Environmental scientists have been using the term Anthropocene to describe the current geological epoch. We are not in the Holocene anymore, Toto. Some argue that the Anthropocene began with the Industrial Revolution, others say that it may have been seeded from the moment we started farming or smelting iron. Regardless, what becomes achingly clear is that, from whatever point you begin the dating, human activity has become the dominant influence on the climate and the environment. In some respects, placing humans at the centre of the current predicament — the evident global warming, extreme weather events, deforestation, and species extinctions — is precisely the kind of thinking that got us into this state in the first place.
We have operated on the assumption that humans are somehow superior to the rest of the living beings on the planet. Our thinking is that the curious quirk of our evolutionary roll of the dice has entitled us to the spoils of the Earth. All of them. We have told ourselves that we have dominion over all other living creatures — and over the rest of the stuff too. Our anthropocentric state of mind has led to the Anthropocene state of being.
In conceiving this issue of Wanted Watches, Jewellery, and Luxury — in which we celebrate our beautifully inventive minds; the peak of human aesthetic and technical artistry; and the most delightful of human endeavours — we felt we needed to take a stand against the idea that we are the masters of this world.
In fact, it is obvious that much of what we make as humans has its creative spark in symbiosis with the natural world and all its creatures. We exist in a continuum of creative energy. You only have to experience the love of our closest animal companions in our homes, or the sheer majesty of an owl or a tiger cub, to know that we are not alone and that we are not above it all. The past 100 years have seen the extinction of over 500 species of our fellow travellers on this planet. Feast your eyes on our pages, look at the wondrous creatures we playfully captured in these sublime portraits and really see their blissful communion with our human selves. And then tell me that we are not all on this journey together as equals who deserve the same respect and honour.
(No animals were harmed in the making of this edition.)
Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse wearing Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona