No, it’s not a joke and in some ways it is greater than you may realise.
For some time now we have been told, nay warned, of the impact our lifestyles are having on our planet. Westminster gave us a wake up call by taxing our regular shopping habits and introducing the carrier bag charge; charitable organisations have voiced their concerns and even our very own National Treasure, the silken voice of conservationary reason himself, Sir David Attenborough has visualised the ocean’s plight on our television screens. Well, now it’s the turn of the watch industry.
As there is still so much that needs to be done what better way of getting the crucial message of the damage caused by plastics to our seas and marine life than creating something beautiful, function, enduring and wearable. Facts and figures are often hard to digest but when presented in an exquisitely crafted stainless steel case they are easier to translate and mobilise. Both Oris and Breitling have chosen to pick up the gauntlet.
View the ORIS Aquis Great Barrier Reef III Limited Edition
Firstly, ORIS. For a few years now they have put this incredible cause in the spotlight and for 2019 present their newest offerings: Aquis ‘Clean Ocean’ Limited Edition and Aquis ‘The Great Barrier Reef’ Limited Edition III. Both are limited to 2000 pieces worldwide and exhibit the same wonderfully intense metallic turquoise dial, reminiscent of tropical waters, with coordinating blue ceramic bezel, but each supports its own specific aquatic cause.
The bigger of the two at 43.5 mm featuring a pointer date is The Great Barrier Reef (Oris’s third instalment in this limited collection). Created to highlight the devastation of coral bleaching and fund the regeneration of coral reef systems, as depicted by the emblem embossed on the watches underside. Proceeds from this model go to the Reef Restoration Foundation and The Oceans Project.
View the ORIS Aquis Clean Ocean Special Edition
The Clean Ocean Aquis is smaller than the Great Barrier Reef watch but the cause it supports is certainly by no means less significant, its 39.5 mm case a start contrast to its namesake prototype cleaning platform - the behemoth brainchild of the not-for-profit organisation Pacific Garbage Cleaning designed to rid the ocean of unwanted plastics. Each watch caseback features a unique recycled PET disc and the box is made from algae with recycled plastic inserts.
View the Breitling Superocean Heritage II Chronograph 44 Outerknown
Finally, for its second term, Breitling are producing the Super Ocean Heritage II Chrono 44 ‘Outerknown’, which supports the Ocean Conservancy organisation. Since it was founded in 1972, Ocean Conservancy have dedicated themselves to the preservation of marine life and creating healthy oceans and beaches through their international ‘Coastal Cleanup’ operation, which has become the world’s largest all-volunteer event for the ocean: collecting millions of kilos of rubbish from thousands of miles of coastline and waterways. The watch is limited to only 1000 pieces worldwide and each features a stylish NATO strap of Econyl, a recycled nylon fabric made from ocean and landfill waste.
So when you pay 10p for your next single use carrier bag, just think: for a few pounds more you could have a beautiful timepiece that lasts a lifetime. A timepiece that lasts a plastic-waste-free lifetime. A timepiece that helps the sea and its inhabitants last a lifetime too.