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Sustainability at the heart of the Watch Forum 2022

Sustainability at the heart of the Watch Forum 2022

Wednesday, 07 September 2022
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Christophe Roulet
Editor-in-chief, HH Journal

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3 min read

The Watch Forum 2022*, which takes place in Geneva on September 13, has sustainable development as its theme. Organised by Watches and Culture, it gives industry professionals a platform to discuss and debate responsible growth.

Anyone with an inclination towards, not to say a passion for, mechanical watches believes in objects that are made to last. From the earliest pocket watches to the timepieces of today, watchmakers have found ways to build products that will go on working for centuries; a “piece of eternity”, some would say. Every mechanical watch calls on irreproachable expertise and a scientific mind, a springboard for undiminished creativity and unfailing reliability. It would be no exaggeration to say that watches are among the most sustainable objects there are; far removed from the built-in obsolescence of so many products today.

As true as this may be, the watch industry is by no means exempt from the issues which are, quite rightly, a cause for global concern. Firstly because it is an industry, with its network of contractors and suppliers. Secondly because it makes abundant use of precious metals and precious stones which must be mined, as well as leather for straps. Thirdly because watchmaking has both feet in the world of luxury, which implies distribution, marketing and customer service on an international scale.

Challenges and solutions

For these reasons, the watch, that “object of desire” and symbol of the link between generations, is also an object whose production and commercialisation must satisfy the same sustainability criteria as the product itself. Such an enterprise aligns perfectly with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 and encompasses such diverse and complementary aspects as supply chain, carbon emissions, social inclusion, biodiversity, mining, energy consumption and gender equality. Beyond considerations of corporate responsibility, brands’ image and reputation are at stake in a luxury sector that has fully the means to set an example.

The Watch Forum 2022*, organised in Geneva on September 13 by Watches and Culture, addresses its theme of sustainable development from multiple angles before an invited audience of watch industry professionals. Its purpose is to spark debate and support all-important efforts to achieve sustainability. Topics under discussion correspond to the three key issues of climate, biodiversity and people. First-hand accounts, feedback from experience and examples of solutions already in place will enable attendees to gain a clearer understanding of the situation and see how the industry is rising to these challenges. As Watches and Culture says, this impartial event must serve to highlight the strategies implemented by the different groups, brands and coalitions within the branch, through contributions from experts, institutions, international organisations and scientists. Put simply, a forum for tomorrow, today.

*Watch Forum 2022 – Tuesday September 13, 2022
Maison de la Paix, Geneva

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