You might have found this page because you Googled something like “sustainable watch.” I did a few weeks ago. I found tons of wooden watches. I get it. Wood seems natural, but it’s clearly not ideal. To be strong enough, the body needs to be thick, and even then it won’t have the durability and resilience of metal. That led me to find the One Eleven Field Watch, a solar-powered, sustainably sourced watch with adventure in mind.
This checks all my basics for an everyday watch. The hands and markers glow in the dark, with 24 hour time labeled. It’s rated for 10 ATM water-resistance, which means it’ll be fine in any water except serious diving. It has a hardened mineral crystal lens that shouldn’t scratch easily. The band uses velcro which should make it easy to fit most people (I hate when my wrist falls in between two holes on a band). The result is a thin, modern watch with a sophisticated appearance.
One Eleven is owned by Fossil Group, a massive watch conglomerate. I can’t find any of the red flags that typically come from a big corporation. They actually seem to have a pretty strong focus on sustainability, which you can read more about here. I wouldn’t worry about supporting this subsidiary.
At $125, it’s a great value, considering how hard it can be to find options at that price without sustainability practices. When you buy from them, you’ll get free shipping and returns, backed by a two year warranty.
This watch gets its major sustainability points from material choices. The body is made from 85% recycled stainless steel, which should be on par with your durability expectations. The strap is made from a woven PET, which is made from recycled water bottles and itself can be recycled. The black ring surrounding the lens is made from an eco-friendly plant-based plastic that contains no petroleum products.
One Eleven is also a member of 1% of the Planet, like us, which means 1% of their sales revenue goes to environmental causes. Their packaging is made from 100% recycled paper and environmentally-friendly non-toxic inks.
Most watches are made with replaceable batteries, intended to be tossed after use. Solar power eliminates that toxic battery waste and adds convenience. There’s no charging like a smart watch. There’s no purchasing and exchanging batteries. It should just work.
They claim the battery can hold six months of power when fully charged. That only matters if you store it in a dark drawer for months and don’t want to reset the time when you take it out. Otherwise, it’ll charge with natural or artificial light, never getting close to empty.
Our call was this desert color, which has the white face and silver body. They also a gear accented and blacked out version pictured below.
VSSL Field Survival Set
For the very adventure-minded, One Eleven partnered up with VSSL. We owe you an article all about them, but in short, they have these little waterproof canisters. You can pick your canister length, then fill it with modules, little tins with gear ranging from first aid and fire starters, to dice and shot glasses. The top and bottom of the canister can include a carabiner, compass, and flashlight. You might save some money buying this set if you’re into the system, but part of the fun is configuring your VSSL from scratch.