On the heels of unveiling its new “digital passport”, a blockchain-powered alternative to traditional certification papers, Breitling has announced another major step forward in its efforts to become more environmentally friendly. The Swiss watch company announced on Wednesday that it will introduce new watch boxes made entirely from upcycled plastic PET bottles in early 2021. Made from polyethylene terephthalate, these containers can be recycled anew or used in fibre applications like carpet, apparel, or in this case, to hold your new Chronomat purchase. Everything from the fabric of the box to its pushpins is made from recycled material that can be fed back into the “rPET” programme at a dedicated facility to be used for new boxes (in case you prefer to enshrine your watches in your own custom box display).
What’s even better is the watch box can be folded flat for travelling, eliminating the need for a bulky single watch roll. While Breitling had already reduced its environmental footprint with an alternative box half the size of the industry standard, its latest version is half the size again, and reduces the packaging elements from 12 to three: just the box, pillow and quick-start guide are left. The pillow has also been designed to be used as a travel pouch.
It’s not just a win for the consumer and the environment—Breitling’s logistics have improved, too. The foldable box means transport-related CO2 emissions can be reduced by over 60 percent. The concept was awarded the Efficient Solution Label from the Solar Impulse Foundation, which spotlights environmental solutions that are also financially profitable in order to encourage companies to find ways of transitioning to a carbon-neutral economy.
Keeping in mind that some consumers will still prefer classic packaging, Breitling will offer its traditional watch box by request, but those clients will be “encouraged” to make a voluntary contribution to SUGi, a venture that aims to restore biodiversity and regenerate ecosystems.