It was eight years ago that the United Nations officially recognized June 8 as World Oceans Day. Today, we celebrate globally our Earth’s seas and our working together to keep them clean and healthy. Not only are organizations around the world fighting for this cause, but so, too, are a host of watch brands. Among them: Jaeger-LeCoultre, Rolex, Blancpain, Omega, IWC and a few others who offer everything from creating timepieces with proceeds going to organizations, to sponsorships of projects and expeditions, and more.
The theme this year is “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet,” and certain brands are jumping right in. Jaeger-LeCoultre, for instance, is a key partner with the UNESCO World Heritage Marine Sites and programs. Jaeger-LeCoultre has worked hand in hand with UNESCO for eight years now to help conserve the 47 marine sites that appear on the World Heritage List. As such, the brand is unveiling an international exhibit that highlights marine treasures. The exhibits and special events – entitled the Tides of Time — are taking place in the brand’s boutiques today in cities such as Geneva, Miami, Singapore, Shanghai and others. These exhibits will be in boutiques for about five days. The concept is to give visitors a better idea of the threats posed to our natural ocean treasures (such as the Everglades National Park and the Great Barrier Reef), and ways we can work together to make a positive impact.
Rolex is also a huge supporter of ocean exploration and scientific studies. Not only ash the brand supported the Our World Underwater Scholarship Society that provides information on underwater disciplines for people considering careers in the field, and selects a scholar annually to work in the field, but also the brand is committed to supporting underwater challenges and endeavors. Through it DeepSea Pole sponsorship and the Deep Sea Challenge sponsorship, Rolex continues to increase the world’s knowledge of our seas.
Among the projects: Rolex and filmmaker-turned-explorer James Cameron, Director of the film, worked together on the submersible vehicle – the DeepSea Challenger — that enabled Cameron to explore the ocean at depths of more than 30,000 feet. He spent seven years on research and design to build equipment that could sustain the unbearable pressure at 36,000 feet under the ocean. The team of explorers and scientists built mechanical arms in to the vessel for taking samples of sand and rock, and they rigged bait to catch different species of life for future examination. The entire exploration are the subject of the National Geographic movie: DeepSea Challenge 3D. Rolex also sponsors exploration under the ice, and more, and has built several versions of its DeepSea timepiece.
Omega is deeply committed to our oceans and partners with the GoodPlanet Foundation for conservation. The brand sent 10 aerial cameramen and 13 underwater cameramen around the world to capture the beauty above and below the oceans’ surface for the documentary Planet Ocean, whose goal it is to raise awareness of underwater issues. The mission – documented in a film by Yann Arthur-Bertrand, unveils the majesty of the oceans. Omega further donates a portion of the proceeds from the sales of the Seamaster Planet Ocean GoodPlanet watch go t support the cause in a variety of ways, including preserving the sea grasses and coral reefs in Southeast Asia.
IWC supports several different projects, including working with the Charles Darwin Foundation in the Galapagos for conservation and preservation there. The brand also works with the Cousteau Society to explore the oceans and to offer discovery under the sea. Several IWC timepieces are built in honor of these relationships, and IWC donates a portion of the proceeds from these sales accordingly.
This year Blancpain, which has a traveling exhibition of underwater photography and research results – celebrates World Oceans Day with a reception co-hosed with the United Nations. This brand was a key sponsor in the Laurent Ballesta Gombessa 1 Expedition in South Africa a few years ago and is an ongoing supporter of the oceans. Portions of the proceeds of the Fifty Fathoms Ocean Commitment Bathyscaphe watches go to support the causes.
These brands and others understand the value of diving in to protect our oceans. Below, you will find each of these brands’ watches that are committed to the world of underwater adventure.