Luxurious objects might rightly be described as”things no one really needs”, but the coronavirus pandemic has shown that charity does not necessarily begin at home for the brands that make them.
Early on we watched Chanel, Hermès, Zegna Group and Louis Vuitton (to mention but a few) answer the telephone together with everything from hand sanitiser and PPE to hard money, while individual watch homes both large and small also have established willing to do their bit.
Breitling swiftly created a limited run of 1,000 blue-dial special editions of its recently established Superocean Heritage 57 which is going to be offered to raise $500,000 for healthcare employees globally, while Parmigiani Fleurier‘s”Helping Heroes” initiative empowers customers to make a donation to US health charities which will count as credit towards a wristwatch.
Ball Watch has taken a novel method of recognising the job done to overcome the pandemic by using not the normal few colors in its own Engineer III Marvelight”Caring Edition” 40mm, however six, the better to reflect the colors of the globally recognised rainbow apparatus. Limited to 1,000 pieces, the Caring Edition can be obtained to pre-order for the exceptional price of 1,380 (average price #1,800) until 31 July and Ball Watch has vowed to donate Sfr 300 in the sale of each watch to The Salvation Army.
Bremont used tooling in its Henley-On-Thames workshops to machine tens of thousands of bracelets that it sold to raise enough money for your charity Food For Heroes to provide 30,000 free meals to hard-pressed hospital workers, while market brands Urwerk and Ressence are one of several brands that have obtained to the tried-and-tested auction format to increase Covid-fighting money.
A special variant of the former UR-100 was hammered down to a UK-based Iranian who requested for its Sfr 96,500 selling price to be contributed to the Liverpool School Of Tropical Medicine, even though a watch written by the winner of a competition to design a new Ressence will cross the block at Sotheby’s.
Yorkshireman Raymond Ramsden, 58, was judged the winner after 466 individuals entered the contest — some of whom were professional watch designers. The father-of-two combined”NHS blue” with particulars from yellow, red and white representing the sharing of planet earth, the warmth and vitality of sunlight, the romance of the moon and also the spectre of Covid-19.
After a few detail tweaks to make the design practicable to realise, the exceptional piece is now in production and will be among the lots at Sotheby’s Hong Kong watch sale on 11 July. All profits will be contributed to some Covid-19 analysis programme being conducted by KU Leuven University in Belgium.
Oris, meanwhile, has produced a one-off variant of its green-dial Aquis Date version that’s currently up for grabs with Birmingham-based specialist auctioneer Fellows. The watch has a unique blue caseback comprising the Oris bear along with a message of support to the NHS, which will receive all proceeds from the purchase. Bidding ends on 9 June and the opinion is estimated at #800-#1,000.
And now there is the heady mix of horology and actress since Sean Penn’s charity, Core Response, teams up with leading US pre-owned timepiece e-tailer Crown & Caliber to request people to donate Bremont watches which are going to be offered in another online auction, with 100 percent of the profits going to Core to ensure it could finance free drive-through antibody tests for US citizens.
Those wishing to help can contribute watches through Crown & Caliber, which will then appreciate and, if needed, restore the bits before promoting them onto a dedicated microsite. Benefactors are just asked to answer five questions concerning the watch and, if possible, give a”talking head” video about it.
The deadline for consigning is 1 June, with the auction launch on 3 June and lasting until 3pm on 10 June. Watches sold will be sent on 20 June and will be supplied with a 12-month Crown & Caliber guarantee.