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?
If you’re a first timer looking to buy a watch and roaming the internet for advice, one of the biggest takeaways you can take in the modern age is buying something with purpose. And that doesn’t necessarily mean just for yourself anymore, but for the greater good of the planet.
Last summer, Hublot renewed its commitment to the ongoing extinction threatening the lives of rhino’s, supporting an initiative to protect biodiversity. With dedicated and consistent actions undertaken to protect the rhino, poaching – the biggest threat to their existence in Africa – continued slowly but steadily to decline up to 2020.
As part of Hublot’s partnerships in social responsibility, the brand has collaborated with a partnership with conservationist, Kevin Pietersen, and his platform SORAI – Save Our Rhino Africa India – to preserve rhinoceroses threatened with extinction. Over the last 10 years, two thirds of the rhinos in South Africa’s Kruger Park have been killed by poachers. Black rhinos in Kruger Park have disappeared dramatically and today there are estimated to be less than 500 remaining.
In a bid to raise awareness, Hublot launched a new model, following on from a tanned ceramic Big Bang Unico SORAI from the fall of 2019, with a new iteration in khaki green, a jibe towards the rich greens from the South African landscape. At 45mm wide and 15mm thick, the 2021 Big Bang Unico SORAI has a matching green skeletonized dial, with a delicate geometric rendering of a rhino in the sub-seconds display at nine o’clock.
In late March 2020, the South African border was closed to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Prior, the day-to-day influx of foreign visitors had kept the poachers at bay. Now, due to a severe shortage of rangers, poachers are free to move undetected around this vast area. This interruption of a source of national revenue underlines the extent to which wildlife protection organisations rely on private financial donors and on collaborative and coordinated efforts between local, international, public and private stakeholders.
Limited to 100 pieces, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this new and very green Hublot will form a donation for Care for Wild, a massive rhino sanctuary in South Africa that is being supported by SORAI.