Rolex has been supporting projects to improve the planet via the Rolex Awards for 45 years, reminding the world that a successful watchmaker is one that does much more than make great watches. Don’t get us wrong, we love great watches — because of course we do — but it just feels good to think that every watch sold makes the world a little bit better. This goes for whatever Rolex watch you own too, because this has been ongoing for close to half a century.
As you might recall, the Rolex Awards are one of the pillars of the Rolex Perpetual Planet programme, which we have covered extensively on this site, but we digress. This month, the Geneva-based firm announced five new Laureates of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, each of whom is working on ground-breaking projects that might have a profound impact on the world we share. They are Felix Brooks-Church, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Rinzin Phunjok Lama, Gina Moseley and Luiz Rocha. They will each receive funding (amounts unspecified) and the benefits of the Rolex press machinery for publicity purposes, globally. So, why these five, you may ask?
“Rolex has long recognized its responsibility to play a part in creating a sustainable planet, a Perpetual Planet,” said Arnaud Boetsch, Rolex Director of Communication & Image. “Rather than venturing into the unknown and discovering uncharted lands, the new breed of explorers is committed to protecting the planet. The five Laureates are prime examples of these guardians of the future.”
Here is a little bit about each of the new laureates, verbatim from the Rolex presser:
Felix Brooks-church, from the United States, tackles malnutrition in Tanzania through equipping rural flour mills with a ‘dosifier’ machine, which adds critical micronutrients to fortify staple foods.
Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim
Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, from Chad, uses indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge to map natural resources and prevent climate conflicts in the Sahel.
Rinzin Phunjok Lama
Rinzin Phunjok Lama, from Nepal, works to protect the richly diverse ecosystems of the Trans-Himalayan region, home of iconic and globally threatened mammals, by involving local communities.
Gina Moseley, from the United Kingdom, aims to lead the first expedition to explore the planet’s northernmost caves to improve our knowledge of climate change in the Arctic.
Luiz Rocha, from Brazil, works to explore and protect mesophotic coral reefs and their biodiversity in the Indian Ocean, and to strengthen conservation of these largely unknown ecosystems.