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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 Tom Ford

Maybe you think of Tom Ford at the helm of Gucci in the nineties; or of Yves Saint Laurent, or as the man who printed curse words onto perfume bottles, or the film director. But do you think of him as a watch man? 

In 2020, continuing Ford’s sporadic resume, he launched his own watch. But, as a leading voice in the design world, aware of the mass threats of overconsumption, Ford decided to do things a little differently. He wasn’t just going to bring out a watch for the sake of it, but one that challenged the pre-existing codes of luxury.

Much like his repertoire for sleek tailoring and bold silhouettes, Tom Ford conceived the 002 Ocean Plastic watch in an effort to combat industry greenwashing and a smarter approach to design that pays respect to the planet.

Courtesy of Panerai

The Tom Ford customer is accustomed to a very high quality and luxury product,” shared the mogul in a press statement. “And in my opinion, ethical luxury is THE greatest luxury of all. To know that you are not only wearing a high-quality product, but by simply owning the product you are also taking direct action to improve the planet is incredibly appealing.”

To do so, Ford has created a watch made from 35 bottles worth of recycled ocean plastic, enclosed in a stainless steel case-back and ocean plastic inlay. Proving that design doesn’t need to be sacrificed at the mercy of environmental consciousness, the Swiss made model features a quartz moment and long lifetime combats the idea of fast and cheap consumption, with an emphasis on durability. 

Priced at $950, a decent marker given the designer’s heritage, the model boasted sapphire crystals with super luminova hands to see in the dark, and an anti-reflective coating on top. And he didn’t stop there, with a hand-braided strap, made out of what? You guessed it. 100%ocean plastic, complimented by a recyclable paper box and interior. Like the signature classic LBD (little black dress) of the fashion world, Tom Ford’s 002 model confirms that nothing is lost at the cost of bettering the world around us. 

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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.