While most brands create a watch, then craft a story around the design, ZTAGE takes the exact opposite approach. ZTAGE embraces the stories, people, and organizations that are changing the world, using those stories to draw inspiration for the watch design. Hong Kong-based ZTAGE was so inspired by the stories in the recent nature documentary Our Planet that they decided to partner with the World Wildlife Fund to produce three models dedicated to helping preserve imperiled ecosystems across the globe. Each model is limited in production and pre-orders are only open from January 15-22, 2022.
Since 2017, ZTAGE has been driven by the yin and yang of innovation and tradition. By blending modern, innovative design with traditional Swiss artisanship, the brand believes it is able to produce timepieces of the highest possible quality. All design work is done in-house in Hong Kong, while everything from movement and watch assembly to five-position regulation (+/- 6 sec/day) takes place in Switzerland, the heart of traditional watchmaking. However, ZTAGE takes things a step further, shipping the watches back to their Hong Kong headquarters for a rigorous 240-hour inspection.
The documentary that inspired these watches, Our Planet, was produced through a collaboration among Netflix, Silverback Films, and WWF, and is narrated by the incomparable Sir David Attenborough. The film explores the wonders of the natural world and the urgent threats that are imperiling wildlife, threatening their very existence. ZTAGE heard the message loud and clear. Each new model represents unique habitats that are under threat — the ice-locked vistas of Antarctica, the rapidly dwindling tropical rainforests of the Amazon, and the immense grasslands of Africa, home to the greatest overland migrations on earth. A portion of the proceeds from each purchase will go directly to WWF-Hong Kong to assist in its efforts to protect these habitats for generations to come.
The first of the three models is the ZTAGE Hybrid Original Full Calendar – Glacier. Limited to just 200 pieces, this timepiece combines a full calendar complication (month, day, date, and moon phase) in a monochromatic package that mirrors the desolate icescapes broken only by the towering spires of the Transantarctic Mountains. The Full Calendar – Glacier is housed within ZTAGE’s custom four-side integrated case. Unlike anything else on the market, and requiring two years of development, the case is designed using a multi-layer construction that creates a robust and eye-catching visual effect.
Like viewing the world beneath the Antarctic ice, the translucent dial reveals the Swiss-made ETA 2892-A2 Automatic movement and Dubois-Depraz DD90000 module powering the watch. Just as the monochromatic landscape of Antarctica can transform into a multi-hued spectacle under the glow of the aurora australis, the Full Calendar – Glacier pops at night with a green-hued moonphase complete with a starry night sky, contrasted by pale blue hands and markers and finished with ZTAGE’s signature lume pip on the crown.
Escaping the frigid expanse of the Antarctic, we travel next to the sweltering amalgam of life that is the Amazon. Covering over 7,000,000 km2 of South America, the Amazon houses the greatest biodiversity on earth — from birds to beetles to trees, the Amazon is bursting with species found nowhere else on the planet. Sadly, deforestation is rampant; over 17% of the Amazon rainforest has already been lost, resulting in the loss of both biodiversity and the habitats that support the many indigenous communities that have relied on the ecosystem for millennia.
The deep greens of the ZTAGE Off Ground GMT – Amazonia evoke the lush and verdant hues of the landscape. Limited to just 300 pieces, the Amazonia comes mounted on a double-layer carbon nylon/FKM rubber strap color-matched to the greens of the dial. It’s an ideal choice for a 300m water-resistant watch that’s ready for any adventure.
Housed in the same 44mm case of the stainless steel multi-part case as the Glacier, the Amazonia uses a deep-black PVD coating that gives the case a stealthy look, perfect for exploring the unknown. No matter how deep you trek into the jungle, keeping track of home is made easy with GMT functionality and world times clearly indicated across the bezel.
ZTAGE has opted for a sandwich dial on its GMT watches, the deep green from the lower layer popping against the matte black of the dial. Even at night, the Amazonia remains highly legible thanks to hands and indices amply coated with Swiss Super-LumiNova. Powering the Amazonia is the Caliber 1100 (modified Soprod) automatic movement that beats at 28.8kbph and features a 42-hour power reserve. Like every ZTAGE watch, the Amazonia is regulated to +/- 6 seconds/day accuracy and fully tested at the brand’s headquarters for 240 hours.
Journeying 10,000km east across the Atlantic, we leave the lush and raucous understory of the Amazon basin, traveling now to the scorching plains of the African savannah to find ZTAGE’s final release in the collection, the Off Ground GMT – Savanna. Home to some of the most iconic species on the planet, the African savannah is a land of change and transformation. Each year, millions of animals — from elephants to wildebeests — undertake one of the longest and most arduous migrations in the world, tracking the seasonal rains that transform a parched landscape into a veritable oasis.
ZTAGE was inspired by this incredible landscape and mind-bending biological phenomena in its creation of the GMT – Savanna. In contrast to the deep greens of the GMT – Amazonia, this version of the Off Ground GMT utilizes a tan colorway that evokes the endless plains of the African grasslands. With a color-matched integrated strap, complete with custom clasp, the GMT – Savanna is right at home tracking zebras and giraffes on the African plains.
All three models in the ZTAGE x WWF collection are available for pre-order from January 15-22, 2022. The Hybrid Original – Full Calendar Glacier is limited to 200 pieces and available for 3,800 CHF, while the Off Ground GMT – Amazonia and Savanna are limited to 300 pieces each and available for 1,980 CHF. A portion of the proceeds from each sale will be donated to WWF-Hong Kong in support of conservation efforts in these imperiled ecosystems. To learn more about ZTAGE watches and pre-order your watch, visit the brand’s website.
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