I am excited – after a couple of furiously busy weeks of behind-the-scenes planning – to announce the launch of the ‘Watch & Act!’ World Watch Auction in aid of the Australian bushfire crisis. The auction, launched today on the Invaluable online auction platform at 9am AEST, will run for 10 days, until 9am AEST on Friday the 31st January. Invaluable.com is the world’s premier online auction platform and is used by such esteemed houses as Sotheby’s and Phillips. The team at Invaluable.com, like so many generous donors, have offered the platform and their support services at no charge.
The auction features 16 watches from 14 brands. All items are listed with no reserve. It includes two unique pieces that have been created especially for the auction; the Zenith Pilot Rescue, ‘Australian Rescue’ Edition Unique Piece with custom case back. And the Hublot Classic Fusion ‘Watch & Act’ Edition Unique Piece, also with engraved case back.
In addition to these one-of-one pieces, there are no less than nine other Limited Edition models on offer. One is the personal H.Moser & Cie Pioneer Centre Seconds watch of U2 bass player Adam Clayton, offered by the brand with Adam’s blessing. It is one of only three Pioneer Centre Seconds with ‘Funky Blue’ dial and no logo in existence. Other Limited Editions include the Oris Divers Sixty-Five Limited Edition for Hodinkee and the Doxa SUB 200 130 Years Limited Edition, both of which are sold out and only available on the after-market.
100% of proceeds from the auction will be distributed across five charities: two rural fire services groups – the Country Fire Authority in Victoria and the Rural Fire Service of New South Wales; two wildlife rescue groups – Wildlife Victoria and the World Wildlife Fund; and one fund, the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund, created specifically for the south-east region of Victoria, which has been particularly hard-hit.
When I was recently in Dubai for LVMH Watch Week, meeting with industry and watch media colleagues in person – no matter where they were based, in Europe, Asia or America, the two questions were the same: “Are you OK? How can we help?”
Now, just 11 days after sending out an email asking for expressions of interest, we have 16 watches, many of them utterly remarkable in their rarity. Several brands have worked day and night since that date to create bespoke pieces themed for the cause. In addition to the massive heart shown by the brands and individuals who have donated, we also have a united front from our colleagues in the watch media who have also offered to get behind the cause. It is humbling to the greatest degree. There is a lot of love for Australia right now, and anyone bidding on these watches is not only showing it, but sharing in it too.
We wish all bidders the very best of luck!
About the name
‘Watch & Act’ is an official bushfire threat level that precedes the order to evacuate an area. It is an order that many hundreds of thousands of Aussies have heard this summer and are likely to hear again. But ‘watch and act’ is exactly what the world watch industry has done to make this extraordinary event happen – thank you to all who have helped with this initiative, and thank you to Atollon for the logo.