Following its partnership in 2020 with the London-based charity “Save the Rhino International” that works towards the protection and conservation of all five species of rhinoceros, Speake Marin once again draws attention to threatened animals, this time in association with the “Queensland Koala Crusaders” based in Queensland, Australia. To support the cause of these irresistible animals whose population decreases yearly, a new dial has been specially created, adorned with the touching image of a koala.
Speake Marin is no newcomer to charitable actions for the benefit of humankind and wildlife alike, whether directly or indirectly, through the creation of beautifully crafted exclusive Limited Edition timepieces. With this “Academic Koala” watch from The Art Series of the Piccadilly Collection, the haute horlogerie brand once again proves its commitment to the protection of the planet’s environment and its inhabitants. The time and care necessarily devoted towards the making of such a timepiece have resulted in a pure work of art.
Often mistakenly called bears, koalas are marsupials found naturally in the wild in eastern and southeastern Australia, and notably the coastal areas including those of Queensland.
While a high estimate places the overall koala population in Australia at 60,000, lower estimates tend towards 33,000, due to the current natural and man-made disasters they are facing. In Queensland alone, statistics showed there were 32,290 koalas in the wild of southeast Queensland, their traditional homeland, in 1992. In comparison, in 2021, the Australian federal government projected that only 7,750 koalas would live there by 2032. Moved from “vulnerable” to “endangered” in 2022 by the World Wildlife Fund, the animals confront life-threatening difficulties resulting from deforestation.
Concretely, a koala eats only eucalyptus leaves, and only from a few of the 700 varieties of eucalypts. As the eucalyptus forests diminish in size, whether through land clearing, tree disease or bushfires, the animals move closer to urban areas, facing death by starvation, fast cars, dogs, and illness. Australian officials estimate that 80% of koala habitat has already disappeared. The Queensland Koala Crusaders strives to inverse this.
What is the Queensland Koala Crusaders
With the mission to be “a voice for the koalas”, the Queensland Koala Crusaders advises that “this generation has the last opportunity to preserve the koala in the wild in SE Queensland”. Founded in 2012, the incorporated association has defined a variety of methods to improve the lives and sustainability of koalas, working with local governments, and conservation and community groups.
"Support for the rescue, rehabilitation and re-release of sick and injured animals, habitat and corridor restoration, community education, and working with research groups to find solutions to the threats facing koalas are all part of the focus to restore robust and healthy populations of koalas in the wild." Financial support is also provided to koala carers, and towards the development of tracking technology that will help to reduce road accidents and dog attacks.
The SPEAKE MARIN PICCADILLY “ACADEMIC KOALA”
With the strength of the titanium Piccadilly case framing colours symbolic of the eucalyptus forests, and a dial and movement of the highest quality in both design and craftsmanship, Speake Marin transforms this edition of The Art Series into an emotional appeal to protect and perpetuate the future of the loyal and peaceful koala. It is the brand’s belief that every owner who proudly wears this watch on their wrist automatically becomes a noble ambassador of the cause.
The new generation Piccadilly case redesigned in 2017 by Eric Giroud is in Grade 5 Titanium. Round and tubular, it has a large fluted crown, and comes in two sizes of 38 mm and 42 mm. The sapphire crystals front and back are treated with anti-reflective coating, with the Queensland Koala Crusaders logo traced onto the back crystal. Total thickness of the watch is 10.5 mm.
The lacquered dial.
Hand-crafted, the dial has been hollowed and lacquered in gradient greens, from the lighter Pantone 2276 C in the centre to the darker Pantone 3508 C on the periphery. Occupying two thirds of the left side of the dial, a koala has been meticulously micro-painted in various shades of grey, perfectly complemented by the titanium case that surrounds it. The SPEAKE MARIN Topping Tool logo at 1:30 is diamond-set and rotates, performing as small seconds, with the brand name transfer-applied below it.
The heart-shaped hour and minute hands, rhodium-plated, have been hollowed and filled with shiny green lacquer to match the colour of the dial.
The Manufacture movement.
The “Academic Koala” is run by Calibre SMA03, a finely finished automatic movement manufactured at the Brand’s prestigious workshop, Le Cercle des Horlogers. With fully integrated rotor, beating at 28,800 v.p.h., it has a power reserve of 52 hours and functions of central hours and minutes, and small seconds at 1:30.
The coordinated strap.
As a final manifesto of the brand’s determined concern for the environment, the strap, in the same “eucalyptus” colour as the dial, is made of pet recycled nylon, lined with corn-based brown leather. The folding buckle is in titanium to match the case.
In a LIMITED EDITION OF 9 pieces.