Fashion with a conscience?

  • The Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle Tourbillon, a unique and expensive watch sold for a good cause. Credit: Fonderie 47
  • Inspired by... a tank? Credit: Rebellion
Date:8 April 2013 Author: Alan Duggan Tags:, ,


As most of us know, the AK-47 assault rifle is a very deadly weapon indeed, being responsible for killing and maiming so many people – including countless non-combatants in conflict zones, not to mention a whole bunch of unlucky security guards closer to home – that one’s horror meter swings way past the red line. (Please don’t lecture me on how it needs someone to pull the trigger… I know how rifles work.)

However, this is a not a diatribe on the evils of unregulated small-arms sales or a lament on man’s inhumanity to man. It’s about the Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle Tourbillon, a unique and very expensive timepiece that makes a bold fashion statement while supporting a worthy cause. Only 20 will be made, 10 in 18-carat rose gold and 10 in 18-carat white gold, each selling for a cool R3,15 million.

Here’s where it gets interesting: the money raised from the sale of the watches will be used to acquire and destroy AK-47s and other assault rifles from conflict zones and to fund educational programmes for young people living there, including child soldiers. So far, Fonderie 47 has funded the destruction of over 30 000 assault rifles in Africa alone.

Intent on keeping it real, company founder Peter Thum has incorporated small parts of the AK-47 in the watch. The ratchet wheel is capped by a steel plate from a destroyed rifle and the weapon’s serial number is engraved alongside. We’re told that each watch sale will fund the destruction of 1 000 assault rifles in Africa. It will be interesting to see how many people care…

Okay, now for a slightly weird alternative, this one possibly inspired by a certain masked crime-fighter. It’s the T-1000 Gotham by Rebellion, featuring a titanium case and a look described by its creators as “similar to that of a tank”. Its mechanism is available in a choice of black, gold, red, blue and purple, and it comes with a “secret weapon” ­– a 1 000-hour power reserve made possible by six barrels hand-wound in parallel via a central propshaft driving two chains. Er, okay…

Source: Fonderie 47

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