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Will you consider an IWC over Rolex or Omega or any other big-name brands based on sustainable ratin

  • Yes

  • No

  • I don't care about environmental rating

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As a professor and certified professional engineer, I often check the feasibility of a renewable energy system where I need to calculate how many years it will take, e.g., for a solar photovoltaic-battery system, to offset the greenhouse gas involved in their manufacturing process and materials sourcing.

I was researching the same for the wristwatch industry and found the WWF environmental rating of the top 15 Swiss brands. The WWF rated the IWC as the most environment-conscious watch brand. Other interesting facts from the WWF report, only 2% of the global watch sales are Swiss made. In contrast, when we consider total global turnover, 55% are swiss made.

So the question is will you give the IWC more consideration over the big names like Omega or Rolex???
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Absolutely not.

There's nothing "green" about anything in the luxury segment (except maybe Tesla, and that's arguable). By definition, "luxury" items aren't even needed.

IMO, almost every corporate environmental effort is being driven by:

1. A government regulation
2. Cost saving measures being rebadged as "eco friendly" to reduce customer backlash
3. A branding initiative created by the Marketing department (greenwashing).

Yeah, I'm lots of fun at parties.
 

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On a slightly different topic, I'd be interested to know what IWC is doing to achieve such a rating.

Did they:
1. Eliminate the corporate parking lot so workers would take mass transit to work, or ride a bike?
2. Use primarily solar/wind energy in their factories?
3. Use recycled materials their cases and movements?
4. Move to vegan-leather straps or eliminating their boutique/retail presence?

Given how small watches are for their price, I think there are many more effective areas to improve ones environmental footprint.

Cars, consumer electronics, fast-fashion and fast food come immediately to mind as being far more harmful to the environment per dollar spent.
 

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To be fair, it's not necessarily true that Rolex/Omega/Patek/Breguet/etc are less sustainable/green/whatever than IWC; all those charts indicate is that those other companies are not transparent about it. They could be twice as sustainable as IWC, but not release any external reporting about it.
 

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Yes I will give the IWC more consideration over the big names like Omega or Rolex but I’d never have thought to bring their ER into the equation.

Addendum: and now that you’ve raised the issue and I’ve thought about it, I still won’t. They’re watches, it’s not like we’re talking big, resource-hungry industry here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
On a slightly different topic, I'd be interested to know what IWC is doing to achieve such a rating.

Did they:
1. Eliminate the corporate parking lot so workers would take mass transit to work, or ride a bike?
2. Use primarily solar/wind energy in their factories?
3. Use recycled materials their cases and movements?
4. Move to vegan-leather straps or eliminating their boutique/retail presence?

Given how small watches are for their price, I think there are many more effective areas to improve ones environmental footprint.

Cars, consumer electronics, fast-fashion and fast food come immediately to mind as being far more harmful to the environment per dollar spent.
SaoDavi, you raised some good points/inquiries. I am trying to gather more data on these. I wonder the person who is financially well-off and has the capacity to purchase expensive watches, could probably make a decision based on his/her environmental awareness. It will be great to know a WUS member who has a roof-top solar, battery, electric car and made a decision to purchase the IWC over the Rolex or Omega. Compared to cars, fast food, fashion, watch industry's environmental footprint is pretty small, however; wristwatch is still a choice we make.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
To be fair, it's not necessarily true that Rolex/Omega/Patek/Breguet/etc are less sustainable/green/whatever than IWC; all those charts indicate is that those other companies are not transparent about it. They could be twice as sustainable as IWC, but not release any external reporting about it.
You are absolutely spot on, Yeardley. Data had been requested; however; they refused to provide those data. I will be waiting for the next WWF report. I suspect Rolex will come on top.
 
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No. I don't believe anything a watch manufacturer says and I think they all have parts made in China that are not factored into the rating.

The main thing I am concerned with is if the watch looks good and functions well.

Origin, brand or claimed environmental rating is not that important to me in regards to watches.
 

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No, I would not consider a carbon footprint in a watch purchase. The watch industry is not "up there" as a major contributor in pollution that I am aware. For that matter, to be the least "wasteful" I wouldn't buy a watch at all. They are non-essential with the advent of cell phones.

I always wonder if the ratings involved a fee-based audit. And secondarily, I am ridiculously suspicious of anyone promoting their brand as a "green" value. The companies who provide feedback on the impactfulness of industries are in the business of making the conversation about impact relevant, or they would be out of a job. I am not anti-environment, just anti-manipulation for profit.
 

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As a professor, why would you present a poll with two not entirely contradictory "no" answers--forcing respondents to choose between the two, where both "yes" and "no" respondents may also not care at all about a watch's environmental rating?
 

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I would look at IWC over Rolex and Omega, but I admit it's more because I tend to lean away from the leaders in industries. I have for a long time been in love with the IWC Portofino.

When a company says they are going green I am always little sceptical. To me it feels like a marketing ploy. Many times the measures they take could be far more meaningful for the environment.

In the case of IWC, other than the information you have provided I am rather ignorant of what actions they have taken.
 

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"Environmental rating"??? I don't give an isht. Honestly. I have a whole lot of other things that matter more to me, such as if my socks match that day.
I'll see that, and raise you! As a BK amputee my legs don't match so I don't give a Tinker's Cuss if my socks don't match either. And due to my tattoos my arms don't match either so when I wear gloves....

When India and China implement even half of the pollution control measures we have done already, I'll give the matter more thought.
 

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Compared to cars, fast food, fashion, watch industry's environmental footprint is pretty small, however; wristwatch is still a choice we make.
Agreed. But people buy what they like. We're talking about a $10,000+ jewelry purchase. I can't see anyone passing over their first, second and third choice and picking an IWC due to their ER.

Also, everyone is financially constrained at some point. We don't have enough money to buy everything we want. So, while a wristwatch purchase is a choice we all make, it's environmental impact is miniscule compared to other areas of our life where a bigger impact could be made for less money. It's a non-factor.

If anyone was THAT concerned about the environment, they wouldn't even buy a watch (or one over $25) as they aren't even necessary.

My next IWC ...
 
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