Tuesday, June 28, 2016

IWC Schaffhausen Supports School for Underprivileged Thai Youth

IWC Schaffhausen and the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation have inaugurated a new educational garden and media laboratory at the Hospitality & Catering Training Centre (HCTC) in Mae Sot in north-west Thailand. This facility provides underprivileged young Thais from the minority Karen population with the professional training they need to break the cycle of poverty and earn a living in the Thai hospitality sector.
It was made possible by the proceeds from an auction in November 2015, when the sale of a Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Edition “Le Petit Prince” in red gold raised CHF 47,500. It was the third joint auction organized by IWC and Sotheby’s Geneva to raise money for the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation.

IWC Schaffhausen entered into a partnership with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s descendants in 2006. Since then, the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer has released a selection of special limited-edition Pilot’s Watches to pay tribute to the legendary French pilot and his literary work. In recent years, auctions of exclusive timepieces to raise money for the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation’s projects have become a focal point of the collaboration. At the first auction in 2013, a unique Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” in platinum (Ref. IW502801) went under the hammer for CHF 173,000. The proceeds were used to finance two school buildings with a library in Ruluos, Cambodia.

In 2014, a Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “The Last Flight” (Ref. IW388005) sold for a winning bid of CHF 40,000. Those funds went into building recreation areas and a modern library at the children’s hospital in Curitiba, Brazil, which were officially opened by the Brazilian supermodel and IWC brand ambassador, Adriana Lima, in April 2015. Finally, in November 2015, a Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Edition “Le Petit Prince” (Ref. IW371810) changed hands for CHF 47,500.

The HCTC was set up in 2009 and focuses on helping young Thai people from the minority Karen population. Many of them are poorly integrated into the education system and speak little or no English. Because they lack marketable skills, they stand little chance of success in the job market. In a two-year educational programme, the school provides them with the necessary training they need to earn a living in the booming Thai hospitality sector.

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