5 watches that are giving our planet more time

words Al Woods

With the climate crisis a real concern, we are all looking for ways to minimise our impact on the planet. There are some obvious changes we can make, like switching our car keys for some cycling shorts and helmet, and other, often overlooked, alternatives we can adopt for a more eco-friendly life. 

posh watches

photo Cloud.Shepherd

Our choice of wrist accessory is one of these. How many times have you glanced down at your watch and wondered whether it is having an impact on the time left for our earth? Our guess is not many. 

But to really combat the climate crisis, this needs to change. So, with that in mind, here are five sustainable watches that are giving our planet more time…

Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Aqualand 

For anyone who has looked into sustainable watches before, you’re bound to have come across Citizen watches. The brand is known for its innovative, environmentally friendly, Eco-Drive technology, which powers watches with energy from light. 

Following the oil crisis in 1973, Citizen embarked on a journey to develop watches driven by a clean energy source. Eco-Drive was the result of three years’ commitment to the cause. The technology that sits within its watches converts energy from any light source, no matter whether it’s natural or artificial, to power to keep their hands ticking. 

As a result, the brand is eradicating the need for use of throw away components, especially batteries, which can have incredibly damaging impacts on the earth. 

But what’s more, it’s not only the basic functionality of accurate timekeeping that is possible with Citizen Eco-Drive watches. In fact, the brand produces countless models with various features and functions, some of which you would only expect from high end tool watches. 

The Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Aqualand is just one example of an advanced timepiece by the brand. The model features all the functions you would expect to find on an ISO-compliant dive watch, including: 

  • Water resistant up to 200m 
  • One-way rotating bezel 
  • Anti-magnetic 
  • Anti-shock case construction 
  • Screw back case and screw down crown 
  • Depth display to 70m 
  • Rapid ascent alarm 
  • Water sensor 
  • Auto start dive mode
  • Never needs a battery 

Tom Ford 002 Ocean Plastic Watch 

Luxury fashion brand, Tom Ford, showcased its commitment to combating the plastic problem by producing the world’s first timepiece made from recycled ocean plastic

Each watch’s case is crafted from an average of 35 recycled plastic bottles, while the unique braided straps are made from stands of the same material. Even the presentation boxes which the luxury timepieces are packaged in are produced using recycled plastic, pulps and fibres. 

Much like many of the fashionable items from the high-end brand, these watches are durable and designed to be kept. Therefore, each watch is also helping prevent such harmful materials re-entering landfills and oceans. 

As well as its eco-friendly credentials, the Tom Ford 002 Ocean Plastic watch also features:

  • Sleek, sophisticated design that is in line with the luxury brand 
  • Water resistance
  • Screw down crown
  • Durable design
  • Contrasting white hour markers for greater legibility 

Oris ‘Change for the Better’ Limited Editions 

For over a decade, Oris has been pioneering watches that are helping to create change for the better. The campaign has seen the brand release a number of limited edition watch models in partnerships with various charitable causes and innovative organisations that are at the forefront of creating change. 

The campaign began with the release of the Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition, which was a model that contributed to helping protect ocean wildlife off the coast of Australia. 

Since then, Oris has released a number of other models, including the Clean Ocean Limited Edition, a version of the accredited Aquis diver watch in partnership with Pacific Garbage Screening, an organisation that is developing innovative technology to help keep the world’s water clean of plastic. 

As well as contributing to the organisation’s great cause, watches are crafted from recycled and eco-friendly materials in order to further help combat the issue. For example, watches in the limited edition range feature a unique medallion on the case back that is handcrafted from recycled plastics and is in turn, 100% recyclable. But in its limited edition, and high quality form, these watches are not meant to be thrown away, which is helping to prevent issues with overconsumption and disposable goods. 

As well as this, the box in which these watches are presented are made from environmentally friendly algae with recycled plastic inlays. 

More recently, the brand has released the Oris Aquis GMT Date Whale Shark Limited Edition. This model is based on the Oris Aquis GMT diver’s watch and is limited to 2016 models. It has been produced in partnership with Gerardo del Villar, a photographer and conservationist who the brand has been supporting for over 15 years. 

The release is an attempt to raise awareness of and fund research to better understand the great whale shark, which was declared an endangered species in 2016. 

While the watch showcases many of the same features you would expect from the model it is based on, its most unique is the engraved dial, which has been made to liken the spotty back of the rare sea creature.  

These other features of the watch include:

  • Water resistant up to 300m 
  • Unidirectional rotating bezel 
  • Date window 
  • GMT function
  • Stainless steel case and bracelet 
luxury watch

photo by Shane Lin

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150m GoodPlanet Master Co-Axial Chronometer GMT

Omega is another brand that has committed itself to preserving the planet through innovative practices and partnerships with organisations and charities dedicated to doing the same. 

Its partnership with the GoodPlanet Foundation is the perfect example. Together, they have produced award-winning documentaries which have helped raise awareness of the issues facing our oceans, and funded two conservation projects in Indonesia. 

They have also produced a range of watches within the Seamaster Aqua Terra collection, which help fund these initiatives by donating proceeds of sales of the models to the cause. As a result, watch collectors can enjoy beautifully crafted timepieces, while also supporting causes that are giving our planet more time. 

And if that wasn’t enough, these watches also feature:

  • Water resistant up to 150m 
  • Chronometer 
  • 24 hour GMT 
  • Date window 
  • Screw in crown 
  • Titanium case and bracelet
  • Powered by the OMEGA Master Co-Axial calibre 8605

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronograph 44 Ocean Conservancy Limited Edition

Breitling wishes to lead the fight against ocean pollution with this limited edition timepiece. The Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronograph 44 Ocean Conservancy Limited Edition watch was produced in partnership with the Ocean Conservancy organisation and is limited to just 1000 models. 

As well as its strong message, the watch plays the part too. Its straps are made from an ECONYL® yarn, which is an innovative material produced from repurposed nylon waste. The packaging in which these watches arrive is also made from 100% recycled materials. 

But the brand’s commitment to preserving the planet doesn’t stop with the limited edition watch. More recently, Breitling has released an innovative watch box, which is created entirely from recycled plastic bottles, and is reinventing the way packaging is viewed and used in the industry. 

As far as the watch itself goes, as well as all its eco-friendly benefits, other notable features include:

  • Water resistant up to 200m 
  • Unidirectional rotating bezel 
  • Screw in crown 
  • 48 hour power reserve
  • Chronograph functionality 
  • Date window 
  • Powered by Breitling 13 calibre 

There are a number of ways some of the biggest watch brands are giving our planet more time, and consequently, ways for us, as watch lovers, to do our bit as well. Whether it’s rethinking the materials that go into creating our accessories, or collecting models which are donating proceeds to conservation causes, we all have a part to play. 

So, the next time you’re in the market for a new watch, be sure to give its impact on the earth’s time just as much thought as how well it will help you keep track of yours. 

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