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  • Ready-to-cut recycled PET plastic panels
  • The underwater canals of the PGS’platform calm the water currents, allowing the less-dense-plastic to rise to the water surface for collection
  • Diver with Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition III on wrist collecting healthy parts of an Acropora coral
  • Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition III watch
  • Blue whale engraving on the caseback
  • Blue Whale Limited Edition watch

Watchmaker to sea-saver

Corporate social responsibility has become a buzzword for businesses and customers. More than 90 percent of CEOs believe sustainability is fundamental for success and over half of Gen Z (aged 16-21), millennials (22-35) and Gen X (36-54) would pay more for environment-friendly products, based on a study of 111,899 customers conducted by Global Web Index. Environmental and sustainability concerns worldwide are influencing businesses to invest in sustainability. Prestigious Swiss watchmaker, Oris has steered away from the impression that luxury timepieces are just an indicator of wealth and social status and taken action to stand up for the ocean.

Oris has launched the Oris Ocean Trilogy comprised of the Clean Ocean Limited Edition, Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition III, and Blue Whale Limited Edition. The former two were released as singles in March 2019, limited to 2,000 pieces. In these revised versions of Oris’ legendary Aquis diver’s watch, both the ceramic rotating bezel and dial are in hues of blue to mimic the shades of the seas. The hands and indices beneath the anti-reflective coating top glass sapphire are printed with Super-LumiNova for legibility in poor light conditions. All are driven by Oris’ signature 743 movement. Each of the dial features a touch of uniqueness with water resistant of 300 to 500 metres. The watches are presented in a box made of used plastic bottles which are shredded into small pieces, arranged and pressed into a one-of-a-kind colour mix. The troika serves as a fundraising tool as well as a testimony to the swiss watchmaker’s dedication in saving the world’s oceans and marine life by backing different non-profit organisations with a portion of sale proceeds. “We have to act, before it’s too late. It’s now imperative that we protect and conserve them. Our future depends on it,’ the swiss brand’s CEO Rolf Studer said.

Watches with wishes 

The Clean Ocean Limited Edition kicked off at Baselworld 2019 to mark its partnership with young non-profit organisation, Pacific Garbage Screening (PGS). Marine water quality has a direct influence on aquatic ecosystem, and hence our food safety. As much as 100,000 marine mammals die every year as a result of plastic pollution globally. Human beings get what we give. Plastic particles in sea end up inside our stomachs as we consume fishes that have eaten plastics. Sales of the watches go to develop a floating platform positioning in the path of ocean currents and captures plastic wastes before they enter the ocean. To contribute further, the captured plastic will be converted into energy and bio-based products, such as biodegradable plastics. Unlike giant plastic-capturing-net, the platform will not harm marine life. The first of the trilogy set features a date window at 6 o’clock and a set-in token made of recycled PET plastic at the case-back.

The Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition III was introduced together with the Clean Ocean at the Basel fair. It stands out with a circular date window where a yellow disk rotates to note the date and a sub-dial for the running seconds at nine o’clock. The third edition represents the third year that the ocean-activist-watchmaker has been working with the Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF). Therefore, the case back carries engravings of corals and the Southern Cross, an Australian star constellation. Rolf expressed his aquatic bond: “My grandfather was a shipbuilder on Lake Lucerne and I used to spend my childhood summers on his shipyard. Since these days, I have been fascinated by the underwater ecosystems. I have been sailing on that lake and on the Mediterranean since I was a child. Everything water is dear to me.” Scalded by scorching hot summers in 2016 and 2017, reefs in the far north of the Great Barrier Reef, home to more than 400 types of hard coral and a third of the world’s soft corals, have suffered from significant bleaching. The foundation has taken and attached parts from healthy corals survived to coral tree frames off Fitzroy Island near Cairns. 

The third and final entry in the Oris Ocean Trilogy is the Blue Whale Limited Edition which was out in early July this year. Different from the other two, it goes larger and deeper with a 45.5mm stainless-steel case and a water resistance of 500 metres. There is a 30-minute counter at three o’clock, 12-hour counter at six o’clock, a stop-seconds sub-dial at nine o’clock and a date window between four and five o’clock. A blue whale is engraved on the case-back to remind wearers the beauty of the world’s largest animal. Merely available as part of the Oris Ocean Trilogy by 200 pieces, Studer explained: “The Blue Whale Limited Edition is a very special watch, produced in an unusually small quantity for Oris, and the perfect symbol of the dangers facing the blue whale.” Teaming up with Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), sale proceeds of the watch contribute to 30-year-old research and conservation projects around the globe.

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