Swatch Christmas Special.
Swatch Christmas Special.
Image: Supplied

Omega has introduced two new Trésor timepieces to its De Ville collection just in time for this season of giving. Adding extra feel-good-factor to ownership, the proceeds from the sale of each of these elegant pieces supports Orbis — an international nonprofit nongovernmental organisation committed to preventing avoidable blindness in the poorest regions of the world.

The 40mm stainless steel watches feature domed gradient blue dials with polished hands and applied indexes in 18K white gold. As a charming reference to the cuddly toys gifted to children undergoing eye surgery, an Orbis Teddy Bear replaces the number 8 on the date indicator. Powering each De Ville is the luxe version of Omega’s Calibre 8511, with 18K red gold balance bridge. By purchasing one of these watches with either a polished or diamond-set bezel, customers give wings to a Flying Eye Hospital and a dedicated team of medical professionals.

This is a perfect example of how brands can bring about change for good, but also how we as consumers can vote with our wallets.

After a year of austerity, you’re forgiven for wanting a bit of exuberance in your life, but as you select shiny stocking fillers — to reward yourself and others — remember that what you choose to wear, drive or eat says a lot about you — and what you have to say about the products you’ve chosen. It’s up to you to get a better understanding of what an item is made from, and what impact it has on planet and people.

The more conscientious brands are making a concerted effort to secure a better future through more circular economies with better design to reduce material waste, making more ethical material and labour choices, and creating more diversity in the workplace. At the same time, brands can also use their media status and financial clout to support environmental agencies or initiatives that build a more sustainable future in areas of culture, heritage and society.  

Omega new Trésor timepiece, featuring an Orbis Teddy Bear.
Omega new Trésor timepiece, featuring an Orbis Teddy Bear.
Image: Supplied

A dedicated research unit at Ulysse Nardin is finding solutions to process the millions of tonnes of plastic waste dumped into the ocean every year. To mark its commitment to the marine circular economy, the manufacture’s Diver Net watch case, middle, back and bezel decoration are fabricated from recycled fishing nets. Its strap is woven from yarn made from PET plastic found in the sea.

Ulysse Nardin Diver Net.
Ulysse Nardin Diver Net.
Image: Supplied

Oris has been working for six years with the Coral Restoration Foundation, a nonprofit growing and replanting corals in the decimated reefs of the Florida Keys National Marine. Over 30,000 corals have been planted to date in the Carysfort Reef ecosystem, the third largest barrier reef in the world.

The perfect companion for a globetrotting eco-warrior, the Carysfort Reef Limited Edition is based on the 43.5mm Oris Aquis GMT. Available in stainless steel with sun-ray blue dial on bright orange rubber strap or fabulous 18K yellow gold case on dark ocean blue leather strap to match the dial.

Oris Carysfort Reef Limited Edition.
Oris Carysfort Reef Limited Edition.
Image: Supplied

The Swiss brand associated with fun plastic watches has reimagined its signature material by developing plastic bio-sourced from the castor plant. The new Swatch 1983 Bio-Reloaded collection is inspired by watches from the 80s, and the packaging is also fully organic and home-compostable.

Swatch 1983 Bio-Reloaded.
Swatch 1983 Bio-Reloaded.
Image: Supplied

Innovative new French company Awake launched the Awake .01 manufactured in-house using re-engineered, biodegradable and bio-sourced materials. The case material is made from fishing nets, and the straps a bio-polymer made from castor beans. Almost carbon neutral, these watches also feature a Japanese-designed solar powered movement.

Awake .01.
Awake .01.
Image: Supplied

The very rare Golden Eagle is a magnificent ambassador for touching hearts and selling watches, but Chopard’s commitment to protect and preserve the earth from which it sources raw materials goes way deeper than feathers and feel-good factor. The Alpine Eagle collection pays homage to the Golden Eagle, and Chopard works closely with the Eagle Wings Foundation to reintroduce the bird to its natural Alpine habitat and promote a more sustainable way of life.

The Alpine Eagle XL Chronograph two-tone with pitch black dial and integrated bracelet is made from Lucent Steel A223 and ethical rose gold — the company only uses 100% Ethical Gold for its jewellery and watches. Inside is the in-house Chopard 03.05-C automatic movement with flyback function.

Chopard Alpine Eagle collection.
Chopard Alpine Eagle collection.
Image: Supplied

The Blancpain Bathyscaphe Mokarran Limited Edition is dedicated to the study of the great hammerhead shark in French Polynesia, with a percentage of the sales of these watches being added to the brand’s regular contributions to promoting, respecting and protecting the fascinating world of the oceans.

Blancpain Bathyscaphe Mokarran Limited Edition.
Blancpain Bathyscaphe Mokarran Limited Edition.
Image: Supplied

The Rolex Mentorship & Protégé Arts Initiative is a 17-year-old creative exchange programme ensuring that the world’s artistic heritage is passed on to future generations. In the same spirit, the Rolex Awards for Enterprise has been in existence since 1976 and supports projects in the fields of science and technology, endangered ecosystems and species, as well as preserving culture and improve the living standards in developing countries.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual DateJust 41mm in Oystersteel and yellow gold.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual DateJust 41mm in Oystersteel and yellow gold.
Image: Supplied

Each laureate receives a Rolex Oyster Perpetual DateJust 41mm in Oystersteel and yellow gold with fluted bezel and champagne dial as part of their prize. Powered by the new generation Superlative Chronometer certified (COSC and Rolex certification after casing) in-house calibre 3235 self-winding movement.

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