Our need and love for consumption has not only made the agreeable lives we live, it has also filled our planet with trash that is determined to come back and scar us in the most unpleasant ways. The oceans alone, for all their majesty and beauty, are quietly spilling over with trash. According to Greenpeace, plastic waste is being dumped into our oceans at a rate of one truckload every minute, amounting to some 12.7 million tonnes of discarded plastic that finds its way back into circulation, up and down the food chain.
From micro bits that find their way into zooplankton and the whales that live on the latter, to choking turtles, fish and seagulls, plastic is the cheap and nasty wonder material for all applications – including planet suicide, if we let it. Short of going cold turkey on plastic, or inventing a replacement without the ill effects, the only course left to us is better waste management, disposal and recycling. Perhaps some day, we will be able to send trawlers up to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (a floating island of accumulated trash in the middle of the ocean that covers an area larger than Texas, read more about this in our interview with adventurer Mike Horn here), suck up all the garbage and turn it into something that magically makes the world a better place.
Until that day comes, Oris is making a commendable push in that direction. Like many watchmaking companies championing ocean conservation, Oris is spreading the message through sponsorships and limited edition pieces in its collections; it is also going baby steps further using recycled plastic in its Ocean Trilogy limited edition collection.
Based on the Oris Aquis diver’s watch, the first two watches in the trilogy were announced at Baselworld earlier this year: the Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition III, and the Clean Ocean Limited Edition. Available in limited editions of 2,000 pieces each, the former was produced in partnership with Reef Restoration Foundation which is involved in reef planting programmes, while the latter was produced in partnership with Pacific Garbage Screening which is working on a concept to capture plastic waste in rivers and estuaries before it reaches the ocean and turn it into energy.
Besides the aqua blue dials that set them apart from the regular collections, the Clean Ocean Limited Edition also has an interesting design feature, a Technicolor Dreamcoat medallion adorning its caseback, composed most aptly of recycled plastic.
The third and final piece of the Oris Ocean Trilogy has just been announced, the Blue Whale Limited Edition. As opposed to the earlier watches in the Trilogy, the Blue Whale is limited to just 200 pieces and is only available as part of a whole set of all three watches, which comes in a presentation case that is made from recycled plastic.
In 45.5mm stainless steel case and water resistant to 50 bar (500m), the Blue Whale Limited Edition is a self-winding chronograph with gradient dial and ceramic rotating bezel. This watch is partnered with Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), and bears an engraving of the blue whale on its caseback. According to the WDC, our oceans were once home to some 350,000 blue whales. Today, they number less than 10,000.
As for the presentation case, every one is unique. Used plastic bottles are collected, shredded into small pieces, then arranged by hand before being pressed into panels used for making the case. We’d love to see more of this… plastic dwellings in space?