Breitling releases a watch with sales proceeds going to healthcare workers
The first rainbow Superocean made a splash when it launched a few weeks ago. Now Breitling has made a new limited edition version, with proceeds going to six charities around the world.
Back in April, Breitling launched the Superocean Heritage '57 Limited Edition via webcast. Limited to 250 pieces, the timepiece sold out within just hours of its release. The timepiece’s rainbow-inspired design sparked joy during this challenging time, which watch enthusiasts saw as a symbol of hope and optimism.
After the success of the launch, Breitling CEO Georges Kern told Watches of Switzerland in an Instagram Live chat that he wanted to make a new version of the Superocean, with proceeds going to frontline healthcare workers. In the UK, the rainbow has become a symbol of solidarity for people wanting to show their support for healthcare workers.
Less than a month later, Breitling has launched the new Superocean Heritage '57 Rainbow Limited Edition II, now available in a new colourway. Limited to 1,000 pieces, the timepiece measures 42mm and sports a blue dial (the original came with a black dial). Watch enthusiasts can choose between a steel bracelet with a butterfly clasp, or a leather strap with a pin or folding buckle.
Colour highlights mark the hours at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock on the dial. The hour markers and the hour and minute hands are also coated with Super-LumiNova in a rainbow graduation of yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, red and orange. Highlighting its exclusivity, the caseback is engraved with the words “One of 1000”.
“We were amazed by the popularity of the Superocean Heritage ’57 Limited Edition, which told us that we could do something for the incredible healthcare workers. They have sacrificed so much and we wanted to make it clear how much we care with this new version of our own rainbow,” said Georges Kern.
Breitling has already made a donation to charities in countries hit hardest by the pandemic. In support of healthcare workers, Breitling will further donate CHF 1,000 (S$1,461) for each of the first 100 Superocean Heritage ’57 Limited Edition II sold on its website.
"[Healthcare workers] have sacrificed so much and we wanted to make it clear how much we care with this new version of our own rainbow." – Georges Kern
In total, the watchmaker will donate CHF 500,000 to be split between six charities – the NHS in the UK, Fondation de France in France, Humanitas in Italy, the National Centre for Global Health and Medicine in Japan, the Ministry of Health in Spain and Direct Relief in the US.
The new limited edition timepiece is expected to sell out as quickly as its predecessor. Thus, to give watch enthusiasts one last chance to get their hands on its latest rainbow, Breitling will auction one of it through Charitybuzz, an organisation that holds auctions of gifts and experiences in support of worthy causes.
The auction will be held in June, and the winning bidder will be given the opportunity to have a digital live chat with professional surfer Kelly Slater, a member of the Breitling Surfer Squad. Proceeds from the auction will go to Direct Relief.
Breitling’s launch of the new Superocean comes at a time when the Swiss watch industry is struggling to cope with the pandemic. According to a report by Bank Vontobel published in early April, the Swiss watchmaking sector’s exports will decline by 25 per cent this year, its biggest drop in 50 years.