Watchmaking is also going green

Millow Paris watches. — Picture courtesy of Millow Paris via ETX Studio
Millow Paris watches. — Picture courtesy of Millow Paris via ETX Studio

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PARIS, May 15 ­— Like fashion and cosmetics, watchmaking is also trying to reduce its impact on the planet.

Some of the approaches being used to achieve this include the use of vegan or less polluting leathers and recycling.

Millow Paris, the latest brand to launch its own recycling programme for bracelets and watches, is an example.

While watch strap recycling programmes have become commonplace, it’s more rare for watches and their components to be put through such a process, at least for the moment.

But it’s probably just a matter of time, as the watch industry is also facing the perilous challenge of ecology.

Panerai recently presented its first 98.6 per cent recycled watch, the Submersible eLAB-ID, a daring and unprecedented challenge, but only available in a limited edition of 30 pieces, and not accessible to a large number of consumers. This initiative, however, demonstrates the sector’s growing interest in sustainability.

And now French children’s watchmaker Millow Paris has announced the launch of its own recycling programme, which concerns both bracelets and watches.

Called Millow360, the programme invites parents to recycle the Millow strap of their offspring’s watches in exchange for a promo code to use for the purchase of a new strap, but also their old watches, regardless of the brand, in exchange for a discount on an order.

What happens to the watches when they’re recycled? 

Millow Paris explains that the collection of unused bracelets will be used to recover nylon, a recyclable material, and steel buckles, to “replenish the stock from existing materials in partnership with factories.”

It’s a bit more complex for watch recycling, but the brand is proving that it’s not insurmountable.

The old watches will all be dismantled one by one, then sorted, and sent to a specific recycling channel.

“Eighty per cent of the weight of a watch can be recycled. The metals are sorted, melted down and reused,” explains the watch brand.

This new initiative shows how the watch industry, which is often criticised for its lack of commitment to sustainable development, is determined to change shake things up. — ETX Studio

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