Toward the end of 2014, we at Catherine Jones of Cambridge announced the launch of a very special watch. The ‘Animal Watch’ by 3thirty3 was created to raise funds for the International Anti-Poaching Foundation. An industry first in the UK, Catherine Jones of Cambridge became the only place in the world, other than one shop in California, where the 3thirty3 watches could be purchased.
The latest publication to feature this incredible cause is Plaza Watch magazine, a highly respected publication which is distributed in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, UK, UAE, West Indies and USA.
The announcement was made on a very special day, just after the Duke of Cambridge made his first visit to the White House on a very personal crusade. He set out to recruit President Barak Obama as his most powerful ally in the fight against the slaughter of endangered species and the illegal wildlife trade.
On that day, Vanessa Burkitt, MD of the Cambridge jewellery business, said, ‘Today sees a new concept in the jewellery and watch industry. For every ‘Animal Watch’ sold, a contribution of £90 will be made to the IAPF.’
What’s the story?
3thirty3 was is the brainchild of James Henderson, a watch connoisseur and highly-regarded Tempus Fugit watch-blogger, based in California. His simple idea was to create a watch brand with a charitable action built into the business plan.
‘The concept,’ James explained ‘was not to create a new charity but a new business that, through its success, could help charitable causes in a meaningful and sustainable way.
So 3thirty3 was founded with the idea to market and sell good looking, quality watches with the goal of donating 1/3 of the net sales price to organizations working to solve “unsolvable” problems and therefore benefit others.’
Vanessa Burkitt, MD of Catherine Jones of Cambridge said, ‘I met James on Facebook and he first mooted the concept back in March 2014, through his highly-reputed Tempus Fugit watch blog. We got to posting and exchanging ideas.’
‘It emerged that James’ non-business interests also chimed with our company’s own commitment to protecting endangered wildlife and charitable giving which we do through the Catherine Jones Foundation. When he mooted the idea of creating a watch to raise funds for the International Anti-Poaching Foundation supported by Dr Jane Goodall, the idea really took hold.’
Exclusively using social media, Facebook and messaging James Henderson asked his peers and followers for their input into the design of the watches. He then raised the initial investment through the crowd-funding. ‘There was such a freshness in the way that James engaged with everyone through social media,’ said Vanessa Burkitt. ‘ When it came to the funding, we were convinced by then and happy to contribute.’
The 3thirty3 concept gained traction and two watches were created. Besides the ‘Animal Watch’, a second model, the ‘Water Watch’ will raise funds for Drop in the Bucket, to provide clean water to schools and villages in Africa.
James said, ‘It is fundamental to the project that the product be of quality with a Swiss Ronda movement, and that it should be marketed at an accessible price with the charitable donation embedded from the start.’
‘I was impressed by James’ openness to ideas and to the pricing of the watches. We finally agreed a lean UK selling price of £333 so that maths worked with the company name of 3thirty3,’ said Vanessa Burkitt.
Using the democracy of the internet James turned a great idea into a great product with a great motivation.
‘It’s odd,‘ Vanessa Burkitt commented, ‘I have never met James. I have never spoken to him either on the phone or Skype. All our exchanges have been electronic which has been helpful given the time zone differences between Cambridge and California. I think it’s a real first for our industry in so many ways.’
More about the Animal Watch:
- Stainless Steel – 40 mm
- Sapphire Crystal
- Water resistant to 100 meters
- Ronda 515 Quartz movement.
- Hours, minutes, seconds, date.
- Lorica, stainless steel buckle.
- We are proud to partner with Hadley-Roma for all of our straps.
Coverage in industry leading magazine, Retail Jeweller in late 2014…