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When watchmaking goes green - Part I

Things are gradually changing: more and more brands are thinking about their models with ecology in mind, whether in their business strategy or in the manufacture of components. Sustainability is therefore beginning to make its mark in the luxury sector.

At Watchdreamer, sustainability is a crucial issue, so naturally we're talking about it. From Breitling to Norqain (for the first part, the rest is coming soon), discover these brands that have started the movement! 

The Superocean Heritage 57 "Outerknown" by Breitling

Superocean Heritage 57 "Outerknown"
Breitling Superocean Heritage 57 "Outerknown"

Breitling is committed to the planet and it is on the strap that this is happening. The Superocean Heritage 57 watch has been designed in partnership with Kelly Slater's sustainable clothing brand, Outerknown. Breitling has dressed up the ceramic case with a Nato bracelet made of Econyl® thread. The name is apt, given that the bracelet is made from nylon residues from used fishing nets recovered from the oceans. The recycling process consists of melting the nets to transform them into fibres. This timepiece therefore meets three sustainability criteria: the partnership with Outerknown, the bracelet and the folding case, which is made from PET bottles.

Superocean Heritage 57 Outerknown Breitling x Kelly Slater
Breitling Superocean Heritage 57 "Outerknown" and Kelly Slater

The Superocean Heritage 57 "Outerknown" is available with a stainless steel case or in a version with an 18-carat red gold bezel, limited to 500 pieces. One thing is for sure, this watch will make you feel great whether you're on the beach waiting for a wave or observing the seabed, without plastic.

Chopard and its Alpine Eagle model

Chopard Alpine Eagle Acier Lucent 223
Chopard Alpine Eagle, Lucent 223 steel

Nature is at the centre of this watch: a symphony of details inspired by the greatness of the Alps and the majestic eagle. And precisely, the mountains are very important to Chopard: the Alpine Eagle also represents the firm's commitment to the protection of the Alpine environment through the Eagle Wings Foundation. But in this timepiece, what interests us most is its Lucent 223 steel. The result of a remelting process, this noble and unique material, composed entirely of recycled steel, required 4 years of research. REACH certified by the European Union, it is 50% harder than its compatriots and offers incomparable resistance. It can even be combined with surgical steel as it is hypoallergenic. With its superior homogeneous crystal structure, its purity allows it to reflect light in a unique way. In short, a reflective, incredibly strong metal that is as precious and complex as gold for environmentalists.

Chopard Alpine Eagle
Chopard Alpine Eagle

Fortis: sustainability at the centre

At the origins of the automatic watch, there is FORTIS. The independent Manufacture, based in Grenchen, has been a century old since 2012 and is a pioneer in various fields such as space and aviation. Known for its tool watches, the brand offers a revisited timepiece made of recycled steel with the sweet name of Flieger Midnight Blue. It features Synchroline technology, an orange marking at the top of the dial, between 55 and 05, so that pilots can synchronise themselves during formation flights, and a vertically brushed matt midnight blue dial. The Flieger is one of the most iconic of all aviation watches. Created in 1987, it is one of the cornerstones of the brand's collection. With this new model, the tool watch is redefined, only better.

Fortis Flieger Midnight Blue
Fortis Flieger Midnight Blue

And to further address the climate emergency, the Indigo Aviator strap is made from sustainable resources, tanned with olive leaf and handcrafted in Germany. Not bad, right?

Norqain and their new Freedom 60 Chrono

Living with a Norqain means living life to the fullest. It's about freedom, adventure and independence. These are values that the family-run company shares completely by following its own intuitions: like creating bracelets in partnership with Tide Ocean SA, a specialist in the upcycling of plastic waste linked to the ocean. The aim is to collect plastic bottles which are sorted, shredded into flakes, washed and compacted near the collection point. The flakes are then processed into smaller granules and mixed with a secret formula! The result? A recycled plastic that values sustainability.

Norqain x Tide
Norqain x Tide

On the aesthetic side, this new Freedom 60 chrono has been created with a 40mm case (compared to 43mm for its predecessor), an original two-layer dial with an upper anthracite sunray level and an outer ring as well as white lower sub-dials that give a nice contrast. This slim new version offers four strap choices, including the ivory-coloured linen fabric strap called "Nortide" (and therefore, recycled plastic). Norqain doesn't stop there, as the AppleSkin inner side is made from a material made from apple peels and cores. The leftover pulp is ground into a powder and then mixed with a pigment and a binder. This material is then dried until it turns into a PETA approved leather-like material. The product contains a minimum of 50% apple material. Yummy!

Norqain Freedom 60 Chrono
Norqain Freedom 60 Chrono

For these manufactures, the principle of the circular economy with recycled materials has become the norm. Very concerned, among other things, by the damage caused by plastic, they will increasingly offer timepieces that are good for the planet and good for morale.

In the second part of this article, let yourself be carried away by environmentally friendly mechanical watches. From ID Genève to Ulysse Nardin, there are some great discoveries to be made.