Is sustainable development making inroads in the watch industry? A year-on-year comparison of subjects covered in the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry magazine clearly shows a profession increasingly committed to social and environmental questions.
Previously a small section of the annual report, Swatch Group now presents its sustainability strategy in a separate and detailed document. Here are some of the main takeaways.
Watches and Wonders saw the official creation of the Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030. As well as announcing new members, the WJI, which was launched by Cartier and Kering, said it was breaking off its partnership with the Responsible Jewellery Council over ethical issues raised by Russian diamonds.
Carbon-neutral since 2021 with plans to cut emissions by 10% per year for the next three years, partnerships with environmental groups, awareness-raising among employees and involvement of local communities: Oris is active on the sustainability front.
Mechanical watches are widely recognised as innovative, creative products that are designed to last for generations. Production offers opportunities for sustainable practices, backed by innovation and digital technologies.
While everyone agrees that luxury companies must demonstrate transparency and adopt sustainable sourcing practices, there is still a way to go. Those companies that are working for greater sustainability remain the exception rather than the rule, at a time when the industry urgently needs to pull together.
In a conversation with Iris Van der Veken, Executive Director of the Responsible Jewellery Council, IWC’s Chief Executive Christoph Grainger-Herr shared his thoughts on sustainability.
McKinsey’s “The State of Fashion: Watches & Jewellery” report, published in June 2021, puts forward that consumers of fine watches and jewellery are increasingly likely to choose brands that demonstrate sustainable behaviour, pay attention to diversity and have a convincing online and offline presence.
One of the brands exhibiting at Watches and Wonders, Grand Seiko won industry recognition when it was awarded the Men’s Watch prize at the 2021 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. Innovation and tradition are ingrained into the manufacture, where time and respect for nature go hand-in-hand.