How luxury watch brands are more sustainable today

The jewelry industry is getting greener and luxury watch brands are becoming more sustainable

By Diane Small

By now we all know that sustainability is imperative for the survival of any business, including luxury businesses. This is true for handbags, clothing and jewelry, including luxury watches.

One could argue that the finest luxury watches are already sustainable in the sense that they are “slow fashion” pieces, often meant to be passed down from generation to generation. And in the past, that has certainly always been the case.

Until the 1960s, watches were 100% mechanical and were highly valued as “investment pieces”. But they still used mined materials that were often obtained in a very “dirty” ways. They also usually had leather straps. To make matters worse, newer quartz watches created in the 1960s introduced batteries that contained heavy metals such as mercury and leadwhich pose a threat to the environment if not disposed of properly.

Fortunately, to stay competitive in the market, luxury watch manufacturers today are using various eco-friendly strategies to be kinder to the planet. Here are five great examples of how luxury watch brands are more sustainable than ever.

5 Ways Luxury Watch Brands Are Embracing Sustainability

1. Use of natural materials and certified sources

A nonprofit organization known as the Responsible Jewelery Council (RJC) was founded in 2005 to promote ethical and environmental practices regarding the source of expensive metals and stones used in jewelry production. Conscious consumers expect luxury watch companies to follow the guidelines they have established to ensure that the materials they use come from “green” suppliers.

As a result, some of the best high-end watchmakers such as Chopard, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Cartier have joined RJC’s efforts to contribute to these sustainable practices. For example, since July 2018, Chopard only buys gold from suppliers certified by the RJC. The brand has gone even further by investing in the gold mining industry, but only in sustainable businesses. They also help small mines obtain their Fair Mined certifications.

how luxury watch brands are more sustainable

2. Fund ocean conservation

Did you know that each year, almost 8 million tons of plastic waste enter our oceans, destroying more than a quarter of the living corals of the planet? To help combat this, several luxury brand watches have stepped up.

For example, Swiss watchmaker Blancpain created its first diver’s watch (called Fifty Fathoms) in 1953 under the name Fifty Fathoms. Today, they are passionate about ocean conservation. In 2011, the brand launched its Ocean Commitment campaign, and since then it has funded 18 marine exploration missions helping to create more than four million square kilometers of marine protected areas.

Rolex is also a longtime supporter of ocean exploration. They fund fellowships in Australasia, North America and Europe to work with leaders in fields related to marine conservation.

Omega is also committed to supporting the preservation of ocean health. They have partnered with the GoodPlanet Foundation, which mainly deals with the organization of events to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable development, such as the film festival on ecology “GoodPlanet” in Rio de Janeiro. Omega financed the award-winning documentary Planet Ocean, which was screened at this festival. when you get dressed and complete your look with a Omega watchyou can rest assured that your purchase will help support the GoodPlanet organization.

Finally, luxury watch brand Panerai funded Mike Horn’s Pangea Exploration, during which he sailed to every continent in a yacht made from recycled materials, to draw attention to the issue. ocean plastics.

how luxury watch brands are more sustainable

3. Contribute to forest conservation

But it’s not just the seas that luxury watchmakers are trying to protect. In 1992, Audemars Piguet created the Audemars Piguet Foundation, which contributes to the conservation of the world’s forests. Their recent projects involve efforts to restore forests destroyed by deforestation and fires in India, Namibia and in the mangroves of Senegal.

Gucci is another watch brand aiming to save the planet with the help of trees. They work with the UN REDD+ guidelines to do this. REDD+ is a UN program to reduce emissions from deforestation. REDD+ projects offset Gucci’s carbon emissions through forest conservation initiatives involving the preservation and restoration of approximately 1.1 million hectares of forests in Kenya, Peru, Indonesia and Cambodia.

4. Go vegan

As more and more consumers demand that their fashion be cruelty-free, more and more watchmakers are questioning their use of leather. For example, Officine Panerai was asked by Protection Suisse Des Animaux to control the use of leather for its watch straps. In Switzerland, the use of leather for watch straps is prohibited unless the source comes from a certified farm.

While most luxury watch companies are encouraged to use more ethical leather alternatives to help save the planet, others simply avoid the use of dead animals.

Emerging watch brands such as Ksana, Dan & Mez, Nordgreen and Votch are leading the way in creating vegan leather watches. And we’re not just talking plastic straps here either. No, these brands instead use stainless steel, wood, or the innovative vegan material called Piñatex, which is made from pineapple fiber waste. We appreciate the growing number of luxury watch brands creating vegan collections!

how luxury watch brands are more sustainable

5. Think outside the box

There are many other ways luxury watch brands are embracing sustainability.

Piaget, for example, has implemented electric charging parking spaces and an electric bicycle program for its employees to reduce car emissions. They also fund a few projects globally that involve renewable energy sources and energy efficiency.

Going back to Gucci, they were one of the first luxury brands to adopt the Environmental Profit & Loss (EP&L) account, which monitors all GHG emissions from its business. In addition to having adhered to the “Fashion Pact”, which fashion brands have signed to commit to implementing more sustainable practices, Gucci has implemented its own 10-year sustainability strategy, aimed at reducing to halve GHG emissions by 2025. claims it is now fully carbon neutral.

how luxury watch brands are more sustainable

The watch industry is not yet fully sustainable. However, we appreciate how luxury watch brands are more sustainable and hope they only improve on this in the future.

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