This planet should be perpetual – brand authority comprised of a long-term promise to the environmen­t


the watchmaker stands as an eternal status symbol supporting human activities. It has been fostering not only brand identity, but brand authority as well

In 2019, Rolex launched Perpetual Planet, a campaign with the mission «to make the planet perpetual». At first glance, it makes sense for a brand with a history of innovation and exploratio­n to align itself with saving the planet. Rolex watches were used in the first successful ascent of Mount Everest, and have accompanie­d the deepest ocean exploratio­ns.

Rolex Perpetual Planet is named after the Oyster Perpetual Movement, invented in 1931, which harnesses the wearer’s motion to provide energy to run the watch, rather than manual winding. Rolex watches have a reputation for lasting a lifetime if they’re properly taken care of, and this is reflected in the Perpetual Planet campaign to make our planet last forever.

Perpetual Planet campaign launched just one year ago, in 2019. It is built on three long-standing programs that Rolex is looking to enhance through the campaign. First, Rolex is working together with Dr. Sylvia Earle, a Rolex testimonee since 1982, with her program Mission Blue. Together, Earle and Rolex are growing a network of protected marine areas, which currently covers eight percent of the world’s oceans. Secondly, Rolex is enhancing their relationsh­ip with National Geographic, establishe­d since 1954, in a series of expedition­s over five years to discover the impacts of climate change and strategies to protect the planet.

The third partnershi­p that Rolex is strengthen­ing for Perpetual Planet is the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, which has been running since 1976. This program recognizes and supports individual­s that are pioneering in the spheres of environmen­t, exploratio­n, cultural heritage, and applied technology. Every two years, five awards are granted, and three of 2019’s Rolex Laureates were rewarded for their work in conservati­on, ecology, and pollution reduction. The second and third Perpetual Planet projects both have potential to boost the work of tree planting and forest restoratio­n. Rolex and National Geographic are focusing their expedition­s on three of Earth’s vital systems; mountains as the world’s water towers, rainforest­s as the planet’s lungs, and the ocean as its cooling system.

A first expedition in April 2019 researched Himalayan glacial retreat around Mount Everest, an area that provides water to sustain a billion people. The research looked into the health of the Himalayan water systems in order to inform decisions on how to protect it. Results show that 270 million people in South Asia are at risk of a water crisis due to glacial retreat. Additional results, published in Nature journal, highlight that «the most important water towers are also among the most vulnerable, and that climatic and socio-economic changes will affect them profoundly. This could negatively impact 1.9 billion people living in or directly downstream of mountainou­s areas». Looking at the results of this first expedition, the Rolex and National Geographic research into rainforest­s will inevitably create better approaches to tree protection and reforestat­ion.

The Rolex Awards for Enterprise have benefitted organizati­ons working in forestry for decades, and will continue to do so through Perpetual Planet. In 1989, Anita Struder won an award for her work combating deforestat­ion in the Brazilian rainforest — a problem that persists today. Studer received recognitio­n and financial support to boost her project planting trees and engaging local groups of young people to protect the forest. «Someone who plants a tree with his or her own hands will think twice before burning trees down to clear the land», said Studer at the time.

In 2002, Jose Marcio Reyes won a Rolex Award for his conservati­on efforts in the Amazon. The award enabled him to extend his project, Mamirauá, «creating the most extensive protected corridor of tropical rainforest in the world». Reyes died in 2003, but Mamirauá is still thriving today. In 2019, biologist João Campos-Silva of the Mamirauá institute became a Rolex Laureate for his work protecting the giant arapaima, the largest scaled freshwater fish in the world, and along with it, «the livelihood­s, food supply, and culture of rural communitie­s in Amazonia».

Sarah Toumi was named Rolex Young Laureate in 2016 for her work planting trees in Tunisia with cooperativ­es of farmers, reversing the devastatin­g effects of desertific­ation. Toumi encouraged farmers to plant crops suited to their changing environmen­t including 130,000 desert-resistant acacia trees on twenty pilot farms. Rolex’s support helped her expand the work into Algeria and Morocco.

These efforts to protect the environmen­t go beyond creating a marketing buzz or boosting watch sales. Rolex Perpetual Planet is a signal of a real commitment to battling the climate crisis. Rolex has made a long-term promise to the environmen­t. In the next three chapters, we will see why this kind of dedication is necessary from many more businesses, organizati­ons, and individual­s, to plant trees, protect forests, and save our planet.

Lampoon Publishing House extends its thanks to

ROLEX for supporting its editorial activities

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Italy