Hublot Classic Fusion Racing Grey 45 511.NX.7071.LR
Sustainable development, circular economy, recycled raw materials: these are terms that we will hear more and more within the luxury watchmaking industry. And that sounds good!
But what is circular economy? Definition: the circular economy is characterized by the efficient use of raw materials for as long as possible. Closing material and product cycles means that raw materials are permanently reused. All of this with a focus on short circuits. Okay, but what does this mean in practice?
The brand is among the first big names in watchmaking to highlight the importance of sustainable development. An ecological awareness that guided the design of the experimental model, the Submersible eLAB-ID™, made of 98.6% recycled materials! It is thanks to a list of suppliers as long as the arm revealed by the brand (a rather rare occurrence) that Panerai has achieved this technical feat. From the case, sandwich dial and bridges that are made of EcoTitanium™, a titanium alloy composed of over 80% pure recycled content, and continuing with the hands resorting to 100% SuperLuminova™, most of the key components of this watch contain materials that have obtained a second life. And that's not counting the 100% recycled silicon for the movement's escapement. From the sapphire glass to the hands, everything goes!
Alongside this conceptual model limited to 30 pieces, Panerai has also launched the Luminor Marina eSteel™ as well as the Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel™ (one of our Watches and Wonders 2022 favourites). The brand is "ecologico" to the core, and that's a credit to it. The Planet says thank you, and so do we.
Oris has also reached the plunge with the Acquis Date Upcycle watch. It's a pretty crazy and unique watch, considering that its coloured dial is made of recycled PET and that this process produces random patterns. No matter how hard you look for, you won't find two identical dials. The watch is housed in a stainless steel case and a unidirectional rotating bezel with a scratch-resistant grey ceramic insert. This dive watch, unveiled in 2021, is stylish and borders on a small piece of art. It's the "artist-diver" who will be pleased!
Pssst: the brand also offers bracelets and cases made of recycled plastic as well as boxes made of seaweed! The Manufacture also supports numerous actions to protect the oceans.
Sustainability elevated to excellence is what the brand is advocating with its 44mm Diver Net timepiece. The result of a partnership with the French company FIL&FAB, this conceptual watch is totally innovative and "upcycled". For the creation of the case, the middle, the back and the decoration of the bezel, Ulysse Nardin has trusted 3 young people from Brittany who have created the first recycling network for fishing nets in France. Discarded nets are collected from ports and transformed into polyamide granules. For the strap, the Manufacture naturally opts for a PET plastic from the sea, transformed by... a little guesswork: the Swiss company TIDE. As for the sapphire crystal, it has been replaced by a transparent ceramic glass, again with the aim of improving the environmental balance. From fishing nets to wrists, there is only one step.
Mechanical watches with maximum responsibility and total transparency on the value chain, that's what the founders of the watchmaking start-up have managed to do by creating ID Genève in December 2020. With its strong concept, the brand is blowing a wind of eco-responsibility into the watchmaking industry and is offering its first model that is 100% derived from the circular economy: Circular One.
4441 steel comes from the recycling of steel shavings in the Jura and has a carbon footprint 10 times smaller than its standard compatriot. The Jura company recovers this material, which is sorted, flashed and stored until it is recast. Production is 98% Swiss, with the remaining 2% travelling between Italy, Spain and England. The bracelet is made of vegan textile and comes from skins and grape seeds discarded during wine production. Toxic solvents, heavy metals and hazardous substances are not invited to the production process. As for the packaging, it is made of mushrooms and is totally compostable. What about the movement? Well, it's the well-known ETA 2824. The brand buys back stocks and then the calibre is dismantled, cleaned, reassembled and tested. The result? As good as new!
ID Genève continues to do even better in 2022 with a leaf leather strap made from urban plant waste collected in London parks, which is also compostable! And by proposing a second model, Circular S, whose 4441 steel comes from a solar-powered oven. Recycling and short circuits are the key words of this brand which has all the makings of a great one.
As you will have understood, the recycling of raw materials and the regionalization of production will be the watchwords of the coming decades for the Swiss watch industry. This is just the beginning!