Tom Ford’s Recycled Ocean Plastic Timepiece

The sale of every 1000 watches removes 226kg of plastic from the ocean.

By Martin Lerma 24/11/2020

While it’s difficult to ascertain just how much plastic debris enters the world’s oceans every year, it’s estimated that 8 million metric tons of such waste ended up under the sea in 2010 alone. It’s an environmental tragedy—but also an opportunity for designers to make something good out of this enormous waste. And that’s exactly what Tom Ford is doing.

After an initial tease in September, the American brand is launching its Ocean Plastic Timepiece, the first luxury watch made from 100 per cent recycled ocean plastic, according to the brand. Every example of this Swiss-made model removes the equivalent of 35 bottles of plastic waste from the ocean and comes housed in recyclable packaging.

“Sustainability is a key issue in our lives right now,” Ford said in a statement. “In particular, the amount of ocean plastic that we are generating is perhaps taking the greatest toll on our environment of all. For every 1000 Ocean Plastic Timepieces we produce and sell, we permanently remove and prevent 226 kilograms of plastic waste from entering the ocean.”

Tom Ford Ocean Plastic Watch

Every watch removes the equivalent of 35 plastic water bottles from the ocean. Ted Morrison

The handsome watch has a classic round 40mm case with a black DLC stainless steel screw case back, and is water-resistant up to 100m. Like the case, the strap is made from ocean plastic, braided from fibres spun from the repurposed material.

In conjunction with the launch of its watch, the brand is also launching The Tom Ford Plastic Innovation Prize in partnership with 52HZ, an advisory group from the ocean conservation organisation, Lonely Whale. The prize money––a purse total of approx. $1.4 million––will be awarded by a panel of judges, and the winning ideas will all be vetted not only for their ability to help the environment but also to ensure they are scalable and market-ready by 2025.

While the garment trade has dabbled in sustainability for a few years at this point, watches are an interesting new testing ground for applying earth-friendly ideas. Ulysse Nardin launched a watch earlier this month partially made from old fishing nets while Breitling’s presentation boxes are now crafted from plastic bottles.

The Tom Ford Ocean Plastic timepiece is available from Tom Ford boutiques and the brand’s website for approx. $1365.

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