These days, brands looking to tout their eco-friendliness and stand out from the crowd are going fishing—for ocean plastic. Trash in the ocean is a serious issue, and one way to address it is to recycle it into products like shoes and clothing. Or, in the case of the new Baume x ZAG Limited Edition II, a wristwatch. Sustainability-focused watch brand Baume has once again teamed up with French ski manufacturer ZAG (the companies also released a watch last year) to create a new timepiece that incorporates ocean plastic and waste materials from ski production. On paper, it sounds like a recipe for a very ugly watch. But one look at the Baume x ZAG Limited Edition II shows that using upcycled materials doesn’t have to mean downgrading looks or performance.
“What makes this watch really interesting is the investment Baume has made in the sustainable design,” says Men’s Journal Fashion Editor Kevin Breen. “This commitment to environmentally friendly design is a unique perspective within the watch industry.”
The ZAG II is available exclusively on the Baume website, and just 100 examples will be produced, so don’t snooze on this one. It features an automatic Miyota movement, and the openwork dial gives you a glimpse of the watch’s mechanics. It also comes with a number of Baume hallmarks that really set it apart from other watches. For example, the dial is laid out in a unique 24-hour regulator format: The main counter shows minutes, the smaller counter shows hours, and a tiny counter at the 2 o’clock position displays running seconds. Like other Baume watches, the crown is placed at the 12 o’clock position.
Natural and up-cycled materials abound on this timepiece. The 42mm case is made from scrap ski materials—natural wood and carbon—and they’re matched with a striking blue anodized aluminum container that protects the movement and makes it water-resistant. We especially love the design of the see-through case back: The contrast between the warm tones of the natural wood grain and the metal cogs of the Miyota movement really make this watch special.
To top it off, the Baume x ZAG Limited Edition II comes with two different straps, one in white and one in blue cotton. Both feature a cork lining (another natural material) for a comfortable feel against your wrist and contrast stitching for a bold, sporty look. In addition, the white strap uses yarn made from recycled ocean plastic sourced from Waste Free Oceans.
And if that’s not enough for you, two percent of the sales of each ZAG II will go to Protect Our Winters, a climate-change advocacy group. How’s that for helping the planet?
Overall, we think the timepiece brings out the best of Baume’s sustainability-focused ethos. The use of natural and recycled materials isn’t just a gimmick applied to one aspect of the watch. Instead, all of the eco-friendly materials come together to create a truly eye-catching design.
[Available in early March, $1,350; baumewatches.com]
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