Is there such a thing as watch journalism? That's a rhetorical question. We know that there isn't. Watch journalism is merely repeating press releases as though they are fact (@celinesimon is the exception that proves the rule).
This time of year many of us consider the state of our charitable giving. My family has been giving to various funds to help maintain elephant populations in Africa for the past few years. Keeping several windows of charitable organizations on my computer at the same time, along with watch content, I began to wonder if watch companies gave to this sort of charity.
Hublot announced that they were partnering with SORAI (Saving Our Rhinos in Africa and India) and would give a portion of the sale of a limited edition (100 pieces) Big Bang to SORAI.
This is a $24,000 skeletonized field watch in the Hublot style. It is a dainty 45mm.
Certainly, I thought that I could find out how much Hublot was actually giving to SORAI for rhino preservation efforts. There have been others who have been skeptical (@OscarKlosoff 's old stomping ground). Hublot hasn't said.
But, I have the internet, so surely I could get some information, right? I started at SORAI. SORAI is an Australian foundation founded by retired South African cricketeer Kevin Pietersen. Pietersen owns a luxury lodge in the Kruger National Park. Nothing wrong with that, wealthy folks make good conservationists, something about being able to afford it.
The problem is that SORAI doesn't claim to be a charity ("we are not a charity"). SORAI "raises awareness" and donates to Care For Wild. Care For Wild is a sanctuary for orphan rhinoceros, the largest in the world.
Care For Wild appears to be doing real conservation with rhinos. They list all of their donors and partners. Conspicuously absent is SORAI, and by extension, Hublot.
I can't say that the proceeds from buying this Hublot didn't benefit endangered rhinos in some way. However, it looks like Hublot gives some unenumerated something to a non-charity who may or may not pass it on to where it will do the most good. That is an inefficient means of giving. Hublot only lists two charitable programs on its website. Maybe someone should ask them about this one.