New watch brand says it’s ‘Swiss circular’

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The watches are fitted with reconditioned ETA movements acquired from old stocks, which explains why the finishes sometimes vary. For ancillary items, such as straps and packaging, the company has partnered “with start-ups that play an active role in the ecological transition,” said Freudiger.

Vegea, an Italian company that uses waste wine residue after winemaking to create vegan textiles, provides the straps. And the UK-based Magical Mushroom Company supplies the compostable packaging, which is made from mycelium combined with agricultural waste like hemp, cork and sawdust.

“In 45 days, you put it in your garden and it’s gone,” Mr. Freudiger said.

By the end of the year, ID plans to launch a line of compostable plant-based straps made by London-based start-up Biophilica. Mira Nameth, founder of Biophilica, said she had not considered working with watches until Mr. Depéry contacted her on Instagram last year.

“At that time, we were thinking of the leather goods market: shoes, wallets, bags, belts,” Ms. Nameth said. “But when they contacted us, we were struck by the fact that there probably weren’t a lot of sustainable options in the watch band market.”

The brand’s commitment to circularity also includes a program in which customers can exchange “circular parts” – with every watch purchase comes with a part – for a discount on services or modular replacements, such as as new bracelets or dials. (A strap swap, for example, requires two parts.)

“The idea is to inspire our community” to extend the life cycle of their watches, Mr. Freudiger said. “We don’t want to encourage consumerism, so we will focus on the maintenance and modularity of the watch.”

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