Jr. while speakers included Jane Fonda, Ted Danson, and Sam Waterston. The evening also featured performances by Sting, Nile Rodgers, and Chic.
Among all the powerful words that were said that night, the ones that struck me the hardest were “Save the oceans, feed the world. Restoring the ocean could feed one billion people with a healthy seafood meal every day.” Followed up by “Do something.”
These are strong statements, and I invite you to visit www.oceana.org to discover more about the organization’s projects and how you can help.
“Do something” rings true here, no matter the size of the effort—every bit helps, whether spreading awareness or making small contributions.
Once a year in my town, you can go for three hours on a Saturday morning to help clean up the beach by picking up plastic bags, bottles, and other garbage. It’s a fantastic community event where you not only learn about ocean conservation but where you can also meet other like-minded people.
Oceana and Blancpain are big organizations that strive to remind us that preserving the health of our oceans is critical and there is a need to change our habits and attitudes before it’s too late. One person at a time can make a big difference.
I am thankful that I attended this beautiful night, which served to highlight that awareness, creativity, unity and commitment can make a big difference in our lives, our children’s lives, and future generations.