Oris continues its mission to conserve water, the source of life, with a watch supporting a project based at Siberia’s vast freshwater lake
A deeper issue
Oris’s mission to protect and conserve water moves to Siberia and to the world’s largest source of fresh water – Lake Baikal
As we begin a new decade, the vital role of water has never been more apparent. While some parts of the world suffer because of droughts and fires, others are washed away by filthy flood waters. And according to a joint report by the World Health Organization and UNICEF last year, 785 million people still ndon’t have clean water close to home.
At Oris, we believe we have a shared duty to behave responsibly and to look after our world and our climate. We are on a mission to bring ‘Change for the Better’, working with non-profit organisations and conservations agencies all over the world, with a particular focus on water, the oceans and the life they contain. We believe that if we don’t act now, it may be too late, but that together we can make a real difference.
“Lake Baika l is the world’s deepest lake at 1,642 metres and holds 20 per cent of its fresh lake water reserves”
With that in mind, Oris is proud to present the Oris Lake Baikal Limited Edition. It’s based on the high-performance Oris Aquis diver’s watch and made in partnership with the Lake Baikal Foundation. Sales of the watch will help raise funds in support of ‘Point No.1’, a Lake Baikal conservation project run by the Scientific Research Institute of Biology at Irkutsk State University that’s also the longest-running and most detailed environmental water monitoring project in scientific history. ‘Point No.1’ is supported by the foundation.
Siberia’s Lake Baikal, which scientists believe is 25 million years old, is hugely important. It holds 20 per cent of the world’s fresh lake water reserves. It’s the deepest lake in the world at 1,642 metres, some 300 rivers flow “L ake Baika l is the world’s deepest lake at 1,642 metres and holds 20 per cent of its fresh lake water reserves” into it, and it’s home to thousands of species of endemic plants and animals. But it’s under threat from man-made pollution, much of it created by careless industry.
‘Water is the source of life,’ says Rolf Studer, Oris Co-CEO. ‘We believe passionately in conserving it for future generations, and also in acting responsibly as citizens of the world to bring positive change. Every year we seek out pioneering organisations who share these values and work to protect the world’s water.
‘We’re very proud to be working with the Lake Baikal Foundation and to be supporting the work of ‘Point No.1’ as it continues its vital research and raises awareness of pollution and the urgent need for clean water.’
Making the Point
‘Point No.1’ is an historic scientific research centre that has been monitoring Lake Baikal’s freshwater reserves for 75 years. Its vital work needs constant funding
It’s a source of great comfort that despite the ups and downs of 20th century politics, ‘Point No.1’, a scientific research centre based at Lake Baikal, is still going. It has survived perestroika, the fall of the USSR and the rebuilding of the Russian state, not to mention countless scientific advances. ‘Point No.1’ was founded in 1945 and is recognised as the longest-running and most detailed environmental water monitoring project in scientific history. Three-quarters of a century on, its work continues to breathe hope into the future of Lake Baikal.
Year-round, a team of seven scientists work at ‘Point No.1’. Work starts with collecting samples from the water in summer and from the ice in winter. Conditions vary wildly depending on the season – average temperatures at Lake Baikal range from -21°C in winter to 11°C in summer.
These samples are then taken to a laboratory where they are filtered and processed. The scientists identify zooplankton and phytoplankton, and then record and process the data. From this, they observe patterns that help them monitor the lake’s health.
It’s vital work, but the project is routinely threatened with closure due to lack of funds. One of its backers is the Lake Baikal Foundation, Oris’s new partner. Sales of the Oris Lake Baikal Limited Edition will help fund the centre’s work. The watch, a powerful symbol of the independent Swiss watch company’s mission to make a real difference, is limited to 1,999 pieces, marking the year Russia adopted the Baikal Law protecting the lake.
‘We’re proud to support the foundation and to be contributing to the continued operation of ‘Point No.1’ and the long-term health of the lake,’ says Rolf Studer, Oris Co-CEO. ‘Together, we can bring positive change to the environment.’
Breaking the ice
Anastasia Tsvetkova, CEO of the Lake Baikal Foundation, explains ‘Point No.1’s mission and the impact of the Oris partnership
What is ‘Point No.1’?
‘Point No.1’ is a short name for the Pelagic Station No. 1 located in Southern Baikal, not far from the Biological Station of the Institute of Biology of the Irkutsk State University. ‘Point No.1’ is also a name for the long-term ecological monitoring project at Lake Baikal launched in 1945.
When was it founded and why?
The monitoring program was launched by the world famous Lake Baikal researcher Professor Mikhail Kozhov in February 1945, during the Second World War. This was long before the term ‘ecological monitoring’ became widely used. Its goal was to observe the unique ecosystem of the lake and to prevent and react to the challenges and possible threats to the ecocommunity by taking phytoplankton and zooplankton samples. Another goal was to study the lake’s omul fish and to increase its productivity. The data collected is recorded in a unique and highly valuable database that’s available to the worldwide scientific community.
How many people work there?
Currently, seven people work on the project: four specialists in the laboratory and three people on the ship taking samples. However, to continue the research properly, we really need 15 specialists working on the project.
How is it funded?
Currently the project is run by the Institute of Biology at Irkutsk State University, which raises 2.5 million rubles every year, but we need to 15 million to push the work forward. But that’s not the only threat to closure – we’re also short of the next generation of specialists who can take the work on.
What is ‘Point No.1’ observing?
Scientists working on the ‘Point No.1’ project are observing water temperature, water transparency, composition and number of plankton inhabiting the lake.The Lake Baikal Foundation also supports a number of other comprehensive projects involved in water research or in developing innovative technologies that will help us study Lake Baikal’s microorganisms and their potential.
Has ‘Point No.1’ made any pioneering discoveries during its history?
Yes, too many to list, affecting such things as seasonal dynamics, long-term changes, interannual variations and global climate change.
What sort of practical steps?
One of the things we’d like to do to mitigate the risks facing the lake is to build sanctioned tourist camps (for example, introducing properly managed toilets and wastewater treatment). We’d also like to see wastewater treatment plants installed (at least for domestic sewage) for every settlement in the watershed basin of the lake. More broadly, we want to eliminate the use of phosphorus containing detergents, which contaminate the lake and cause great harm to the life in it. And, of course, it is urgent that we continue to observe the state of the lake. Currently, our observation involves monitoring the plankton (which determines the functioning of the lake’s ecosystem as a whole), but we’d like to develop other programmes that will conserve the long-term health of the lake.
What are the greatest challenges to the project’s future?
Simple. A lack of funding. To run the project smoothly and effectively, we need funding of 15 million rubles a year.
What difference does the partnership with Oris make to the foundation’s work?
Firstly, it will help raise awareness of the project and draw attention to important scientific data. It will also raise the profile of the global ecosystem and how it’s affected by Lake Baikal. But the big thing for us is that the support generated by sales of the Oris Lake Baikal Limited Edition means we can guarantee the project’s 2020 funding. Voyage of discovery Anastasia (left) is leading the work of the Lake Baikal Foundation We now know the temperature in the lake has risen by one degree Celcius during the last 70 years, a considerable increase.
Why is Lake Baikal so important?
Lake Baikal contains 20 per cent of the world’s fresh water, and more than 50 per cent of the planet’s drinkable liquid freshwater. It is a unique water reproduction factory.
What are the greatest threats to the lake and how can they be averted?
There are several: nutrient inputs from tributaries; inputs from the atmosphere; and anthropogenic impact from tourism, sewage and local pollution. Overcoming these starts with education, but we also have to regulate nature usage and take practical steps locally.
“ We know the temperature in the lake has risen by one degree Celsius during the last 70 years”
Lake Baikal Limited Edition
Oris’s latest limited edition is based on the Aquis diver’s watch. Only 1,999 pieces will be made, marking the year Russia passed the Baikal Law
Case Multi-piece stainless steel case, unidirectional rotating bezel with ceramic insert
Size 43.50 mm (1.713 inches)
Dial Gradient blue
Luminous material Hands an indices filled with Super-LumiNova®
Top glass Sapphire, domed on both sides, anti-reflective coating inside
Case back Stainless steel, screwed, special Lake Baikal insert and engravings
Operating devices Stainless steel screw-in security crown with crown protection
Bracelet Multi-piece stainless steel metal bracelet, folding clasp with extension
Water resistance 30 bar (300 m)
Number Oris 733
Functions Centre hands for hours, minutes and seconds, date window at 6 o’clock, instantaneous date, date corrector, fine timing device and stop-second
Power Reserve 38 hours
Limited edition 1,999 pieces, each presented in a box made of environmentally friendly cardboard