The Citizen Promaster UNITE with BLUE Limited Edition © Liam O'Donnell/Watchonis

Sea Change: Five Of The Best Eco-Friendly Dive Watches From Brands Doing Their Bit To Clean Up The Oceans

Today, June 8th, is World Ocean Day. To celebrate it, we take a look at five sustainable watches that help raise awareness about the state of our most valuable resource – water.

By Rhonda Riche

Watchmakers are recognizing that without healthy bodies of water, there’s not much allure for sports like diving – and therefore not much need for dive watches. This is why brands are respecting that relationship by promoting initiatives focused on reclaiming materials that end up in our oceans and using their resources to further reduce their environmental impact.

Here are five great divers that are also good for the environment.

Citizen Promaster UNITE with BLUE

From the birth of its Eco-Drive light technology to its current emphasis on using recycled and plant-based materials, Citizen has long found ways to support and celebrate our planet through its Promaster Sea collection of dive watches.

The Japanese brand’s most recent conscious contribution is the UNITE with BLUE – a light-powered Eco-Drive watch with a crazy beautiful dial inspired by the many shades of blue that color our planet’s oceans.

The dial uses 100 percent recycled polycarbonate materials. The ink used on the surface of the dial, created by FUJIFILM Corporation, produces an intense variety of glittering colors to remind the wearer that water unites us all.

Moreover, the two-tone bezel of this 44mm watch is reminiscent of a sparkling emerald green ocean, coordinating superbly with the colors on the dial. The strap is made from biomass-based polyurethane which includes plant-based materials.

Citizen Promaster UNITE with BLUE is limited to 7,000 pieces and priced at $475.

Ulysse Nardin Diver X The Ocean Race

The first thing you notice about the Ulysse Nardin Diver X The Ocean Race is the dazzling texture of its steely grey, 44mm case. That is because it is made from a high-tech combination of recycled fishing nets and steel, recycled ocean plastic, and Carbonium, a carbon-based composite derived from by-products of aeronautical-grade materials sourced from the aerospace industry. All those elements make it one of the first sustainable luxury watches on the market.

What makes it feel extra premium is Ulysse Nardin’s storied history with all things nautical. The brand is the official timing partner of The Ocean Race, a six-month-long event that recently passed through Providence, Rhode Island.

The company has also partnered with Time to Act, a program aimed at reducing the impact of pollution and climate change. And both UN and The Ocean Race support Racing with Purpose, an initiative which sees teams collect water samples from the seven seas for scientific analysis.

Like all things Ulysse Nardin, this diver is cutting edge in many other ways. The watch, which is water-resistant to 300m, carries Ulysse Nardin’s in-house automatic UN118 movement with a power reserve of 60 hours. To keep the carbon footprint down, 95 percent of the movement parts were sourced from within a 30km radius of the maison’s manufacture in Le Locle, Switzerland.

Ulysse Nardin Diver X The Ocean Race is available now and priced at $11,900 excluding taxes.

Panerai Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel

Panerai is bringing all its savoir-faire to exploring new, sustainable yet still luxurious materials. Case in point: Panerai’s extended collection of Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel timepieces.

Panerai is pretty synonymous with underwater exploration: Apart from its long association with the Italian frogman force Gamma, the brand has entered into a long-term partnership with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO to develop ocean literacy activities for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

Introduced last year, the Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel trio of watches marked the debut of this sustainably-sourced case material in the Submersible line. It was also the first time Panerai used a highly polished, glossy ceramic in its watches.

These 44mm timepieces come in colorful dial and bezel combinations: Verde Smeraldo, Grigio Roccia, and Blu Profondo. And the Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel has all of the diving bona fides that Panerai is known for: 300m water resistance, easy-to-read luminous hour markers and dots, and a dependable P.900 caliber with a three-day power reserve.

But eSteel is not the only thing that is attractive about the QuarantaQuattro eSteel: 53 percent of its total weight is made from recycled materials. It is all part of a larger effort by Panerai to reduce the ecological impact of the watch industry.

The Panerai Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel is available now and is priced at $11,600 excluding taxes.

Oris Aquis Date Upcycle

Oris is another company whose rich history of making dive watches has influenced its approach to environmental sustainability.

Through its Change for the Better campaign, Oris has become a climate-neutral company and is continuing to dramatically chop its carbon footprint. The Swiss brand has also partnered with the conservation organization Everwave to promote the development of floating platforms designed to prevent plastic waste from reaching the ocean.

More than just a symbol of Oris’ commitment to cleaning up our planet, its Aquis Date Upcycle – which is available with either a 41.5mm or 36.5mm case – is a physical manifestation of the brand’s principles. The dial is made of recycled PET plastic recovered from the Earth’s waters. This process produces colorful, random dial patterns making each piece unique.

The Upcycle is also built to last: Both sizes feature a hard-wearing stainless-steel case and a unidirectional rotating diver’s bezel with a scratch-resistant gray ceramic insert. The timepiece comes with a steel bracelet with clasp extension system, a screw-down crown, crown protectors, and a Swiss-made automatic mechanical movement.

The Oris Aquis Date Upcycle is available now and is priced at $2,500 excluding taxes.

Maurice Lacroix Aikon #tide

Maurice Lacroix is aware that recycling is an investment in the future of the communities that are most impacted by pollution.

As part of a long-term commitment to our waterways, the Swiss watch brand has partnered with #tide to recover 10 million plastic bottles from the ocean by providing financial support to local communities around the world.

In Thailand, for example, the brand’s activities include providing longtail boats, warehousing, equipment, and jobs to recover plastic waste from the seas. It also funds educational programs in the region to further boost local economies.

This investment has paid off in the form of the fun, brightly-hued Maurice Lacroix Aikon #tide. It shares the same architecture as other members of the Aikon family, but the bezel, crown, end piece, buckle, and case are made of a composite of upcycled plastic and glass fiber, thus diverting waste from the ocean in the first place!

This material is twice as hard as standard plastic. Its manufacture has a carbon footprint that is six times less than PET.

It is also a fun and affordable take on the dive watch: The Aikon #tide comes in an array of vibrant hues and the dial features a wave-like “Vague de Jura” motif. The 40mm case also has a nice flat sapphire crystal for maximum readability, as well as a screw-down crown and screwed case back to offer a water resistance of 100m.

The Maurice Lacroix Aikon #tide is available now and priced between $760 and $900 excluding taxes.

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