Backes & Strauss is delighted to announce the upcoming release of The Vitesse Collection of watches in collaboration with Her Royal Highness (HRH) Princess Michael of Kent. Inspired by HRH’s lifelong passion and knowledge for the plight of Cheetah’s across the African continent, these exclusive watches show Backes & Strauss at its creative best while supporting vital efforts to preserve this extraordinary species.
“Time is of the essence to protect what remains of the worldwide Cheetah population, which currently sits at around 7,000 and continues to decline,” HRH said on the announcement. “I am especially passionate about this collaboration as it will raise awareness of the situation and benefit the Endangered Species Centre in South Africa and the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia.”
HRH’s interest in Cheetah dates back to her childhood in Mozambique, where she raised an orphaned cheetah cub named Vitesse, whom she hand-reared and later released into the wild after teaching her to survive on her own.
These experiences were the subject of 2017 autobiographical book A Cheetah’s Tale, which also explored the incredible bonds between animals and humans. The Princess also currently serves as the Royal Patron for both the benefitting organizations.
“This collaboration with HRH is the latest extremely exciting project for Backes & Strauss,” added company CEO Vartkess Knadjian. “As well as giving us the opportunity to produce stunning and unique timepieces, it will also help raise urgently needed funds to support conservation projects aimed at saving these beautiful cats from extinction.”
The launch Vitesse Collection showcases several ‘Métiers d'art’ dials with hand painted cheetahs on enamel, mother-of-pearl, silk and green jade. There is also a dial with hand engraved cheetahs on a mother of pearl background. In addition there is an creative bezel set with Natural vivid yellow and black diamonds mimicking the skin pattern of the Cheetah.
Size: 33 mm Movement: Mechanical Case: 18kt Rose gold, 136 diamonds, 1.16cts, case back open, decorated movement Dial: Green jade gemstone dial featuring the hand-painted cheetahs Bracelet: Alligator leather strap Crown: The Jewel in the Crown, 0.06cts Display: Hours & Minutes Total Carats: 137 diamonds, 1.22cts