It might be a tough time for the watch industry but that hasn’t stopped manufacturers from doing their part to support COVID-19 relief efforts around the world.

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

(Image credit: IWC)

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 credit: 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-commence 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 credit: 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

Shatricia Nair
Deputy Editor
Shatricia Nair is a motoring, watches, and wellness writer who is perpetually knee-deep in the world of V8s, tourbillons, and the latest fitness trends. She is fuelled by peanut butter and three cups of coffee a day.