Sustainable watches have historically fallen behind other luxury categories, such as fine jewelry and designer accessories, when it comes to offering eco-friendly talking points. However, recent developments show that the watch industry is catching up, and consumers are paying attention.
According to Scott Meller, president of L.A.’s Feldmar Watch Co., clients are increasingly aware of sustainability when making purchasing decisions. While traditional factors like movement, features, and aesthetics still drive watch sales, environmental consciousness is now a significant consideration. Meller notes that sustainability in a watch adds value, making it an important factor for consumers.
In a significant move, acclaimed actor Leonardo DiCaprio recently became an equity investor in Geneva-based watchmaker ID Genève, which has shown a dedication to circular economy principles, sustainable materials, and innovation. DiCaprio’s support further emphasizes the importance of sustainability in the luxury industry and beyond.
ID Genève is at the forefront of the sustainable watch movement, with its commitment to crafting timepieces using recycled steel remelted in a solar furnace, vegan and compostable straps, and packaging derived from mushrooms and seaweed. Their Circular C collection, released in September, features a bezel and dial made from recycled carbon fibers sourced from wind turbine manufacturing waste.
Meller highlights three common sustainable strategies adopted by watch brands: donating funds to environmental causes, forming partnerships with organizations that influence watch designs, and using recycled materials in the production process. Brands like Breitling and Bremont have been actively promoting their sustainable efforts, such as crafting NATO straps from ECONYL yarn made from repurposed ocean waste and designing watches to support ocean conservation.
Oris, in collaboration with the German company Bracenet, released a special-edition Aquis diver’s watch featuring a dial made from discarded fishing nets. This innovative approach turns abandoned nets into stylish and eco-friendly watch dials, further demonstrating the industry’s commitment to sustainable practices.
The incorporation of sustainable elements in watches is gaining momentum, and consumers are eager to support brands that align with their environmental values. As sustainability continues to be a key consideration for luxury purchases, the watch industry is expected to further embrace eco-friendly practices and innovations.
Overall, the shift towards sustainable watches signifies a positive step forward for the industry and a growing recognition of the importance of sustainable practices in luxury goods. As consumer awareness and demand for eco-friendly products increase, the future of sustainable watches looks promising.