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?
Artisans of time, watchmakers at Mondaine are leading the charge for an all or nothing approach when it comes to sustainability. Why make one thing better when you can do it all? The essence collection combines two core values of Mondaine: innovation and sustainability, using the newest technologies to produce this collection of timepieces with renewable raw materials, such as castor oil, wool or cork. The packaging for the watch is made out of 100% recycled PET bottles. The essence collection reinterprets the original design of the Mondaine Swiss railways watch in a new, modern way.
Since 2020, the Mondaine Group reflects the demands of the zeitgeist and as a global SME, is taking a leading role. One of the first watch companies in the world to operate with net-zero carbon emissions across all four of its brands, encompassing the factory and offices and the manufacture of all the watches, watch parts and packaging, making the family-owned business genuine trailblazers. Corporate sustainability and a sense of environmental and social responsibility have been an integral part of Mondaine Watch Ltd.’s DNA for decades.
“Inspired by mother nature, the-eco friendly essence presents itself with a tone-on-tone case, dial and strap in powerful hues. The strap is made out of textile and cork, making the watch very comfortable to wear. Together with the iconic dial and its red second hand, it is a real eye-catcher on every wrist. Thanks to the innovative strap system, the strap can be changed in seconds, which can give the watch a completely new look.”
Starting out as a watch manufacturer that assisted people, Mondaine maintains that same legacy today, with greater consideration for the planet of tomorrow. Their conscientious approach began in 1944 when Hans Hilfiker, a Swiss Engineer and Designer and employee of the Federal Swiss Railways, created a clock which has become known as the “Official Swiss Railways Clock”. In 1986, the Mondaine watch company, owned by the Bernheim family, was inspired by the blueprint of the iconic patented design of the Railways Clock, and turned it into a watch collection — with official license from the Federal Swiss Railways.
A long watchmaking tradition means that there’s room for adaptation and evolution just as much as there is for preserving history. And the upside? Being green is half the price.