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Are you looking for the best sustainable watches on the market? You’re in the right place. We’ve considered the best eco-friendly watches on the market, and combined then into this handy list.
We’ll introduce you to new and innovative watch brands creating eco-friendly watches from ocean plastic and other sustainable materials including recycled steel, cork and biodegradable silicone.
Don’t have time to read the full list? No problem, check out our editors top picks below.
What Is A Sustainable Watch?
A sustainable watch is a timepiece that’s created in a way that reduces its impact on the environment compared to a regular watch.
Ways a brand will reduce its impact include using eco-friendly materials, using ethical manufacturing, reducing energy consumption during production, and implementing environmentally conscious manufacturing processes.
Examples of sustainable materials used to create sustainable watches include:
Sustainable watches may also feature energy-efficient movements and use renewable energy sources for power instead of relying on batteries. Brands creating eco-friendly watches will also pay attention to the packaging of their product by utilizing packaging made from recycled materials.
Let’s dive in.
The 10 Best Eco Friendly Watches
Sustainability: Solar-powered, sustainable watches, made in France from recycled material, including recycled fishing nets, low-impact recycled steel, and bio-based materials.
Watch styles: Men’s watches, women’s watches,
Made in: France
Price: from $150
French watch brand, Awake Concept, is revolutionizing the watch industry as we know it.
Designed and assembled in France, awake’s new sleek, sustainable watches are handcrafted from low-impact and sustainable materials and run on solar energy, meaning no batteries, maintenance, and waste.
Awake promotes up-cycling and recycling materials and combines this with cutting-edge innovation to create a high-performance, sustainable watch.
Its RE:Nylon watch is an innovative design featuring the first watch case crafted from recycled fishing nets.
Sustainability: Sustainable watches made from ocean-bound recycled PET plastics and biodegradable silicone.
Watch styles: Water-resistant hexagon face watches, in 7 color choices.
Price: from $125
Solgaard’s sustainable watches feature their iconic hexagon watch face, which not only looks sleek and modern but makes it easier to tell the time.
The shoreline watch, made from ocean-bound plastic, recycles up to 226 plastic bottles per watch face; combine this with the biodegradable silicone strap and the seven stylish colors it’s available in, and you’ve got yourself an awesome sustainable watch that’s sure to turn heads.
The modern look of this watch, and the fact it’s water-resistant up to 50ft, makes it the perfect watch for life’s next adventure.
Sustainability: Carbon-neutral, recycled packaging, and responsible manufacturing. Each product supports the giving back program, donating money to charitable organizations.
Watch styles: Classic men’s and women’s watches, leather strap watches LWG certified, and vegan leather watch strap styles.
Made in: China
Price: from $169
Nordgreen creates classic, versatile, and high-quality watches designed to last for many years.
Nordgreen partners with NGOs to give back to people in need, though it’s a giving back program. When you purchase a Nordgreen watch, you can select a cause to donate to (at no additional cost). You can then track this donation through your unique watch serial number to see your donation’s benefit to people and the planet.
Nordgreen’s watches are assembled ethically in a Danish-owned factory in China, where workers are paid above the living wage and have safe working conditions.
Sustainability: Sustainable surf and tide watches, made with recycled ocean plastic
Watch styles: Surf watch, tide watch with 550 programmed beach tides, unisex watches, water-resistant watches
Price: from $125
If you’re on the hunt for a durable and sustainable surf watch, look no further than Nixon’s surf and tide range.
This brand has created specialized watches tailored for board sports since 1998. Nixon’s surf and tide range of sustainable watches come equipped with the data of 550 beach tide times from around the world.
Nixons surf and tide watch cases, created from recycled ocean plastic, are water-resistant up to 10 meters and come with a 2-year warranty.
Sustainability: First B Corporation certified watch company, 1 acre of rainforest protected for every watch purchased. Certified recycled steel straps and vegan leather straps from cork – free from PU and PVC.
Watch styles: Solar-powered watch, men’s and women’s watches, and unisex styles
Made in: Eco vegan straps made in Switzerland, Watch faces made in Hong Kong.
Price: from $200
Solios prove that small accessories can have a significant impact on both people and the planet. This sustainable watch brand creates high-quality solar watches from recycled and eco-friendly materials, including cork and recycled steel.
Solios has created a zero maintenance watch without waste by removing the need for environmentally harmful batteries and powering its watches with solar power. If you want to read more about the solar-powered technology behind these eco-friendly watches, you can read more here.
As the first-ever watch company to become a certified B corporation, Solios balances purpose and profit to do good for people and the planet. Solios does this by ensuring environmentally friendly production and use of low-impact materials, along with the fair treatment of workers in its supply chain.
Sustainability: Recycled plastic watches from recycled ocean plastic.
Watch styles: Bold, vibrant unisex watch styles. SUB Divers watch resistant up to 10 ATM.
Price: from $100
To support the fight against plastic pollution in our oceans, the Scandinavian watch brand Triwa is on a mission to transform the watch industry, promoting recycled materials, including recycled ocean plastic. Triwa’s super cool “time for oceans” range of affordable sustainable watches features bold colors and ocean themes, such as the cool detailing on the watch face. In addition, the Shoreline watch is water-resistant, and the SUB model is resistant up to 10ATM.
Sustainability: Vegan, cruelty-free watches, Ksana features a circular, silicone recycling program to recycle your old watch at the end of its life. 1% for the planet organization.
Watch styles: Minimal watches in bold, vibrant colors for men and women.
We love these minimal 100% vegan and cruelty-free watches from Ksana. They come in a range of bold, vibrant colors, perfect for expressing your personality.
Ksana’s vegan watches are made from silicone, which isn’t biodegradable. Because of this, Ksana has set up a circular recycling system that will take back both the silicone watch straps and stainless steel watch faces at the end of their life and recycle them into other products.
Ksanas packaging is made up of 100% recycled material and can be fully recycled.
Sustainability: PETA vegan approved watches made with vegan leather PVC free, Pinatex vegan leather, and apple skin leather. Watch recycling scheme available. Trees are planted for every order.
Watch styles: Minimalist vegan leather watches and stainless steel watch styles with interchangeable straps.
Made in: China
Price: from $170
Votch creates chic, stylish vegan watches from cruelty-free materials, including apple skin leather, and pinatex a plastic-free vegan leather alternative from pineapple leaves.
These classic timepieces are perfect for both men and women and come with a quick-release interchangeable strap so that you can customize your watch strap depending on the occasion.
This vegan watch brand will recycle your old watch and reintroduce it back into the supply chain. In addition to the recycling scheme, Votch is passionate about the environment and will plant a tree for every Votch watch purchased.
We chatted with Laura, founder of Votch, who took us behind the scenes of the brand, read the article to discover more.
Sustainability: Classic eco-friendly watch collection made with eco-friendly cork, natural rubber, and recycled plastic bottles.
Watch styles: Classic Swiss timepiece, small and large watch faces, and vegan watch styles available.
Made in: Switzerland
Price: from $195
Mondaine is a classic Swiss watch brand, creating fantastic eco-friendly watches from sustainable materials, including recycled PET bottles and cork.
You may recognize its iconic watch faces, as they’re the national railway clock of Switzerland and have been since 1944. Nowadays, Mondaine uses Swiss innovation combined with a passion for sustainability to ensure their new collection of watches is committed to lowering its environmental impact and preserving the earth’s resources.
Sustainability: Diver watch made with ECONYL, from recycled fishing nets, promoting the removal of plastic waste from our oceans
Watch Styles: Diver watch water-resistant to 100 bar / 1000 meters
Made in: Switzerland
Price: from £3,644.00
Sustainable clothing brand Outerknown has partnered with classic watchmakers Breitling to release the stunning Breitling Superocean Automatic 44 Outerknown. This high-performance diving watch is expertly crafted in Switzerland by skilled artisans, featuring straps from recycled fishing nets.
Each watch comes in recycled case and packaging. In addition, to raise awareness for our oceans, Outerknown will donate $500 from each purchase to support Ocean Conservancy, an organization dedicated to protecting our oceans.
This watch is a limited edition, so make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to get it before it’s gone!
What Materials Are Used to Create Sustainable Watches?
There are multiple ways that brands incorporate sustainability into their watch manufacturing process.
Here are some things to look for when choosing your watch:
Recycled metals: Brands incorporate recycled metals like stainless steel, aluminum, or titanium. These materials are obtained by repurposing discarded metal scraps or reclaimed metal from various industries, reducing the need for new metal mining and minimizing waste.
Sustainably-sourced wood: Wood from responsibly managed forests or reclaimed sources is a popular choice for sustainable watchmaking. Look for brands that use fast-growing wood like bamboo, sandalwood, or maple, which are both durable and have unique aesthetics. Using sustainable wood helps support forest conservation efforts and reduces the reliance on non-renewable resources.
Plant-based and vegan materials: Look for watch straps made from organic cotton, hemp, or plant-based leather alternatives if you’re not opting for a metal strap.
Recycled and upcycled components: Affordable sustainable watches prioritize the use of recycled or upcycled components wherever possible. As well as cutting costs, it’s a positive for the environment as it contributes to the reduction of waste and promotes circular economy principles.
Solar-powered movements: While still uncommon, some watches feature solar-powered movements. These watches harness solar energy through photovoltaic cells on the watch dial, converting sunlight into power to operate the timepiece. By utilizing renewable energy, they reduce the reliance on batteries and minimize environmental waste.
Are There Certifications or Standards for Sustainable Watches?
Yes, there are certifications and standards that help you identify brands following sustainability best practices.
Here’s a selection to look out for:
The Fairtrade Certification ensures that the materials used in your eco-friendly watch are sourced in a way that meets stringent social, economic, and environmental standards.
The Responsible Jewellery Council promotes responsible business practices throughout the jewellery supply chain. Their certification ensures that sustainable watch brands follow ethical sourcing, responsible production, and supply chain transparency in accordance with a rigorous Code of Practices.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification is relevant for watches that incorporate wood components. This certification ensures that the wood used in your watch comes from responsibly managed forests, considering ecological, social, and economic factors.
The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification applies to watch manufacturing facilities or company headquarters. It assesses the environmental performance of the building and recognizes sustainable practices such as energy efficiency, water conservation, waste management, and indoor air quality.
The GOTS Certification is relevant for watch straps or components made from organic textiles like cotton or hemp. The GOTS standard ensures that the materials are grown without the use of harmful chemicals and that the entire production process meets strict environmental and social criteria.
ISO 14001 is an international standard that focuses on environmental management systems and provides guidelines for organizations to minimize their environmental impact. Watch brands that have obtained ISO 14001 certification demonstrate their commitment to continuously improving their environmental performance.
Some watch brands obtain a Carbon-Neutral Certification, which means they have measured and offset their carbon emissions through initiatives like renewable energy projects, reforestation, or investment in carbon reduction programs.
In What Ways Do Sustainable Watches Differ from Traditional Watches?
Materials sourcing: Companies that produce sustainable watches prioritize the use of environmentally friendly materials, such as recycled metals, sustainably sourced wood, or vegan alternatives. In contrast, traditional watches may rely on newly mined metals, exotic woods, or animal-derived materials.
Environmental Impact: Sustainable watch brands minimize their environmental footprint in multiple ways, such as reducing raw resource extraction, having smart waste reduction processes, and energy-efficient manufacturing processes. Traditional watch brands, on the other hand, may have a higher environmental impact due to less stringent sustainability practices.
Ethics: Sustainable watch brands place a strong emphasis on ethical considerations throughout the supply chain. This includes fair labor practices, responsible sourcing of materials, and support for local communities. Traditional watches may have less transparency and oversight in terms of ethical practices.
Manufacturing processes: Eco-friendly watch manufacturers often prioritize environmentally friendly production processes, such as using renewable energy, reducing water consumption, and implementing waste management strategies. Traditional watch manufacturers may not prioritize these sustainable practices, leading to higher resource consumption and waste generation.
Durability and longevity: Sustainable watches are designed with durability in mind. They focus on quality, using high-quality components which reduces the need for frequent replacements. Traditional watches may vary in terms of durability, but sustainable watches place a stronger emphasis on longevity and reducing consumer waste.
Repairs and maintenance: Sustainable watch brands will often offer repair and maintenance services to extend the lifespan of your timepiece. You can also look for brands that offer replaceable parts or modular designs, so if any fixes need to be made, you won’t need to replace your entire watch. Traditional watches may not have the same focus on repairability, leading to a higher likelihood of replacement.
Can Eco-Friendly Watches be Recycled?
Not all watches can be recycled, and ideally, you want to have a watch that lasts as long you never need to consider this.
However, there are considerations to be made.
For example, watch cases made from recycled metals like stainless steel or aluminum can be recycled through traditional metal recycling channels.
Similarly, components like plastic casings or straps made from recycled materials can be recycled through appropriate recycling facilities.
You may also see some brands choosing to upcycle and incorporate pre-used materials into their watches. By giving new life to these materials, upcycling reduces waste and creates unique, one-of-a-kind timepieces.
Wrapping Up: Sustainable Watches
We hope you’ve enjoyed the article, and have now found the perfect eco-friendly watch. Remember, choosing sustainable watches means wearing a timepiece with a story—one that encompasses the craftsmanship of skilled artisans, the preservation of natural resources, and the promotion of fair and ethical practices.
We’ve also listed the best made in the USA watches if you want to check out watches that are made in America! If you liked this post, check out our similar guides on sustainable sneakers and eco friendly running shoes.
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