Summer is finally here, bringing with it the warm embrace of balmy evenings in the Cape, the exotic stickiness of subtropical Durbs, and the wonderful electric drama of Joburg’s afternoon thunderstorms. As the sun sets late over Lion’s Head, the joyful sound of the Kaapse Klopse rehearsing in the vibrant neighbourhood of Bo-Kaap fills the air in Cape Town’s City Bowl, a celebration of culture and community that transcends generations.
By the time you read this, cities and stores will be adorned with exuberant Christmas displays and the spirit of giving will be in full swing. It’s a time for taking a well-earned break, for cherishing the company of loved ones, and for exchanging gifts. But in this season of festivities, amid the hustle and bustle, it’s essential to remember that the most precious gift you can offer, both to yourself and to others, is your time and presence.
True presence, undistracted and wholehearted, is a rarity in our modern lives. It means letting go of the constant pull of social media, the barrage of notifications, and the ever-watchful eye on the clock. In a world governed by algorithms that dictate how we should be and what we should do, the act of simply being present almost seems revolutionary.
I recently stumbled upon a Seiko Metronome ref SMW006 in the secondary market — a wristwatch originally crafted exclusively for the Japanese market. It’s unassuming, not luxurious but unique and inexpensive. More than just a conversation starter or a handy accessory for musicians, this watch serves as a meditative device. It reminds us to find a new pace for ourselves and be more mindful.
The holidays are a perfect opportunity to re-centre ourselves to confront the complexities of the world when we return to our labours in 2024. In this season of reflection and renewal, we can reassess our personal goals and deeper purpose.
When reading Breitling’s 2023 Sustainability Report, what stood out for me — among its achievements in reducing GHG emissions, celebrating its Squad on a Mission, cleaning up beaches and oceans, planting forests, and fostering greater equity in the workplace — was the corporate culture of care for its community. This reaches way beyond customer care to include social impact along the value chain through direct engagement with the artisanal and small-scale miners in Peru and Colombia who supply the gold used in collections such as the Super Chronomat 38 Origins. Its support of ongoing development meets the infrastructural, healthcare, and literacy needs of surrounding communities, established through multistakeholder engagements — listening, not directing.
This ethos is present in an emerging style of “adaptive leadership” that uses a more holistic approach and a systems-thinking framework to embrace the complexity of the world while “co-creating” a sustainable future for all.
So, why the dazzling showstopper by Chopard, you may ask? Well, maybe we all have a bit of crow DNA in us and I’m sure it got your attention. To give credit to Chopard, each precious gemstone on the halo and in the “dancing diamonds” of this timepiece is ethically sourced from suppliers certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council, while the white gold of the case is Fairmined-certified. An elaboration on a design originating in the 1970s for a men’s dress watch, this finely crafted jewellery piece highlights the ingenuity and creativity of humans — and that there are ways to create beauty without degradation or abuse to the planet, humans or the more-than-human.
I don’t assume to have the power to stop the conspicuous consumption of the season, but I do hope this is food for thought. You have the power to effect change through your actions and wallet — and, your presence.
breitling.com 011 883 2286;
chopard.com 021 421 4296;
seikowatches.com 011 089 6007
• From the November edition of Wanted, 2023.