Watchmakers Respond To The Coronavirus With Aid

Mike Espindle | May 29, 2020 | Style & Beauty Watches & Jewelry National

iStock487780105.jpg

Swatch Support
Swatch Group, which includes brands like Breguet, Hamilton, Harry Winston, Longines, Rado and others, has taken several relief initiatives. Of particular note is a pivot to hand sanitizer production at its EM Microelectronic microchip facility, coordinating the refocus of battery producer Renata to making power sources for medical ventilators and affiliate component-maker Micro Crystal delivering parts for medical thermometers. Swatch Group brand Omega, as the official timekeeper for 28 Olympic Games to date, has reaffirmed its commitment to the postponed Tokyo Games and has pledged to perform the moment those games begin.

Kering Cares
Global group Kering, which includes watchmaking houses like Gucci, Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin, has committed $1 million in donations to the CDC Foundation, specifically to aid in supplying healthcare workers on the front lines with protective equipment and vital supplies in heavily impacted regions such as New York, New Jersey, California, Florida and Latin America. Additional support was provided to A Common Thread and other relief organizations. These contributions follow initiatives already made by Kering in Europe and China to provide over 1 million surgical masks and gowns for healthcare workers.

LVMH Lightens the Load
As a multinational product group, LVMH has already dedicated its perfume and cosmetics divisions to the production of hand sanitizer on a massive scale. The group includes watch brands such as TAG Heuer, Bvlgari, Hublot and Zenith, but LVMH watch and jewelry house Bvlgari recently provided more local feet-on-the-street support by delivering tens of thousands of sanitizer bottles to healthcare facilities in Italy, Switzerland and the U.K.

Rely on Richemont
Swiss-based group Richemont—parent company to brands like Cartier, A. Lange & Söhne, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Roger Dubuis, Montblanc, Piaget and others—has dedicated its Italian-based leather goods capabilities to produce protective masks, with 1 million donated to the most impacted regions of Italy. In addition, Richemont watchmakers IWC and Panerai have both introduced new digital initiatives: IWC has bowed a Time Well Shared program that taps watchmaking artisans and brand ambassadors (like NFL star Tom Brady) to present online lectures and webinars across its digital channels that focus on making the most of your time, with a charitable connection to the Save the Children foundation. Panerai’s #ownyourowntime is an interactive platform through which fans can explore the brand, with specific recognition of timely leaders and heroes via streaming video sessions and interactive Q&As.



Photography by: Courtesy of Getty Images