Greubel Forsey Ditches Animal Leather Straps For Good

An esteemed independent taking sustainable horology seriously.

What had been whispers about sustainable watchmaking for a number of years is gathering visible momentum this year. Where previously, a smattering of brands would offer limited edition watches with straps or cases made of recycled materials or, in the instance of larger companies like A. Lange & Söhne and Omega, renovate their manufacturing facilities to allow for more environmentally friendly production processes, an increasing number of marques are putting their efforts directly on their wrists of customers.

Illustrious niche independent brand Grebuel Forsey, of the multiple (and multi-axis – tourbillon) fame has announced that it is DONE with using animal leather straps. From 1 January 2022, the brand will only be using straps made from plant-based materials on 100 per cent of its watches.

The brand insists that plant-based straps can deliver the same look, quality and feel as leather straps – in fact, the two are almost indiscernible. Greubel Forsey customers can expect the plant-based straps to come in several colour variations, as well as with a pin buckle or folding clasp, the latter being a first for plant-based straps.

“The technical offer for plant-based straps is mature, and our clients are by nature forward-thinking and welcoming of innovation. We want to be in line with their world vision and we are delighted to write a new chapter of responsible and sustainable high-end watchmaking,” says Antonio Calce, CEO of Greubel Forsey.

With Greubel Forsey joining the likes of Cartier, which debuted a Tank collection with plant-based strap, and Panerai, which premiered watch cases, as well as a concept movement, almost wholly in recycled materials at Watches and Wonders 2021, amongst other brands that have taken up the sustainability mantle, it appears that the movement is gathering steam as a genuine cause, instead of a novel marketing spin. Question is: are end-consumers equally committed to the vision? We, too, hope the answer will be affirmative.

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Ex Editor-In Chief

Alvin promises not to be a douche when talking about watches. He may have scoured the Basel and Geneva watch fairs for the past 15 years, and played an instrumental role to the growth of Singapore's pioneering horological and men's lifestyle publications, but the intrepid scribe seeks to learn something new with each story he writes.


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