While new luxury timepieces commanded the limelight at this year’s Watches and Wonders mega online affair in April, another movement was unfolding in tandem – that of major brands rolling out their own lines of eco-friendly watches.
Among the notable names jumping on the sustainability bandwagon are Cartier, Panerai and Ulysse Nardin, which unveiled timepieces made from recycled materials and powered by renewable energy sources. Cartier, for one, launched a new Tank Must line of watches with a strap that’s nearly half vegetable waste and a movement running on solar power.
This Cartier Tank Must boasts a strap that’s nearly half vegetable waste and a movement running on solar power.
“With this watch (collection), we intend to further reduce the Maison’s environmental footprint over its entire life cycle as part of our journey towards making a durable positive impact through our activities,” says Cartier’s international marketing and communications director Arnaud Carrez in an e-mail response.
However, are customers embracing the move towards ‘green’ watches? None of the brands say they were pushed by consumer demand, at least not directly. Instead, Ulysse Nardin believes it is anticipating tomorrow’s needs.
Cartier’s international marketing and communications director, Arnaud Carrez.
“We believe only socially conscious brands have a future in today’s economy,” says its chief executive Patrick Pruniaux. “You can’t ignore that younger generations are now more conscious of the environmental and social impact of their purchases. Any eco-friendly steps, even small ones, are still steps for our brand and for the planet.”
It’s “desirable from a societal perspective”, he adds. “The entire luxury industry is a guiding force. We should be an example for everyone.”
Officine Panerai’s product development director, Alessandro Ficarelli, chips in: “We’re now at a turning point . . . We all have to develop projects and ad hoc activities to protect the environment.”