Being green is at the forefront of things more than ever before. Everyone wants to reduce their eco footprint by recycling trash, driving electric cars, or simply trying to live a more waste-free life. Luckily, more and more watch manufacturers are joining the cause. Clever marketing move? A genuine act on their part? That’s really anyone’s guess, although we think it’s the latter. That’s why we’re discussing some notable watchmakers and their initiatives. Let’s specifically take a closer look at some of those focusing on our seas and waterways.
1. Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Sylt Edition
Blancpain’s bread and butter is dive watches. The legendary Swiss watch atelier is known mainly for its timepieces connected to ocean exploration. As such, they need to highlight issues concerning the seas and their macrocosms. Just a few months ago, Blancpain released the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Sylt Edition, a watch of only 25 pieces in collaboration with the brand’s local retailer on the German island of Sylt. While mostly known as the favored vacation spot of German high society, it is also the home of many migratory birds. These species annually travel tens of thousands of miles. The Rantumbecken reserve on Sylt is their resting and mating place; its preservation is thus crucial for the future. The nonprofits aquatil and the Jordsand Association are collaborating to protect this area and create a habitat for these birds. Blancpain is providing financial support while raising awareness for this great cause.
2. Maurice Lacroix Aikon #tide
Maurice Lacroix may not be the prestigious company Blancpain is, but their initiative is just as commendable. Their campaign aims to clean our oceans and recycle waste. So far, this is nothing new, with other brands having taken similar action. And although the ocean plastic upcycling specialist company #tide has partnered with and been working with others in the industry for many years, this Maurice Lacroix campaign is different.
To begin with, they don’t use recycled waste to create boxes or nylon straps. Instead, both the case and strap of the Maurice Lacroix Aikon #tide are made of this material. The watch’s packaging is also clever: the Aikon #tide comes in a coffee cup made of recycled plastic, and which itself comes in a small #tide bag that you can use to carry your phone or wallet in. The outer box is made of recycled paper. The watch also comes with no manual, but a QR code printed on the watch holder instead to save paper.
3. Oris Aquis New York Harbor Limited Edition
We can’t present a selection of eco-friendly brands without mentioning Oris. The Swiss manufacturer has been a critical player and role model for other brands in this area for decades. Oris supports numerous projects and charities, from coral restoration (Oris Aquis Carysfort Reef Limited Edition) to ocean cleaning (Oris Aquis Clean Ocean Limited Edition). However, one of our favorite projects is the Oris Aquis New York Harbor Limited Edition. In collaboration with the nonprofit Billion Oyster Project, they aim to restore one billion oysters by 2035 in the New York Harbor. Oysters are natural water filters, so having a healthy oyster reef helps a body of water’s biodiversity, while also protecting the shoreline from storm surges. The Oris Aquis New York Harbor is a 2,000-piece collection that raises awareness and funding for the Billion Oyster Project in New York. It’s just one of many Oris timepieces that help us make our Earth a cleaner and hopefully better place.
Thankfully, there are many other great examples of these types of initiatives in the watch industry. While it’s important to remember where a brand comes from and pay tribute to its heritage with limited editions, it’s just as important to raise awareness for social or ecological issues in today’s world. Let’s hope we see many more similar projects by watch brands in the future!