Greener Consumer? Here Are Some Watches That Make a Difference

Did you know a single plastic bottle lasts 450 years in the ocean? Well several watch brands are doing all they can to recycle, re-use plastic and other discarded products and so produce greener watches. We take a look at the work that is going on.

Nautica has developed pioneering textiles that seek to minimize environmental impact. Using their revolutionary fabric REVIVE 1, made by 30 common plastic bottles per linear metre, Nautica hope that consumers will support this recycling idea and buy a watch with a greener strap, rather than conventional leather or steel. More info here.

The Panerai Mike Horn edition uses recycled products in the strap and the case is made from recycled titanium too. The Panerai factory in Switzerland is also carbon dioxide neutral by the way.

Junghans Max Bill solar

Choose Solar – not battery power

If you like modern watches then the short answer to the question about consuming resources is simple; choose a solar powered watch rather than a lithium battery watch. Lithium is generally extracted in poorer countries, via extraction from salt flats. It’s a very wasteful method, using billions of gallons of water and then the lithium has to be transported to the battery factory of course – that may be a long way from Brazil, Tibet, Bolivia or Argentina.

So if you buy a solar watch the battery cell usually lasts about 10-12 years instead, with the daylight providing the recharging power on a daily basis. Big names in solar watches include Seiko, Citizen, Junghans, Tissot and Casio.

Going solar doesn’t sound like a big step forward from regular quartz watches, but is arguably the biggest single environmental change that the global watch industry could make.

More Trees, Cleaner Oceans – It’s All Good

Woodwatch in the UK have been pioneers in wooden watch cases and straps. When you buy a Woodwatch the company plants a tree, so replacing the wood that’s being used – and then some. It’s win-win baby. More here.

Mondaine are now using solar panels on the factory roof, which they say produces 80% of the power needed to produce their famous Swiss Railway themed designs. In addition the 2020 Mondaine watch range features straps made from recycled plastics.

Swiss giant Richemont Group introduced a Green Handbook last year, which looks at every detail in the watch production and distribution chain. All the Richemont brands will use around 30% less packaging materials from 2020 onwards by the way. Chopard are another brand looking carefully at where raw materials come from and announced last year that they are only using gold produced under ethical conditions.

Blancpain, Omega and Oris are all famous for making dive watches and so all three brands are heavily involved in various marine clean-up, conservation and restoration of marine habitat projects around the globe. Oris have some interesting data on their support for Pacific Garbage Screening here by the way, well worth reading.

It’s a beautiful world out there – let’s help preserve it.




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