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Hublot - The Heart Of Fusion

Hublot The Heart Of Fusion

Hublot strengthens its efforts to protect wildlife in Africa

Earlier this month, a post spread like wildfire across social media. A heart-rending photo of a prone rhinoceros, its eyes shut, being sorrowfully caressed by a park ranger, was accompanied by a caption declaring the extinction of the northern white rhino. Like all things on social media that seem designed to tug at your emotions, this post contained an element of truth, but required deeper investigation.

The facts are as follows: the northern white rhinoceros did not go extinct in early June 2021. This noble species has been functionally extinct since 2018, when the last male northern white rhinoceros in captivity died at the age of 45. Two female northern white rhinos, a mother and daughter, still exist on a heavily protected reserve in Kenya. But as their last potential mate died three years ago and the species was declared extinct in the wild in 2008, there seems very little that can be done to ensure the survival of the northern white rhinoceros.

Some small hope exists in the form of frozen embryos, the result of an international conservation effort involving zoos, laboratories and wildlife reserves all across Europe and Africa. It is unlikely that these embryos will be implanted in either of the living female northern white rhinos, but the plan to use a young, healthy southern white rhino female as a surrogate represents the best chance of bringing the northern white rhinoceros back from the brink of extinction.

The Heart Of Fusion

Big Bang Unico Sorai © Hublot

Funding is essential to allow such initiatives to progress, but in light of the pandemic-related slowdown in travel, tourist revenue has dropped precipitously and private donations have become that much more important.

In May this year, Hublot launched a new limited-edition green ceramic Big Bang Unico SORAI (Save Our Rhinos Africa and India), with a percentage of sales donated to Care For Wild, the largest rhino sanctuary in the world. Only 100 pieces will be made. The Big Bang Unico SORAI was first introduced in 2019 in beige ceramic, also in a limited edition of 100 pieces.

The Heart Of Fusion

Big Bang Unico Sorai © Hublot

This kind of financial support not only helps compensate for the loss of tourist dollars to research that could save animals like the northern white rhino, it also allows wildlife centres to maintain park security — underfunding has led to a shortage of park rangers, allowing poaching activity to increase and exacerbate the already-precarious status of various endangered species in Africa.

For companies such as Nigerian luxury conglomerate Hole19, which includes Zakaa — the first retailers to bring a Hublot boutique to Africa — the brand’s tagline “The Art of Fusion” is more than a catchy phrase to help sell watches. In view of products such as the Big Bang Unico SORAI, it takes on a deeper meaning, symbolising unity and the desire to protect the world we inhabit.

 

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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 already become the basis of a new DNA, leading the brand, which is currently headed by Ricardo Guadalupe - its CEO since 2012, to develop particularly audacious timepieces – most of them with a highly-developed sporting aspect.

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