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The Next Hour Neuchâtel
Fbg de l’Hôpital 78
2000 Neuchâtel
SWITZERLAND

This is Greenwatch, a weekly insight into eco-friendly watch brands creating a space for a more sustainable future in watchmaking. 

How green are wristwatches? While it’s true that given the often hefty price tag, a watch harnessing a long lifespan, often becoming an heirloom, it’s eco-conscious capabilities don’t just stop there. While watch brands today are targeting the vital need to acknowledge their ecological footprint, this is often sought out through charitable allegiances and partnered campaigns for specific causes. 

The consumer demand for sustainability has forced brands to embrace, and with some haste, alternative approaches to lesser conscious history, which meant finally turning to watch materials. The advent of this came through watch straps and the soaring demand for plant-based methods that cause less harm and use less resources in the environment than leather straps. But what comes next?

Courtesy of Panerai

There is a long standing collaborative history between Panerai and the environmentalist adventurer Mike Horn who has now been an ambassador for them for over twenty years. Previous partnerships between the watchmaker and the explorer have been linked to specific expeditions, but this watch is different, this watch has been created to celebrate the pioneering and conservationist spirit of Mike Horn. 

There are few people who are so well acquainted with this planet as Mike Horn – his expeditions have taken him to the deepest and darkest corners of the globe, and he has been exposed to places that most humans will never see. It is obvious that someone who spends their life immersed in the natural world would regard it with such reverence and sympathy. Horn’s collaborations with Panerai are focused on the necessity for strength and durability, as well as an intention to create objects that are respectful to the world we live in. Their most recent creation embodies these very ideals. 

Courtesy of Panerai

As well as being a professional diving watch, water resistant to a depth of 300 metres, the case and bezel of this watch are made of EcoTitanium. This material is not made from the excavation of finite natural resources but from sustainably recycled titanium highlighting Panerai’s dedication to reducing their impact on the natural world. Their commitment to the evolution of watchmaking to include sustainable practises has meant that they were the first to introduce this innovative material to the world of luxury watchmaking. Naturally this resource is an important component of this watch, and their collaboration with Mike Horn.  

This watch also comes with two straps: a blue rubber accordion strap built to fit around the sleeves of a wetsuit as well as a UPCamo bi-material strap which is a new development by Panerai – this combines recycled rubber and a camouflage fabric and was inspired by the design of Italian Navy uniforms. Another environmentally informed decision made by Panerai was to have all 500 of these limited-edition watches encased in a box made of recycled plastic.

Courtesy of Panerai

The watch is operated by the P.9010 automatic calibre with a power reserve of three days, entirely developed by the Panerai manufacturers in Neuchâtel. Their building in Switzerland operates in total compliance with the strictest international environmental standards, and as such the space has been designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to zero. Within the factory there are devices which enhance the energy saving capacity of the technology used, and there is also equipment for recovering and reusing any waste materials produced during the manufacturing process. Panerai is building from the ground up in terms of sustainability, ensuring their spaces and watches are evolving in step with the needs of the planet. 

Limited to 500 pieces, and all engraved with the oceanic inspired signature of Mike Horn, this Panerai timepiece showcases the sustainable possibilities that the future of watchmaking holds. 

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Scarlett is a writer, editor, and creative consultant specializing in art, fashion, culture and digital strategy. Drawing on her work from previous titles including Dazed, LOVE Magazine, The Perfect Magazine, AnOther and 1 Granary, as the Editor-in-Chief of The Next Hour, Scarlett is leading the editorial vision toward new territories providing an alternative lens of social commentary to recontextualize the world of watchmaking for the next generation.