Rolex has long been a brand connected with the great outdoors, not only through the design of timepieces that support professional sporting endeavours and activities, but also with its own charitable arm committed to preserving the planet.
A multitude of initiatives and collaborations keep Rolex at the forefront of both the luxury market and the increased sustainability drive around the world. Through partnerships, grants, and a portfolio of projects which form the ‘Perpetual Planet Initiative’, Rolex continues to strive to protect the world that founder Hans Wilsdorf considered a living laboratory.
And, in this blog, we’re going to uncover a little more about the role that Rolex is playing in some breakout sustainability projects around the world – as well as the brand’s inhouse commitment to the planet that it seeks to explore.
What Is the Perpetual Planet Initiative?
Launched in 2019, the initiative is a platform through which Rolex funds and supports a variety of projects around the world, which are working to understand the balance of the world’s ecosystems for the future.
With our natural world so finely embedded in the history of Rolex and in the success of its most notable models, supporting these projects means that Rolex continues to play a part in sustaining and understanding the issues that are affecting our climate. This doesn’t just span oceans, but also different habitats for wildlife, and even how waste can be reused – with the Rolex.org website designed to introduce followers to these various projects and causes.
Of course, with the Perpetual Planet Initiative covering such a vast subsection of projects, it begs one very important question – why does all of this, and the sustainability of the natural world, matter so much to Rolex?
Why Does Sustainability Matter So Much to Rolex?
You need only look at the extremes to which Rolex’s professional timepieces go to really understand the answer to this question. Rolex has, since the launch of the Submariner back in 1953, been intrigued with – and linked to – extremes with regard to the natural world and humans’ exploration of it. The Rolex chronometer has been the accompanying partner of explorers for decades, uncovering more information about the world that grounds us all – a legacy that Rolex is exceptionally proud of.
But, in order for human pioneers to continue exploring and uncovering new extremes and new boundaries, the world needs protecting – which is what Rolex is committed to doing. The natural world is Rolex’s own living laboratory – a concept which was first raised by Hans Wilsdorf himself, who wanted to do his bit for the world that he was so keen to explore and support.
So, it follows that sustainability matters, because it protects and nurtures the planet that Rolex wants to keep exploring. Rolex has become not just a status symbol, but the go-to brand for the top explorers, pioneers, and adventurers around the world. Of course, in order to retain that sense of adventure, the world itself needs to be protected.
The Perpetual Planet Initiative works with over 20 individual partners all over the world, but it’s not the only move that Rolex has made to support sustainability and the environment.
The Rolex Awards for Enterprise
One of Rolex’s most substantial legacies to date in the conversation around sustainability is the Rolex Awards for Enterprise. Created to support those who come up with and are seeking funding for innovative projects connected with both nature and cultural heritage, these awards fill a gap in philanthropy, specifically for those who cannot access traditional funding.
Granted to 160 winners to date, since the inception of the awards in 1976, communities around the world have been positively affected by these awards, which don’t just support projects linked with climate change and the environment, but also with science and health innovation, the protection of crucial ecosystems, and more.
Interestingly, the awards themselves were launched in 1976 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Rolex Oyster Watch, which was the brand’s first branch into waterproof and professional timepieces – underpinning not just the commitment of Rolex to nature and our planet for over 100 years, but also the significant history behind its philanthropy.
What Is a Perpetual Planet?
As you start reading more into Rolex’s work with sustainable initiatives and projects, the phrase “perpetual planet” appears more and more regularly. So, we thought we’d look a little more into what Rolex means by that and what the ultimate goal is.
Rolex wants to make our planet perpetual. By this, we mean that the watchmaking brand wants the world to be as never-ending and never-changing as its own collection of perpetual watches – unphased and unharmed by exterior conditions.
Achieving a perpetual planet requires connectivity across a multitude of projects and programmes committed to sustainability – which is where Rolex’s partnerships come in. As well as funding projects that are being spearheaded by young pioneers through the Rolex awards and the Perpetual Planet Initiative, Rolex is also connected with several standalone brands. These include the National Geographic Society and Mission Blue, both of which have impressive goals to protect as well as promote the importance of the ocean and the landscapes which surround us.
All of this continues the legacy left by Hans Wilsdorf, who wanted to continue to fund and protect the world which he was so keen for Rolex pioneers to explore and uncover.
Rolex: A Brand for the Future
The history of Rolex is impressive – shrouded in success and prestige, as modern buyers and investors seek a combination of innovative new designs and the vintage timepieces which have held onto their place in watchmaking history.
But the more you explore the sustainability commitments and initiatives of the brand, the more you realise that Rolex is as much a name for the future as it is one linked with the past. Through funding and support across a multitude of projects, Rolex is committed to ensuring that there is a natural world for us to continue exploring for many years in the future – armed with the finest timepieces as designed and created by the brand.
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