After more than a century in business, Oris has made its share of unique timepieces, from cutting-edge dive watches for ocean exploration to sleek, gala-ready designs. Its newest creation, however, is quite unlike anything ever made before. Instead of metal or enamel, the new Aquis Date Upcycle features a dial made from multicoloured plastic recovered from the world’s oceans.
Thanks to Oris’ unique upcycling process, no two dials contain the same combination of colours and shapes. While they incorporated a relatively small amount of plastic, Oris’ initiative is part of a growing movement to draw attention to ocean pollution. According to the United Nations, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the World Economic Forum, a dump truck’s worth of plastic trash finds its way into the ocean every minute of every day – some 13 million tonnes each year. If current trends continue, this will mean that plastic will outweigh living creatures in the ocean by as early as 2050.
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Oris is the first watchmaker to use recaptured plastic in this way, but they aren’t the only brand turning ocean trash into treasure. As part of its continuing collaboration with Outerknown, the sustainable fashion brand helmed by pro surfer Kelley Slater, Swiss watchmaker Breitling now offers its Superocean dive watch on a selection of straps made from Econyl, a nylon crafted from retired fishing nets. Tom Ford offers his classic 002 watch with a woven strap made from reclaimed ocean plastic. Any of these would make a stylish wardrobe addition, but, more importantly, they serve as a timely reminder that when it comes to the planet, even small actions make a difference.
Oris Aquis Date Upcycle, $3,000 through oris.ch.
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronograph 44 Outerknown, $8,050 through breitling.com.
Tom Ford 002 Ocean Plastic Watch, $1,380 at Holt Renfrew.