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The Jackal & Carl F. Bucherer partnership

Ray of hope: Carl F. Bucherer backs the Manta Trust

How the the family-owned Swiss watch brand and the UK-based conservation charity paired up to make a series of one-off diver’s watches

There are important diver’s watches and then there are important diver’s watches. Carl F. Bucherer’s latest fits into the latter category, not only because it’s a high-functioning, state-of-the-art piece designed for professional diving, but also because it’s made in support of the Manta Trust, a charity working in more than 20 countries to protect one of the ocean’s most endangered species – the manta ray.

The Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Manta Trust Limited Edition was released in July this year – and comes with an unusual twist. Each of the 188 pieces made has a case back engraved with the outline, identification number and unique stomach markings of one of a series of manta rays that have been identified by the trust. Each watch is therefore a one-off.

Carl F. Bucherer, Manta Trust, Jackal magazine

The case back of each of the 188 limited edition pieces of the new Patravi ScubaTec Manta Trust Limited Edition is different, featuring the unique markings of one of the manta rays logged by the Manta Trust

On top of that, buyers will have the opportunity to name the manta ray on the back of their watch, while part of the proceeds from these watches will help finance a pioneering two-week research expedition into manta ray marine habitats that took place in the Maldives in August this year.

Carl F. Bucherer began its support of the trust a number of years ago on learning of how pressing a concern the future of the manta ray has become. Despite conservation efforts, our oceans remain under threat, while numbers of manta rays have dwindled because of factors such as overfishing, and the demand for its gills, which are used in traditional Chinese medicines.

Manta rays are easily identifiable because of their large, triangular pectoral ‘wings’ that can span up to seven metres. Scientists believe they’re the most intelligent fish in the sea. ‘In the water with these guys, you get the sense there’s a lot more going on in there than your average fish,’ says Josh Stewart, an ecologist and associate director of the trust. ‘Mantas will go out of their way to come interact. They’re much more like a mammal.’

The Manta Trust, which was set up in 2011, brings scientists and experts together, channelling their knowledge through education, advocacy and media. So far, it’s identified 4,300 manta rays and driven the development of ecotourism guidelines that led to the Baa Atoll in the Maldives being made a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2011.

The watch itself has a number of useful features that elevate it beyond run-of-the-mill diver’s watches. First of those is the 44.6mm stainless steel case’s automatic helium escape valve, a device used by professional divers to allow the release of helium particles after living in helium-enriched air during a saturation dive. It also has a lightweight, scratch-resistant ceramic uni-directional rotating bezel for timing dives, a screw-down crown, and is water-resistant to a lung-crushing 500 metres. All are signifiers of a high-quality diver’s watch.

Manta Trust, Carl F. Bucherer, The Jackal

A percentage of the proceeds from Carl F. Bucherer’s new Patravi ScubaTec Manta Trust Limited Edition will go towards funding the Manta Trust’s research. £4,500

Aesthetically, it’s finished off with a shimmery grey dial inspired by the colour of a manta ray’s back. The watch’s look is finished off by a black rubber bracelet with a finely adjustable stainless steel folding clasp, while inside it is an automatic Swiss Made chronometer-certified movement with a 38-hour power reserve.

‘We are proud to be a partner of the Manta Trust,’ says Sascha Moeri, Carl F. Bucherer’s chief executive. ‘With the new Patravi ScubaTec Manta Trust Limited Edition, we are paying tribute to the trust’s admirable work. By purchasing this model, watch connoisseurs not only become the proud owner of a truly unique timepiece, they also contribute to the conservation of manta rays.’

The Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Manta Trust Limited Edition is available now, priced £4,500. For more information, visit carl-f-bucherer.com. To view Carl F. Bucherer watches available in the UK, visit bucherer.co.uk.