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10 Sustainable Watches Made from Ocean Plastic

Believe it or not, upcycled plastic recovered from the sea is the latest hot watchmaking material.

ulysse nardin ocean plastic watch
Ulysse Nardin

Plastic isn't usually a material most watchmakers clamor to be associated with. But when it's used for a good reason, plastic can suddenly look a whole lot more attractive and meaningful. It's one of the most interesting and unexpected recent trends in watches: recovering polluting plastic debris from the oceans and recycling it for use in watches — and even high-end Swiss brands are getting in on the action.

Watch brands are regularly involved in charitable and sustainability activities, and with the popularity of dive watches, it's no surprise that many brands look toward the ocean for their charity of choice. Many of the watches you see here are made with material from the Swiss company Tide Ocean Material, which collects ocean plastic specifically from the Andaman Sea in South East Asia with regional partners and processes it in Switzerland using solar energy.

There are various ways in which brands' work can contribute to or highlight ocean conservancy, but combining these efforts with advances in watchmaking materials makes it feel more tangible to the consumer. Little watches might not be using a lot of ocean plastic, but every bit counts and such initiatives at least help raise awareness.

Watch brands might be genuinely good-hearted, but they probably wouldn't make such watches if you didn't want to buy them (or at least hear about them). Besides, if you feel a little guilty buying a product you don't need — such as a watch — a sense that you're contributing to something positive might help you pull the trigger. These watches also often have unique designs to highlight their unique material — and there's nothing like a watch with a good story and some character.

Watchmakers like Oris, Breitling and others have incorporated recycled ocean plastic into straps and packaging, but the watches below stand out for going all the way and offering full watch cases made from the material.

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The Horse Ocean Plastics
The Horse

With a field watch aesthetic and a basic quartz movement, this Australian retailer is offering the full ocean plastic experience with case and strap made from the recycled material — it's also probably the most accessible way to get an ocean plastic watch on your wrist. At sub-$100 prices and available in a range of colors, these can easliy just be fun "why not?" summer watches.

Diameter: 38mm
Movement: Quartz
Water Resistance: 50m

Triwa Time for Oceans

Triwa's Time for Oceans collection includes field and dive watch styles using cases and straps fully made from upcycled ocean plastic, offering a healthy range of options — all with moderate sizes of 37mm or 40mm for the dive-style models. Vibrant colors, a cool wave pattern for the dials and 100m of water resistance give them a perfectly casual, beachy feel. 

Diameter: 37mm 
Movement: Miyota 2035 quartz
Water Resistance: 100m

Nixon Light-Wave

Nixon's fully ocean plastic watch and strap offers a pretty simple and cool design, with four available variations in a robust case with 100m of water resistance. A solar-charging quartz movement will mean the batteries last longer — and provide you with worry-free convenience. 

Diameter: 37mm 
Movement: Epson solar-powered quartz 
Water Resistance: 100m

MVMT Minimal Sport Ocean Plastic Edition

MVMT offers a bolder presence with 45mm of recycled ocean plastic on your wrist, and a contemporary design to match it. The straps, made of the same material, also feature interesting patterns with colors to match the cases and dials. A solar-powered quartz movement inside and 100m of water resistance just makes you want to take it to the beach or pool.

Diameter: 45mm 
Movement: Quartz, solar-charging 
Water Resistance: 100m

Awake AW.01
Awake Concept

The French brand Awake has some strong designs, and a brand concept centered on sustainability — it claims its watches have "the lowest environmental impact of the entire watch industry." Made of recycled ocean plastic, the brand highlights the material with interesting textures and dials to match. Solar charging quartz movements up the proposition, and each of its collections are worth a look for those drawn to its mission. 

Diameter: 42mm 
Movement: Solar Miyota EL31 quartz
Water Resistance: 50m

Luminox Bear Grylls Survival ECO
bear grylls

Luminox has been on a tear since it teamed up with celebrity survival instructor Gear Grylls and dedicated a fast-growing collection to the collab. With tough military looks, a bold case size, a rotating diving bezel and a tritium-illuminated dial, this watch fits right in with the collection and brand personality. What's different is that its case and strap are made from — you guessed it — recycled ocean-bound plastic material.

Diameter: 45mm 
Movement: Swiss quartz 
Water Resistance: 200m

The Sea Creatures 40mm

Shinola's ocean plastic Sea Creatures watch is nothing if not vibrant and eye-catching. It's moderately sized, however, at 40mm and, of course, fully made of ocean plastic from its case to its strap. It comes in three colorways for its case and dial, but offers further variation thanks to a couple more strap options — all pretty striking and unusual. 

Diameter: 40mm 
Movement: Argonite 715 quartz 
Water Resistance: 100m

Tom Ford 002 Ocean Plastic Watch
Tom Ford
Tom Ford

Tom Ford is better known for expensive suits, but the brand also has a couple of its own watch collections. The move to produce them in recycled ocean plastic along with their own signature braid strap also made from the material caught our attention — and the unexpectedly vibrant strap colors even more so. Even the packaging is made from ocean plastic.

Diameter: 40mm 
Movement: Swiss quartz 
Water Resistance: 100m

Seastrong Diver Gyre Automatic

We're talking about a real dive watch here from a well respected Swiss brand with an automatic mechanical movement inside. The straps are made from recycled plastic bottles or apples, and the case's ocean plastic material is collected from gyres, the oceans' macro eddies where such refuse collects to form monstrous islands. $100 from each sale will be donated to the US National Park Foundation.

Diameter: 44mm
Movement: Sellita SW200 automatic
Water Resistance: 300m

Ulysse Nardin Diver Net
Ulysse Nardin

It's surprising to see a high-end brand like Ulysse Nardin produce a watch in plastic, but this is a mere one-off concept watch that won't be for sale, and is rather part of the brand's ongoing partnerships and efforts to address and raise awareness for ocean conservancy. You can't get this watch, but don't fret, as you can get more dive watches from the brand using traditional case materials and straps made from ocean plastic. 

Diameter: 44mm
Movement: UN-118 automatic
Water Resistance: 300m

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