I want an environmentally friendly watch; Do they actually exist?

You try to live as sustainably as possible. You separate your waste, eat organically and buy as much ecological clothing as possible. But now you need a (new) watch. Environmentally friendly watches, do they even exist? Yes! More and more brands are launching watches that are made entirely or partly from natural, recycled or biodegradable materials.

Which watches are really completely sustainable?

Fortunately, there are more and more watch manufacturers who attach great importance to sustainability. They think about the choice of materials, but also about working conditions and the origin of materials.

On our page about environmentally friendly watches we have collected all watches from our collection that are largely sustainably produced and made from recyclable materials or materials of natural origin. Brands such as Citizen, Mondaine and Swatch are leading the way in this.

I want an environmentally friendly watch;  Do they actually exist?
▴ Mondaine Essence watch with strap made of cork and recycled plastic

Photo Swatch Sistem51 Bio-Reloaded
▴ Swatch Sistem 51 Bio-Reloaded is made of castor oil plastic

What is an environmentally friendly watch?

The criteria for what exactly constitutes an environmentally friendly watch have not (yet) been determined. An eco-label does not yet exist for this sector. The choice of almost completely sustainable watches is also currently limited. However, you can now also make a more sustainable choice from our regular watch collection if you pay attention to the following things:

Choose timeless quality and a neutral color

As with the choice of any utensil, a simple rule applies: choose quality. Don’t go with the latest trends that quickly become boring or for a simple product that does not last long. Choose a timeless design of good quality that you will enjoy for years to come.

Tip: A watch in one of the basic colors silver, gold, rose gold and black matches different clothing styles and is less likely to look dated than a watch in a bright color or with a print. The more minimal the design, the more neutral. That makes the watch less fashion-sensitive.

Photo Seiko solar watch
▴ Seiko solar watch

Photo Bering Classic black design watch
▴ Bering Classic black design watch

Automatic and solar are more environmentally friendly than quartz

A (digital) quartz watch contains a battery. Harmful substances are used in the production and processing of batteries. An automatic watch – which is wound by your own movements – is the most sustainable choice. An automatic watch can last a lifetime if you maintain it properly.

A solar watch (light or solar energy) is also more durable than quartz, but less durable than an automatic. Because a solar watch also contains a battery. This battery only rarely needs to be replaced, but it remains a kind of battery.

Tip: If you choose quartz or solar, always hand in the old battery at a collection point after replacement. When you have your watch battery replaced with us, the watchmaker will ensure that it is recycled.

Photo Biodegradable packaging from Swatch Sistem51
▴ Swatch Bio-Reloaded watches come in biodegradable packaging

Photo packaging Ice-Solar
▴ The packaging of Ice-Solar watches is made from recycled PET bottles


Some brands affiliate with organizations that strive to preserve nature and biodiversity. For example, Bering has some models of which part of the proceeds goes to Polar Bears International, Certina supports the Sea Turtle Conservancy and Seiko Save The Ocean projects for nature conservation.

Photo Seiko Prospex Save The Ocean watches
▴ Seiko Prospex Save The Ocean watches

Photo Certina watch with Sea Turtle logo
▴ Certina watch with Sea Turtle logo

Photo Bering Polar Bears International watch
▴ Bering Polar Bears International watch

Are smartwatches sustainable?

The same applies to smartwatches as to smartphones. Due to rapidly developing technology, they only last a limited time and are then usually discarded. If you really want a smartwatch, make sure that the software can be updated and the battery lasts a long time.

Do vegan watches already exist?

If you are vegan, vegetarian, or simply concerned about the fate of animals, choose a watch with a strap that is not made of leather. Steel or titanium are strong and long lasting. If you don’t like wearing metal, you can of course opt for a plastic or silicone strap. But it is better to choose a strap made from a natural or recycled material.

Various watches are available with straps made of cork, wood, vegan leather or recycled plastic.

Photo Danish Design Akilia watch with vegan strap
▴ Danish Design Akilia with vegan strap

Photo woman with Citizen watch
▴ Citizen watch with vegan pineapple leather strap

Photo Victorinox watch with strap made of sustainably grown wood
▴ Victorinox with strap made of sustainably grown wood

Don’t buy a new watch

Huh, what? But your name is Techzle, right? That’s right. Techzle is the watch specialist. And that means that you can not only come to us for a new watch, but that we also want to do everything we can to give your old watch a new life. You can visit our stores for maintenance and repairs, replacing the battery or a new watch strap.

This way your watch will look like new again and you may not need a new one at all!

Sustainable watches selection aid

Unfortunately, a 100% sustainable watch does not yet exist, but there is more and more choice for people who find sustainability important. Of course we keep a close eye on all watch developments and as soon as new sustainable watches come onto the market we add them to this collection.

Need help finding your sustainable watch? Our store employees and Customer Service are happy to help you.

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