It is virtually universally agreed that everyone, from industry to individual need to play their part in making the world a more sustainable place – from reducing investment in fossil fuel extraction, to inventing new processes in recycling materials. In the watch industry in particular, we have seen recycled straps, and cases – but arguably, none as relatable as the new Hublot Big Bang Unico Nespresso Origin. With a case from a familiar source, and a strap made with everyone’s favourite drink, this new watch shows how materials can be upcycled to create something with much more value than it had previously.
Globally, around 62 billion coffee pods are used every day – and Nespresso has continuously made efforts to make recycling their pods easier. For the Big Bang Unico Nespresso Origin, the case contains recycled aluminium, of which 28% are used Nespresso coffee pods. The aluminium is then anodised to a vibrant green colour that echoes Nespresso’s Master Origins Peru Organic capsule.
The crown and chronograph pushers also undergo the same treatment as the case, of anodisation, satin-finishing and polishing.
The straps included with the watch also incorporate coffee elements into them, and are easily interchangeable with Hublot’s unique One-Click system – the rubber strap fuses 8.2% recycled white rubber and 4.1% coffee grounds together with the usual Hublot blend that further upcycles these once unwanted materials.
Furthermore, the fabric strap is from one of Nespresso’s partners, SingTex, that produces a 100% recycled fabric that is 95% recycled polyester and 5% coffee grounds. Working together with Nespresso, the external elements of this watch are proof positive that upcycling materials can lead to massive increases in value when they are properly processed and worked.
The Big Bang Unico Nespresso Origin measures in at 42mm with its verdant recycled anodised aluminium case. The colour itself is a remarkable achievement, with 7 different materials in this bright green colouration, requiring a year of research and development to ensure that they stand the test of time.
The skeletonised dial allows for a dive into the movement mechanics allowing a look into the chronograph mechanism that is positioned dial-side for an on-the-wrist look at the operation of this complication. The dial is also colour matching with the case, further accentuating the eco-friendliness of the watch. A running seconds subdial resides at 9 o’clock, and the 60 minutes counter is positioned at 3 o’clock, which is enlarged for better legibility, and also incorporates the date window. The hands, and markers are also contrasted in white for ease of reading.
Powering the watch is the HUB1280, a manufacture movement by Hublot that was designed to be more reliable and fit smaller cases with ease. The movement features a 72 hour power reserve, and is automatically wound.
The 200-piece limited edition will be delivered in the new Hublot Greenbox, that will be used for all watch collections in the future. Featuring an all-wood construction, including its hinges, in traceable wood, along with an interior that is 98% recycled materials, the brand has not only pushed the limits of what can be recycled, but how it should be packaged as well. In the case of this Hublot and Nespresso collaboration, the box features the two brands’ logos that are affixed using coffee grounds.
Hublot and Nespresso have proven to all of us that recycled materials do indeed have a place in luxury watchmaking, and that materials destined for landfill can be upcycled to create more value in the supply chain. No matter your feelings about Hublot and their approach to watchmaking, it cannot be denied that this is a great achievement in the world of sustainability – a truly “green” watch that paves the way for other brands to be just as environmentally conscious as they are.