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Everyone is stepping up to help out with COVID-19 relief measures, and the world of watchmaking is no different.

This comes amidst drama of Baselworld exits, which saw the LVMH Group depart the massive watch fair, following news that Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chopard, Chanel, and Tudor were also  leaving in favour of a new event next year.

Still, it’s not all doom and gloom, and it’s always nice to see bright rays of altruism shine through the dark clouds that have defined 2020. As if it weren’t already a rewarding experience to give during these times, Parmigiani Fleurier wants to make the experience extra special by matching part or all of your donation towards local healthcare institutions with store credit. Meanwhile, IWC and Panerai have created immersive platforms to keep the passion for timekeeping alive, while Oris puts local heroes in the spotlight. 

Here’s a lowdown on the most impressive initiatives by the watch industry today.

IWC Schaffhausen’s Time Well Shared

The concept of time might be a different story now that you’re stuck at home, but IWC Schaffhausen still wants to make sure it’s not only well spent but also well shared. The initiative will see online lectures and webinars that spread the message of positivity and solidarity, with a solid line-up of contributors that include ambassadors such as Tom Brady, as well as partners like the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, and the Antoine de Saint Exupery Youth Foundation.

Those who want a deeper insight into IWC’s history will also get their information first-hand from David Seyffer, curator of the brand’s museum. As a brand well-versed in the art of aviation timekeeping, the line-up is too, a dream for aviation enthusiasts. British pilot Matt Jones from last year’s Silver Spitfire – The Longest Flight expedition will share his round-the-world experience in the carefully restored aircraft, while retired US Navy captain and Top Gun pilot Jim DiMatteo will talk about his time at the Navy Fighter Squadron.

This initiative will also raise funds for non-profit organisation Save the Children, which provides aid for families that are hit by the coronavirus.

Parmigiani Fleurier’s ‘Helping Heroes’

Image: Courtesy Parmigiani

Donating your hard-earned money can be hard at uncertain times like these, but Parmigiani Fleurier wants to add more incentive to do good with its latest initiative in the US. Customers who pledge a tax-free donation of their choice to any healthcare and non-profit institutions across the country can have part or the entire amount applied to the purchase of select Parmigiani timepieces. 

In other words, a credit towards a watch will be applied for six months; those who donate the full retail price of the watch they want can have their selection put on hold for 24 hours until proof of donation has been submitted. The watch will be then delivered to the client. 

To help retailers stay afloat during this period, the manufacturer will also allow consumers to select their local authorised dealer to make the purchase from on its e-commerce site. Clients there will also enjoy additional benefits, such as a complimentary strap and maintenance service on the third and sixth year of ownership.

Panerai’s #OwnYourTime

 

Panerai has translated its passion for adventure and exploration online to its #OwnYourTime online content platform to allow its fans to continue dreaming and learning. The platform is not only constantly updated with information about new releases, but also features live streams of ambassadors such as climber Mike Horn, wildlife photographer Marlon Du Toit, and diver Guillaume Nery.

Virtual community gatherings are also in the pipelines to create a conducive space for enthusiasts to socialise and discuss their favourite topic: Watches. 

Oris and Orisbear’s Local Heroes

Image: Courtesy Oris

Inspired by the altruism of individuals in the healthcare, education or public service community, Oris has decided to reward citizens who have gone above and beyond during the fight of this pandemic with a brand new watch.

Local Heroes can be nominated by posting a picture on Instagram and their story while tagging @Oris and @Orisbear with the hashtag, #InThisTogether, and 50 will be chosen and gifted an Oris timepiece each. Alternatively, you can also submit your nominations via email at socialmedia@oris.ch.

Ressence 

Ressence

Independent watchmaker Ressence and auction house Sotheby’s have joined forces to help raise funds for COVID-19. Ressence has launched a competition to design a watch that keeps with the brand aesthetics; the winning design, to be judged by Ressence founder Benoit Mintiens, will be turned into a watch at the watchmaker’s Swiss manufacturers. It will then be offered for sale at Sotheby’s this July. All proceeds from the sale will Benefit KU Leuven University’s Covid-19 Research Programme.

The competition closes May 12 (2:00 pm GMT). More information here.

TAG Heuer’s ‘Odd Balls’ Edition of the Carrera Tourbillon

 TAG Heuer introduced a special edition of its iconic COSC-certified tourbillon chronograph Carrera which will be auctioned as part of the “ODD BALLS Charity Auction” imagined and led by founder of Revolution, Wei Koh. The  proceeds from this digital-led auction will be donated entirely to the WHO COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. The Carrera Chronograph Calibre Heuer 02 Tourbillon is simply a striking masterpiece of sporty aesthetics and precision craftsmenship. It’s the best of both worlds really, being a crowned piece in TAG’s massive horological empire. The digital auction will be held in June.

 

Preetika Mathew
Editor
Mathew has been a part of the luxury industry for over a decade now, writing on arts & culture, style, and watches for some of the leading publications in the country. When not working, she spends time tracking counter-culture trends.