Breguet has long supported Race for Water and the preservation of the seas. Beauty-brand owner Christal Leung has never hit pause in her pursuit to make her products sustainable. She tells us about her business vision and why Breguet is a brand she feels aligned with.
Sometimes the best collaborations happen in the most unexpected ways. Christal Leung, a skincare formulator and the founder of homegrown beauty brands Skin Need and B.Y.O.B, first held a Breguet watch at Prestige’s 40 Under 40 photoshoot, which the young entrepreneur was taking part in. The watch she picked, the Reine de Naples 8918, caught her eye for its striking burgundy colour – “the colour of my wedding bouquet,” Leung says.
She was instantly attracted to the oval-shaped bezel and the waythe Breguet numerals follow the contours of the case almost quirkily. The Tahitian mother-of-pearl dial, and the pavé diamonds add a touch of glamour to this exquisite watch. “Although I spend days in the laboratory and on the production line, in evenings and business meetings, I always love an accessory that elevates the elegance of my style,” says Leung.
She spends most of her time in the lab in T-shirts, sweatshirts and sweatpants that she can move around in with a lab coat on top. Comfort is key, but she’s also driven by classic style and, more importantly, looks for independent labels and brands with interesting stories that resonate with her own values, especially in ethical sourcing and sustainability.
“I believe in quality over quantity, not only as a personal preference but also as a responsible consumer,” she says. “When it comes to selecting watches and jewellery, I value exquisite craftsmanship and classic design that stand the test of time and continue to be standout pieces as I wear them time and again.“
I also gravitate towards pieces with heritage and stories, or designs that embody certain values and meaning, so I’m not surprised to find myself drawn to the Breguet Reine de Naples collection, after knowing it’s inspired by Caroline, the Queen of Naples,” she adds. The appreciation is mutual. The Breguet team were equally fascinated by Leung’s story, and the ways in which she’s restructured her mother’s business, as well as built her own, around notions of true sustainability.“
Years ago, when I joined my mother’s beauty company,I immediately eliminated the use of ingredients associated with animal products and testing, regardless of how popular placental-extract serum was, because it was simply unethical,” says Leung.In her own lines, she also sticks with vegan products, and has made massive inroads to reduce packaging waste, from eliminating laminated plastic boxes and shrink wraps, and reducing plastic packaging by 45 percent, to using recycled plastic.
Leung was raised with a strong notion that anything she dedicated herself to she must leave better than what it was, adding that “even though it’s not entirely our own fault, the moment of revelation rests on our time, and we have to make the right decision and act accordingly.”
Breguet, similarly, has always made a point of supporting its partners in their preservation endeavours. The Race for Water, in which Breguet is the main partner, is a Swiss project that contributes to marine research while proving to the world that there are already concrete solutions to ocean preservation. Breguet timekeepers have played a pivotal role in maritime navigation since the 19th century, and it’s now of utmost importance that the brand continues playinga part in preserving our oceans for the future.
Race for Water’s vessel Odyssey, which is powered by the sun, wind and water and carries 22 scientists, is currently on its second world tour. So far, it’s visited 18 countries, where its crew have shared its findings and solutions on ocean pollution with politicians, NGOs and the public.“
We’re inseparable from our environment, with our quality and stability of life dependent upon its resources and climate stability,” says Leung. “The human journey on Earth started off being adaptive to the environment to exploiting its vast resources … until climate change hit and we see species going extinct, and natural catastrophes occurring more frequently and more unpredictably. It’s time we learn to adaptto nature again, as what we thought we can rely on is at great risk.
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