Ready to spend some quality time contemplating a new watch? Here are our top sustainable watches for every style and budget. From vegan timepieces to watch brands that give back – these eco-friendly styles for men and women are ones to watch!
A host of watch manufacturers now offer sustainable options, catering to different budgets and styles. These are made from recycled, sustainable, cruelty-free or vegan materials. Some even offer preloved options.
The Best Sustainable Watches
Time is ticking. To help you avoid a time-consuming hunt for the perfect watch, I’ve rounded up the best sustainable and eco-friendly watch brands out there.
To help you pick the right watch that matches your ethics, I’ve looked into everything you need to know. From the materials, manufacturing processes, packaging and giving-back policies.
From this, I’ve found the best sustainable choices across a range of different criteria.
Use these quick links to jump to information about each brand, or keep scrolling for the full details.
Nordgreen – Best For Minimalist Watches
Nordgreen, the Danish eco-friendly watch brand, makes stylishly sustainable and timeless watches for men and women.
This Certified B Corp’s minimalist watches are made from conflict-free and non-toxic materials. Vegan options are available. And you can even shop Nordgreen’s preloved refurbished watch section.
Nordgreen uses a variety of non-toxic materials to make its watches. This allows you to pick which material aligns with your own personal ethics.
Some ranges are made from recyclable stainless steel or brushed metal. This gives a timeless look that avoids both the use of animal products and plastic.
The vegan range is made from vegan leather. This does not contain conflict minerals, heavy metal stabilisers, phthalates, persistent organic pollutants or toxic by-products. What’s more, over 99% of the solvents used to make Nordgreen’s vegan leather are recaptured and recycled.
When it comes to Nordgreen’s leather-based products, the leather originates from Italian tanneries. All tanneries are members of the Leather Working Group. This is a stakeholder group that promotes responsible leather production. Alternatively, they may hold other relevant responsible tannery accreditations.
Nordgreen’s entire collection is also consistently re-assessed to see where more sustainable material and design choices can be made.
Nordgreen is a certified B-Corp. This means the brand has been independently verified as meeting high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.
All Nordgreen’s watches are designed in Denmark. They are then ethically manufactured in China in a Danish-owned factory. This adheres to the highest standards, whilst following stringent Danish/EU labour practices.
You can also support a good cause with every purchase by joining Nordgreen’s Giving Back Programme. This supports three key pillars – health, education, and the environment. You can pick which cause resonates with you the most when you purchase your watch.
As you would expect from a sustainable watch brand, the packaging is made from FSC-Certified cardboard. This ensures that the cardboard is sourced from woodlands that are managed in a way that preserves biological diversity. The certification also ensures the woodlands benefit the lives of local people and workers.
The only addition is a felt lining. Made from recycled plastic bottles, this keeps your watch scratch-free.
Shop the full range of sustainable watches, vegan watches and refurbished watches at Nordgreen. Prices range from £144 to £599.
The Sustainable Watch Company – Best For Wooden Watches
The Sustainable Watch Company is our top choice for wooden watches. Its stylish watches and straps are handmade from recycled natural wooden furniture. This helps to reduce furniture waste and the need to cut down trees.
Being made from wood, each watch and strap has a unique grain pattern and colour tone. This means each watch is a one-of-a-kind timepiece – no one else will have a watch exactly the same.
And as well as avoiding virgin wood, the Sustainable Watch Company plants a tree with every order. Talk about a positive impact!
The Sustainable Watch Co maximises its use of sustainable materials. As such, the watch face and straps are handmade from recycled wooden furniture.
The Sustainable Watch Co also doesn’t use any leather in its products. Meanwhile, the glues used are vegan-friendly, making its watches fully cruelty-free.
The Sustainable Watch Co manufactures its watches in China. I reached out to the brand for more information about pay and working conditions. Rich, the founder, told me “the facilities have been vetted and are held to EU standards and certifications, alongside living wage standards. All staff are paid a salary of 1.7 to 2.5 times higher than the basic salary in Shenzhen depending on their role“.
The Sustainable Watch Co supports reforestation projects. It plants a tree for every order in collaboration with Ecologi – an organisation that funds climate projects. Through this partnership, it also offsets 100kg of carbon with every order. This is double the carbon generated by every order it ships.
The Sustainable Watch Co uses eco-friendly packaging to package every order. Each watch is presented in a recyclable cardboard box. Meanwhile, paper postage packaging is used to send out your order.
Votch – Best For Cruelty-Free & Vegan Watches
Votch is a UK watch brand, that specialises in making cruelty-free and vegan watches for men and women.
Combining style and conscience, Votch produces high-quality sustainable watches. These are made with ethically sourced materials, to have the smallest impact on the environment.
For a clever touch, all Votch watch straps are interchangeable. This means you can switch up your look quickly and easily without having to buy multiple watches.
Some Votch watches are made from recyclable stainless steel. Others are made from vegan EnviroLeather.
Whilst vegan leather isn’t an environmental panacea, Votch strives to use vegan leather which has the smallest environmental impact. This means the vegan leather used by Votch is:
- Contains no plasticisers
- Passes CAL 01350 – the standard for low VOC emissions
- Has no added antimicrobial chemicals
- Has no flame retardants
- Contains no heavy metals
- Includes recycled and renewable materials
Votch also trials the latest material innovations. As such, it works with a range of fabrics made from non-traditional materials. This includes Piñatex, a by-product from the pineapple industry. AppleSkin, a by-product from the apple juice industry is also used.
Votch manufactures all its watches in Shenzhen, China.
The Votch team have personally visited and vetted the factory. It guarantees the factory pays fairly. Votch also ensures the factory offers promotion opportunities and safe working facilities.
Every quarter, Votch partners with a different charity. Here it donates a percentage of its profits made during this time to that quarter’s charity. Charities supported include animal charities such as Off The Plate Sanctuary. This charity rescues, rehabilitates and provides life-long care to neglected farm animals.
All of Votch’s sustainable watches are packaged in recyclable materials for a low environmental impact.
Find Votch at Immaculate Vegan, ranging in price from £120 – £135 – in a range of vegan-friendly styles for men and women
Solios Watches – Best For Solar-Powered Watches
Solios Watches are our top choice for solar-powered watches. This is because each Solios watch has a solar-powered movement. This means there is zero need for battery replacement and zero need for maintenance. As such, it’s the kind of watch you can buy once and never need to buy again.
Each solar cell can hold a power reserve of 6 months after sitting under the sun – or artificial light – for 2 hours. So even if you don’t wear your watch every day, you can let it sit in a drawer for a few days without worrying. Not that you’ll want to take these stylish watches off. But the option is there if needed!
As a B-Corp, Solios uses sustainable materials to make its solar-powered watches. This includes high-quality certified recycled stainless steel and vegan leather.
Solios says this silicone-based alternative is incredibly durable. What’s more, it contains no harmful components such as PU, PVC, solvents, or toxic by-products. It is also recyclable and doesn’t use plasticisers, phthalates, heavy metals, or Bisphenol.
Solios says its vegan leather is more resistant than genuine leather. It is also waterproof, dust-resistant, ink-resistant, skin-friendly, and animal friendly.
Unlike standard quartz watches, which can be made by a single supplier, solar watches are a little more complex. As such, Solios works with partners all over the world. These have been carefully selected and visited by the Solios team.
It really is a global effort. The solar technology and movement are made in Japan, and the watch face is then assembled in Hong Kong.
Suppliers in Switzerland and the United States manufacture the straps. Solios then finally assembles the watch in Montreal.
For every Solios watch sold, one acre of rainforest is protected, through its partnership with The Rainforest Trust. This charity works to protect wild lands for people, animals and the climate.
Solios also supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This is a charity that grants life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.
Solios only uses recycled, reusable or repurposed packaging. This is part of its work to eliminate single-use plastic across its entire supply chain.
Find Solios Watches in the UK at Veo, where they range in price from £225 to £280, with free delivery. You can also get 10% off your first order at Veo when you sign up for the Veo mailing list.
Vestiaire Collective – Best For Preloved Designer Watches
If you covet a designer watch, but it’s out of your budget, then try Vestiaire Collective. This resell platform for luxury designer goods is the perfect place to pick up a sustainable designer watch at preloved prices.
Here you’ll find preloved designer watches for both men and women at a fraction of the retail price. You’ll find luxury brands such as Gucci, Hermes, Chanel, Rolex and Louis Vuitton. And you’ll also find other more affordable designer brands. All in all, this certified B-Corp is a great place to pick up a planet-friendly bargain.
Finding the right watch is easy. Set your budget, and then use the filter to narrow your selection. Filter by brand, colour, condition, materials, and watch mechanism.
Removing The Counterfeit Risk
Buying preloved designer pieces online on some platforms can be risky. However, Vestiaire Collective stamp out the trade of counterfeit goods. This means you can shop with confidence.
Vestiaire Collective has a rigorous process of authentication. The trained authenticators use image analysis to vet and pre-authenticate every item. The team also check the reliability of the seller.
And for extra peace of mind, you can pay a £15 physical authenticity fee at the point of purchase. This means that when you buy an item, the item first goes to Vestiaire Collective. Here the skilled team physically authenticate your purchase in person.
The team also makes sure that your item is exactly as the seller described it, so there are no nasty surprises.
Take €20 off your first order over €100 at Vestiaire Collective using the discount code FIRSTORDER-VC at the checkout.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you to find an ethical and eco-friendly watch. If not, do check back later. I keep all my ethical shopping guides constantly updated with any new eco finds.