News Rhinoceros & Co.
We give you a brief overview of the summer’s watch news, and watch brands’ efforts to improve our general knowledge.
Watch production generally slows down over the summer period, and new launches become as infrequent as rain showers in a heatwave, and as eagerly awaited. But watch news doesn’t stop, and communication departments turn their attention to what we might call the “décor” of the watch world which, as it would be in a play or a painting, can be as important as the central subject, which in this case is the watch. In recent weeks, watch news has invited us to cultivate our finer tastes, to forget about movements, dials, cases, technical innovations and novel materials, and discover the world around us – through a horological lens. We might even learn something, and discover some interesting people!
Did you know that there are five species of rhinoceros, which live – or survive – in Africa, Sumatra, Java and India? Did you know that only around 28,000 rhinoceroses remain, 80% of which are in South Africa, and that the greatest losses from poaching occur in Kruger National Park? This information comes courtesy of Hublot, via its ambassador Kevin Pietersen, former cricket star and founder of SORAI – Save Our Rhinos Africa and India. Hublot has just signed a partnership with SORAI to help protect these impressive herbivorous mammals and launched of a timepiece dedicated to the cause.
Kevin Pietersen © Hublot
Carl F. Bucherer is more parsimonious with figures on the superb black manta, although its fate is as precarious as that of the rhinoceros. It has fallen victim to pollution, mainly from the thousands of tonnes of plastic waste dumped into its ocean habitat each year. The Lucerne-based watchmaker, a partner of the Manta Trust, which campaigns for the protection of marine ecosystems, supplies its Patravi ScubaTec Black Manta with a natural rubber strap whose lining is made from 30 plastic bottles fished out of the Mediterranean Sea.
Patravi Patravi ScubaTec Black Manta © Carl F. Bucherer
But saving wildlife is not the only cause that interests the watch industry. Some brands, including Maurice Lacroix, use their high profile to help discover talented youngsters. Have you heard of Yannick Aellen, the newest “friend” of the brand? This young forty-something man has worked in casting and scenography for artists including Lady Gaga and Raf Simons, and is the founder and manager of Mode Suisse, a platform for promoting young local creators. Through his efforts, Mode Suisse, which celebrates its 16th edition this September in Zurich, has become an essential destination for followers of fashion. Maurice Lacroix, which has made many new friends this summer, introduced the world to the young Swiss chefs Ben and Léo, the stars of “Bon App!”, a series on Télévision Suisse Romande.
Yannick Aellen © Maurice Lacroix
Christian Stucki is another useful friend to have in your corner. This 34-year-old from Bern is almost two metres tall, and weighs 140 kilos. He has just been crowned the King of Swiss wrestling. Although he’s as famous as Roger Federer in German-speaking Switzerland, he keeps a lower profile in the French-speaking part. He is brand ambassador for Graham, which has introduced him to the watch media.
Christian Stucki © Graham
Even people who get all their current affairs from the watch press will have heard about the achievement of Franky Zapata, a friend of Zenith, who crossed the English Channel on 4 August standing on his Flyboard Air, which he controlled with a joystick.
And have you heard of the Staffel 11? The Swiss Air Force Professional Aviator Corps is responsible for the security of Switzerland’s air space. It’s a serious job, which they carry out on board planes whose tailfins are decorated with colourful, outsize tiger heads – quite an unusual sight on Swiss military vehicles. It’s the work of IWC Schaffhausen, the watchmaker informs us. They have just launched a limited edition Pilot’s Watch Chronograph “Staffel 11” Edition.
Montre d’Aviateur Chronographe Edition « Staffel 11 » © IWC
And finally, are you familiar with COOL Racing? Rebellion Timepieces has just signed a partnership with the Swiss motor racing stable that will be competing in the WEC and ELMS Endurance World Championship this year, with the goal of entering the Le Mans 24-hour race in 2020. The Rebellion Twenty-One GMT Turquoise sports the COOL Racing livery.
COOL Racing © Rebellion
Watches of technical perfection and beauty, through tradition and the force of innovation. Carl F. Bucherer is an independent Swiss watchmaker with expertise in the production of precious...Find out more >
Based in La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland, Graham preserves the legacy of London clockmaker George Graham, developing modern timepieces that combine sophisticated techniques with an atypical design.Find out more >
From the outset, Hublot has embodied design and innovation that differ markedly from the established watchmaking order. With the impetus provided by Jean-Claude Biver, by 2004 these values had...Find out more >
With a clear emphasis on technology and development, IWC Schaffhausen has been manufacturing timepieces of lasting value since 1868. Its philosophy, based on a passion for watchmaking, aims to...Find out more >
Based in the Jura region of Switzerland, Maurice Lacroix has been producing fine Swiss timepieces for over 40 years and has developed 14 in-house movements over the past ten years.Find out more >
A passion for the ultimate in performance is what drives both Rebellion Timepieces and Rebellion Racing, two entities whose worlds are closely intertwined.Find out more >