In our modern world, sustainability and environmental consciousness have made their way into nearly every industry on earth, and while the luxury watch business may be a somewhat late adopter in this field it is far from uninvolved in pushing towards a cleaner and more efficient future. Most of these efforts in the watch industry take the form of partnerships with environmental groups and charities, but as time goes on brands have begun to work more directly to address their own products’ impact on the environment. Breitling is the latest brand to join this charge, announcing that it will offer a new packaging concept across its entire product line made entirely of recycled materials. The new Breitling box is constructed entirely of upcycled PET plastic reclaimed from plastic bottles and can be completely recycled again if no longer needed.
The new foldable Breitling box will be standard equipment with all new Breitling purchases, and takes a dramatically different visual tack from the brand’s traditional luxury box. Measuring in at roughly half the size of a standard watch box, the new recyclable box’s PET plastic takes on a durable fabric look in navy blue with vibrant yellow accents. The environmental benefits of the new box extend beyond the recycled materials used to make it. Thanks to the new design, the brand can ship boxes directly to its markets, reducing the average distance a box travels before reaching a retailer by nearly 30%, which together with the smaller size and weight reduce overall shipping-related carbon dioxide emissions by well over 60% per box. The new box is simple than the average luxury watch packaging as well, with only three elements – the box itself, the internal pillow, and the quick start guide. This efficiency, sustainability, and emissions reduction have already earned the new box an Efficient Solution Label award from the business focused Solar Impulse Foundation.
While the new packaging’s focus on sustainability and efficient production is commendable, it remains to be seen whether this new concept will prove popular with buyers. Without the identifiably luxurious feel of polished wood or leather, there is a possibility that consumers in Breitling’s segment may lose interest. For those who prefer the classic luxurious feel of traditional watch packaging, however, Breitling will still provide a conventional box upon request to buyers in exchange for a voluntary donation to SUGi, an international charity organization dedicated to restoring biodiversity and healing damaged ecosystems.
Although the past few years have seen a growing trend toward environmentally conscious luxury watchmaking, Breitling’s new box concept is a dramatic and innovative step forward in creating a sustainable future for an industry deeply rooted in traditional practices. The new recycled Breitling watch box is expected to become standard equipment across all Breitling product lines in early 2021. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.