Over the last few years, Australian channel ABC has been running a documentary series called the ‘War on Waste. It focuses on the devastating effect that material waste has on Australia. However, this is a global issue that needs addressing immediately. One of the most publicised issues is plastic pollution, which is a serious problem worldwide. Shockingly it is estimated that 1.1 to 8.8 million tonnes of plastic waste enter the ocean from coastal communities each year. Many furniture makers have had extraordinary results by recycling material. However, the BAUME OCEAN Limited Edition is the first Swiss mechanical watch fabricated from plastic waste recovered from the ocean.
Recently I completed my 10th book about modern dress watches. It’s a genre that has become more popular in recent times because tailored fashion is having a renaissance period. Many of the selections are made from conventional materials like gold, platinum and steel. That is why I was fascinated to discover a mainstream label like BAUME decided to encase a watch in recycled plastic. It’s a very bold move especially for a brand that’s part of the Richemont Group. However, from a marketing point of view, it’s a very clever strategy because it taps into sustainability issues.
The BAUME OCEAN Limited Edition is the first watch released since BAUME became part of Baume & Mercier. The brand says the model reflects their approach to eco-responsibility and innovation. This is a collaboration with WFO and SEAQUAL INITIATIVE to combat the effects of marine pollution. I spoke with group CEO David Chaumet about this unique project and he was naturally very excited. Potentially this cool recycled plastic piece could be a template for future watch designs.
Aesthetically the BAUME OCEAN Limited Edition has a really bold identity that will appeal to appreciators of modern design. Hours are displayed on a small central hour disc and minutes on the outer chapter ring. These are indicated by a classic three-hand configuration. The model is available in either blue or green 42mm recycled plastic cases depending on your preference. Due to the choice of materials used and dimensions the watch is very comfortable/lightweight to wear. Beneath the refined façade lies a Swiss mechanical automatic movement from Selita. The Calibre SW200 comprises 26-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour.
As a perfect finale, the BAUME OCEAN Limited Edition is presented on an interchangeable grey woven recycled SEAQUAL® YARN (made with upcycled marine plastic) strap with blue stitching, black cork lining and a complimentary black anodized aluminium pin buckle. Priced competitively at 1,330 CHF (approximately $1,436).