Fabergé has partnered with the Gemfields Foundation to launch the new Altruist Wilderness limited-edition watch series. Limited to just five numbered pieces per design, this stunning watch will help to support a portfolio of wildlife conservation projects in sub-Saharan Africa, with 25% of the retail price of each watch sold to be donated to the Gemfields Foundation.
Part of the aptly named Fabergé Altruist collection, these limited- edition watches pay homage to five of the most iconic wild animals in Africa: the lion, the leopard, the rhinoceros, the elephant and the Cape buffalo. Fabergé master craftsman André Martinez – a specialist in miniaturist artistic painting on watch dials – has meticulously hand-painted each dial to depict these wondrous animals. Each one features a miniature painting of one of the five animals, painstakingly applied by hand to a mother-of-pearl dial with lacquers of exceptional quality. Whilst remaining true to traditional miniature painting techniques, these lacquers also meet high manufacturing standards, including resistance to UV rays, and are environmentally friendly, biodegradable and non-toxic.
An 18k rose gold case perfectly complements each dial, with a bespoke caseback on each watch set with five responsibly sourced Gemfields Zambian emeralds, one for each animal. Emeralds were chosen as they are said to symbolise hope, growth, life, fertility and peace. Each caseback is also individually engraved with its piece number to illustrate that these are one-of-a-kind, collectible creations. Fabergé has chosen to present these watches on Alcantara straps, an Italian-made material which prides itself on being certified carbon-neutral.
Fabergé’s Timepieces Director Aurélie Picaud says: “This partnership with the Gemfields Foundation is very close to our hearts. While helping to support wildlife conservation in Africa, the new Altruist Wilderness watches also embrace our core values; craftsmanship, ingenuity and the ‘Art of Colour’. Through the hand-painting of each dial, our master craftsman André Martinez has translated our passion and emotion into this special project. The simplicity of the Altruist case design allows for the vibrant and iconic animals to take centre stage. All the finer details – from the five Gemfields Zambian emeralds set on the caseback, to the Vaucher Manufacture self- winding movement – are highlighted in a way that is unique to Fabergé.”
These creations represent the perfect marriage of art and watchmaking, with each watch containing a Vaucher Manufacture self-winding movement. Designed, manufactured, and assembled in traditional fashion, the calibres make use of an oscillating weight decorated in the Fabergé style. To highlight the precious and rare character of this movement, it is produced in 22k gold.
After a decade of directly funding projects in Zambia and Mozambique, Gemfields has created the Gemfields Foundation in 2021, a charitable arm to upscale these activations. Gemfields Limited funds the project overheads, and where the group has a presence, offered free of charge to bring projects to life. As a result, donations received are directed in full to realise projects that yield positive impact. The UK-registered charity operates with two objectives: alleviating poverty in local communities and assisting wildlife conservation efforts. Proceeds from Fabergé’s Altruist Wilderness watches will provide vital funds for conservation and protection of wildlife and natural habitats, preserving what is left of Africa’s great wildernesses.
In recent years, Gemfields has provided financial support to several conservation organisations that operate in Zambia and Mozambique, helping to protect nature reserves and wildlife, while at the same time supporting community livelihoods within these remote areas of wilderness, an essential part of ensuring the survival of increasingly rare wild animals.
The projects supported to date have operated in Zambia’s Kafue and South Luangwa national parks – both of which are home to large numbers of lions, cheetahs, and wild dogs – as well as in Mozambique’s Niassa and Quirimbas national parks, home to the largest populations of elephant, lion, leopard, wild dog, sable, kudu, wildebeest, and zebra in the country. Projects supported range from providing satellite collars for lions to aid release from snares and poachers, to community training in anti-poaching and wildlife crime prevention, land-use planning, species re-introductions, and working with local communities to help them live alongside and care for these magnificent creatures, as well as developing alternative livelihoods for remote communities to reduce the attractiveness of poaching. The Foundation’s trustees will guide the selection of new projects to be funded by the proceeds from Fabergé’s Altruist Wilderness watches.
As a unique memento, Fabergé is pleased to include a complimentary watercolour painting of the chosen watch dial hand-painted by André Martinez alongside each watch purchased. This is a keepsake to treasure forever, or to gift to someone special.
Whilst remaining true to traditional miniature painting techniques, the lacquers on the timepiece meet high manufacturing standards, including resistance to UV rays, and are environmentally friendly, biodegradable and non-toxic.
An 18k rose gold case perfectly complements each dial, with a bespoke caseback on each watch set with five responsibly sourced Gemfields Zambian emeralds.
Fabergé has chosen to present these watches on Alcantara straps, an Italian-made material which prides itself on being certified carbon-neutral.