Many watch manufacturers use their watches to do good. They create special, often limited, editions dedicated to a variety of worthy causes to which they donate the proceeds. These watches often stand out, due to unique designs or special engravings, as the three watches below show. Oh, and the fourth one? That is a special case that we simply had to include in this line-up!
Hublot supports various great causes with limited editions of their watches. These are highly sought-after by collectors, as Hublot goes to great trouble to make them very special. A great example of this is the third collaboration with Depeche Mode, for which they created a ceramic knurled case with matching strap. The proceeds of this Big Bang Unico Depeche Mode are being donated to “Charity: Water,” a non-profit organization has dedicated itself to provide people in developing countries with clean and safe drink water.
Only Watch has become a tradition of giving. What started in 2005 as a way for Luc Pettavino, founder-organizer of ONLY WATCH to raise funds for the Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies, a charity that fights for a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, has turned into a biennial event. Watch collectors are eagerly looking out to the next edition, later this year, in which they have a chance to bid on the special watches donated by the manufactures
How special do these watches get? For that is the MB&F Horological Machine N°8 for Only Watch 2017 a prime example. They let you dive into the imaginary world of children thanks to the unique sapphire crystal pane, which is engraved and metallised with the drawings of Cassandra Legendre, a very talented 15-year old. Based on her drawings engraver Olivier Kuhn also sculpted and elephant from 18K white gold which is placed between the hour and minute display.
IWC has a long-standing relationship with the Cousteau Society, which they support since 2004. They do so with special editions of the Aquatimer, featuring for obvious reasons a deep blue dial and a special engraving on the back. The money raised with the sale of these watches will go toward creating sanctuaries in the ocean in which marine life is protected, as well as the restoration of the Calypso, Jacques Cousteau’s famous research vessel, which often played a prominent role in the over 120 films he made about life under water.
Paul Newman’s personal Rolex Daytona might come as a surprise in this list. Although it was, unlike all the watches above, never made especially to raise funds for charity, Paul Newman himself made it his life’s mission to leave a positive legacy. It is therefore no more than fitting that the current owner will donate a significant portion of the proceeds to the Newman’s Own Foundation, as well as that of his daughter, the Nell Newman Foundation. Since this watch can only be described as the ultimate Daytona, and it has never come up for sale before, it has every chance of becoming the most expensive Rolex ever sold at auction, and therefore make a significant contribution to the continuing legacy of Paul Newman.