Watchmaker IWC Schafhaussen has teamed up with the Charles Darwin Foundation to raise funds for its research station and environmental preservation work on the Galapagos Islands.
Luxury watch brands are doing their part for a better society through fundraising initiatives and programmes to inspire creativity.
As the luxury watch industry continues to expand and grow richer, more and more watchmakers are hoping to buy more time for Mother Earth by engaging in active community development work, charitable campaigns and mentoring programmes that allow them to interact with people on the ground.
Initiatives like Audemars Piguet Foundation’s environmental projects and Rolex’s Mentor And Protégé Arts Initiative are ways in which these companies are "giving back" to society, raising funds and awareness for important issues that are running out of time, and fostering creative communities.
IWC Schaffhausen has once again partnered with the Charles Darwin Foundation for a CSR venture to protect the Galapagos Islands. The project, a three-tier membership programme available from iwc.com, enables participants to donate to the cause in exchange for exclusive benefits. All proceeds from the fundraiser goes to the foundation’s science and conservation priorities in Galapagos.
The Charles Darwin Foundation runs the longest, biggest and most successful scientific undertaking on the islands, and has been supported by IWC since 2009. The watchmaker's most prominent act has been the creation of a series of special limited edition timepieces, like the current Aquatimer collection, whereby a portion from the sales are channelled to the foundation.
“The Galapagos Islands represent a unique environment and we take pride in supporting the Charles Darwin Foundation in its efforts to preserve it,” says IWC CEO Georges Kern. “We regularly hear from individuals who express a desire to take a more active role. In response, we support this programme that will enable individuals to help the CDF’s work.”
Members who give US$1000 (RM3,200) to the initiative will become benefactors of the foundation, which will entitle them to invitations for events like the annual general assembly of the Charles Darwin Foundation, IWC boutique functions, a special documentation package and preferential treatment for travel and visits to the Galapagos Islands (that also includes a VIP tour of the research station).
For US$200 donations, participants are considered supporters of the programme and they will receive newsletters from the Charles Darwin Foundation and IWC, as well as an invitation to visit the research station on the islands. Conversely, you can also "adopt" an endangered Galapagos species for only US$20.
The partnership between IWC and the Charles Darwin Foundation also offers volunteering opportunities to youths who would like to learn and benefit from the work done by the foundation and at the research station. Another hands-on experience possibility involves becoming a staff assistant at the foundation's CEO office.
Jaeger-LeCoultre recently showed its support of the visual arts with the “My Picture Perfect” photography competition, to commemorate the company's almost 200 years of watchmaking. Photographers who participated in the contest were asked to capture time and interpret the JLC history. Vince Cheong Kim Fye, who submitted a picture of a lakeside scene by night reflected in the water, won the top prize – a Reverso Classique timepiece.
“This image is immersed with many elements of serenity and tranquillity, one of which is the water element that brings joy and life, yet remains silent and blissful as the wind,” Cheong says, describing the winning frame. “It reflects everything – the gleams in its pathway, showing a whole new reflection of the world, a perfect illusion. A metaphorical way of portraying Jaeger-LeCoultre and time.”
He also says, “As time captures and reflects every moment in our everyday life, it is indestructible. And similar to reflections, it only can be accepted for what it is. The reflection in this image depicts the ever so elegant Reverso collection, where its case could flip over to display a perfect reflection of another face of the watch.”
Three other photographers also in the running for the top prize – Tanes Jitsawart, Calven Lim and Ming Thein – submitted images (respectively) of an Aston Martin in an endurance race at the Sepang circuit, a film camera from the 1950s along with photos depicting the camera's lineage, and a black-and-white picture of a Reverso Repetition Minutes a Rideau watch.