Interview: Time and Tide’s Andrew McUtchen on Watch & Act!, an Auction to Benefit Australia’s Bushfire Relief Efforts –

As many readers are likely aware, Australia is currently struggling through one of the worst brush fire seasons in recorded history. The devastation has been widespread, not only putting human lives in danger, but wreaking havoc on wildlife and property throughout huge swaths of the continent. 

Andrew McUtchen of Australia-based Time+Tide has put together an auction to help raise money to benefit firefighting and wildlife rescue organizations that have been stretched to their absolute limit as they work to minimize damage and loss caused by the fires. The Watch & Act! auction features a selection of limited edition and unique watches, some with compelling and personal stories behind them. We spoke to Andrew about the auction and how it all came together.

First things first: how are you and your Time+Tide colleagues doing in the wake up of the brush fires that have been burning in Australia?

We are all okay. We live in Melbourne, which is quite a distance from the fires in our state. The fires have largely been in the east in a place called Gippsland. However, like millions of Australians, we’ve had days of choking smoke with air quality at hazardous levels. For the first year ever, there’s been almost daily reminders of what our country, our people and our wildlife is going through. 

Photo credit: Martin Van Stoll

How did the idea for Watch & Act! take shape? 

We did a little auction of one of our own Doxa models for the bushfire relief appeal and it sold for 4X retail. We could tell people wanted to contribute. They were feeling helpless. Bidding on a watch with all proceeds going to bushfire relief gave them a sense of doing something about the situation. Brands also saw the auction and once the offers started to flow, we thought we’d do a bigger auction with many more lots. 

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