Speake Marin makes time for Koalas

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The newest Art Series Koala Watch


The one thing we all know for sure about koalas is that they are adorable. They have big heads, floppy ears, permanent smiles and furry bodies, which makes them look like teddy bears – although contrary to popular belief, they are not bears; they’re marsupials, which means the female of the species has a pouch in which to carry her young. Because they have a very low metabolic rate, koalas sleep a lot – up to 20 hours a day – mostly in trees, often hugging the branches to stay cool, which makes them look kind of cuddly. Which they are: Koalas tend to avoid energy-wasting aggressive behavior and would be more likely to hug you than attack you, unless you are threatening their babies. Their claws are mainly for gripping tree trunks as they climb.


Queensland Koala Crusaders association


The second thing to know about koalas is that they are an endangered species, and unless we do something about it soon, they are heading for extinction. That’s where Speake Marin comes in. We are doing our part to save the koalas with the new  Koala watch, part of Speake Marin’s Art Series, which is dedicated to environmental and conservation causes. All the profits will be donated to the Queensland Koala Crusaders, a conservation association based in Queensland, Australia – around 90% of koalas live in Australia.

Micro-painted masterpiece


We decided to design the Academic Koala with the animal itself as the dominant figure. First, we hollowed out the dial and then finished it with the unmistakable sheen of lacquer in a color that matches the rich green of eucalyptus leaves, the primary food of koalas. The greens are gradient, ranging from the lighter Pantone color 2276 C in the center, to the darker Pantone color 3508 C on the periphery. The cute koala on the dial is meticulously micro-painted in various shades of gray, nestled among eucalyptus leaves. To the right, above the logo, is Speake Marin’s signature topping tool motif, which rotates to clock the running seconds. And the familiar heart-shaped hands are extra appropriate here, since they are a nod to our fondness for koalas. They’re filled with green lacquer to match the color of the dial.

Koalas in crisis


The very existence of Koalas is being threatened on several fronts. Habitat destruction is the most serious menace, with bushfires, droughts, urbanization and climate change all contributing to the crisis. Eucalyptus forests are diminishing in the face of land clearing, tree disease or fires. If the koalas move closer to the city, they face fast cars, dogs, starvation and illness. That’s why we want to help the Queensland Koala Crusaders, who are working to support habitat and corridor restoration, along with the rescue, rehabilitation and re-release of sick and injured animals. They also work with other groups to find more solutions to the threats, including developing tracking technology that will help to reduce road accidents and dog attacks.

Recycled straps, naturally


Aside from helping to save the koalas, our new Art Piece, the Koala, is an extraordinary watch in its own right. It contains the caliber SMA03, a meticulously finished automatic movement that is manufactured in our state-of-the-art workshop, Le Cercle des Horlogers. As a final manifesto of our determined concern for the environment, we’ve made the strap out of PET recycled nylon, lined with corn-based brown leather, and colored it in the same eucalyptus shade as the dial. The case is made of sturdy, grade 5 titanium, designed in the familiar Piccadilly style – round and tubular with a large, fluted crown. It comes in two sizes, both limited: three versions in 38mm, and only six in the 42mm size.

Be a connoisseur for the cause


This is our second series dedicated to the preservation of an endangered species. In 2020, we partnered with Save the Rhino International, a London-based charity that works tirelessly toward the protection and conservation of the rhinoceros, another gravely endangered species. We hope you’ll help us to keep up the good fight and join us as we champion the rights of the most vulnerable species on our planet. We intend to keep the momentum going. Every year, Speake Marin will launch an Art Series limited edition dedicated to an endangered species, and we want to get as many people as possible involved. Everyone who purchases one of these special pieces becomes not only the owner of a rare work of art, but an ambassador for a noble cause. If we all work together, there is hope.