You’re looking at what may be the world’s most sustainable timepiece. Nordgreen's newly launched Guardian watch is far more than an elegant piece of Danish design from a young environmentally-conscious company. Each and every component has been chosen - and tested - for its sustainability. The Guardian, Nordgreen believes, will still be in use in 100 years' time. It's the very opposite to disposable fast fashion.
Nordgreen began from the inside, commissioning extensive research on environmental impacts of watch manufacture. "We have a long-term vision," say these forward-looking Danish pioneers, "to change the watch industry from within. Could we be the brand to develop the world’s most sustainable watch?” Their process towards the final design for the Guardian vividly illustrates Nordgreen’s commitment.
The extraordinary starting point was the notion of a watch that could last a century and more. "The reason behind this goal," say Nordgreen, "is to reduce the environmental impact caused by the production of each watch." Fewer watches thrown away means less impact on landfill. Initial choice of materials, Nordgreen's research found, is key, since it's here that the biggest environmental damage can be caused.
Everything from ocean plastics to bamboo was considered for the watch case. The winner was a remarkable stainless steel with a recycled content of 85% - "the most sustainable stainless steel in the world". Painted brass - "based on the material properties and ease to be customized" was chosen for the dial, while a flat sapphire crystal - "significantly better environmental performance" - has been selected for the glass.
Nordgreen’s research even sought the most sustainable material for the Guardian’s strap - a surprisingly large candidate for environmental harm. Wool and rubber were among those considered. Again recycled stainless steel was chosen, combined with an h-link bracelet and innovative butterfly lock chosen for lack of wear and tear.
Inside it all is the heart of any watch: the movement. Nordgreen rejected battery-powered options in favour of an automatic movement, chosen since it's "respectful to the environment using no batteries as power supply". Each Nordgreen Guardian watch contains Miyota's Caliber 9039 automatic movement, a relatively new design that can, Nordgreen's research shows, last at least 100 years with minimal maintenance.
Design is functionally minimalist, very much in the Danish tradition. This is less of a style and more of a signpost to each Guardian watch's longevity. Fashion comes and goes, but the Guardian watch is for the whole of your life, and for those that follow. If you’re going to wear a watch and care about both the environment, Nordgreen’s Guardian makes a more than compelling case.