Best eco-friendly watches 2022: the top sustainable timepieces for every wrist
The best eco watches for greener timekeeping
You don’t need a renewable timepiece to tell you that the climate clock is ticking, but the best eco watches will at least count the seconds more sustainably.
From ocean plastic to recycled steel, every watch featured here is made using renewable materials. And the sources are much more diverse than your local bottle bank: our round-up includes watches that repurpose illegal firearms, maritime metals and even leaves from London parks.
So, while one watch won’t solve the planet’s problems, kit out your wrist with one of these tickers and you’ll at least be helping to slow the global countdown.
Size matters when it comes to buckling up. Some models are big or small by design, while many are offered in two dimensions to suit different wearers. Check the case measurement for comfort and movement.
Most watches offer a degree of water-resistance, but ATM ratings don’t correspond to the actual depth of waterproofing in real-world conditions. 3ATM is splashproof, while 10ATM is fine for swimming. Divers need 20ATM or more.
Few watches require winding nowadays, but battery-powered tickers will still need their cells changing periodically. Automatic models use the movement of your wrist to keep ticking, while solar options can boost themselves from the sun.
Certain watches come with fitted straps that can’t be switched. Want to mix up your wristwear? Opt for one with swappable bands. Some feature fiddly pins, while others use a quick-release buckle for time-saving substitutions.
The sea saver: Timex Waterbury Ocean
Time might be money, but this Timex timekeeper proves that decent watches don’t have to cost the earth. Affordable by horological standards, it’s also designed to save the seas from plastic pollution. Made with #tide ocean material, its strap, dial and lightweight case all use recycled waste that would otherwise have ended up in the waves. Luminant markers help you clock the passing minutes, too.
The eco educator: Sea2See Seal 06
An ocean plastic watch is one thing, but it takes time to create a sea change. With a recycled PET strap and marine plastic case, the Seal 06’s sustainable credentials are watertight. But Sea2See also pays it forward: every watch sale funds 10 days of schooling for a child rescued from fishing slavery in Ghana. Which, like the vibrant dial, should make a lasting impact.
The solar sustainer: MVMT Minimal Sport Ocean Plastic
MVMT doesn’t need vowels to spell out its affection for the ocean. From a wavy second hand to dial accents inspired by bioluminescence, everything about this ticker is a tribute to the sea. That includes the use of reclaimed plastic pollution for the case, strap and buckle. Available in Atlantic and Pacific hues, it also sports a solar panel beneath the dial for renewable fuelling.
The deep-blue diver: Fossil FB-01
True eco warriors can tell time using just the sun. Still working on your solar timekeeping? Try this Fossil watch for size. Equal parts chunky and funky, its cell is renewably boosted by exposure to sunlight. And if you’re worried that wearing it will alienate you from fellow activists, simply tell them about #tide ocean material: used for the casing and the strap, it’s produced entirely from ocean-bound plastic waste.
The material mixer: Mondaine Essence
Time waits for no watchmaker, which is why Mondaine’s made a punctual appearance at the innovation party. Its Essence collection employs a pioneering mix of recycled and renewable materials. Take this pared-back park green piece: its case uses nylon derived from castor oil plants, while the recycled plastic strap sits comfy with a cork lining.
The peaceful piece: Triwa Humanium 39
You won’t find Humanium only any periodic table, but it’s a material that’s designed to cause a reaction. Attached to a recycled PET strap, the 39’s full-metal jacket is made from melted weapons. Why? To tackle the harm wreaked by illegal firearms worldwide. For each watch sold, 15% is used to help rehabilitate victims of armed violence and to fund the destruction of further weapons.
The tiled timer: Swatch Big Bold Bioceramic
While you waste time on TikTok, Swatch is trying to make less waste with its tick-tocks. By blending ceramic with a plant-based plastic alternative, it’s created Bioceramic: a material that feels similar to silicone but benefits from extra sturdiness. The Big Bold uses the stuff for its oversized case, together with a bio-sourced strap. And with a cutout revealing its cogs, the combo is unmissable.
The stainless sequel: ID Genève Circular ’S’
Here’s some second-hand news: melted in a solar furnace, the recycled steel in this top-tier timer has a carbon impact 165 times smaller than the conventional equivalent. And the rest of the story is similarly sustainable. Modular for easy fixing, it’s equipped with a refurbished automatic movement inside. Plus the compostable strap is made with green waste from London’s parks.
The distinctive dial: Oris Aquis Date Upcycle
If the face is the mirror of the mind, then the patterned profile of this Swiss ticker should give you a clue as to its eco ideas. Available in two sizes, the design of the dial is determined by the process that’s used to recycle plastic. No two versions will look identical, making each a unique piece of renewed wristwear.
The circular sailor: Alpina Seastrong Diver 300
Removing one ship from the sea won’t stop water levels rising, but re-using steel from retired vessels will at least keep carbon emissions down. The shell of this chronometer is crafted using Thyssen Krupp’s Puresteel, which is 100% recycled and sourced mainly from the maritime industry. It’s also dive-proof, should you need to keep time while working below the waterline.