Think of today’s post as running in parallel to a post from last year about Triwa’s watches made from recycled plastic. Parallel because it is not about using recycled material to make watches, but it is about Swatch deciding to introduce the use of more bio-sourced materials.
In late 2020 Swatch introduced their BIORELOADED 1983 collection, which was their first small step away from conventional plastic use by utilising material sourced from castor plant seeds and coming in packaging made from a material that is a mix of potato and tapioca starch that is biodegradable, recyclable, and able to be composted by the wearer.
Now, they’re evolving that a bit further with the Swatch BIOCERAMIC launch collection. This is all being done under the ‘Swatch Next’ concept, which is about the brand’s next generation of bio-sourced composite materials. These materials will have to be ones that are able to be injected, so they can be used by their existing production facilities.
As the name explains, this first composite material is made out of two products – the same castor seeds as last year, plus ceramic. The ratios are two-thirds ceramic and one-third of the bioplastic produced using castor oil, with pigment for colouring. It will have the benefits of ceramic in terms of lightness, scratch resistance and toughness, but be soft to the touch because of the bioplastic.
The use of this material is being debuted in the form of a quartz 47mm Big Bold in five colours: black, white, light grey, light blue and light pink. They want these launch pieces to be focused on the material, so there are no decorative additions. The lack of a dial is also a decision based on highlighting the material.
Because compatibility with production machinery was of paramount importance when creating this BIOCERAMIC, it means that it is likely to make appearances across their collections, but there is no plan to completely replace conventional plastic. Perhaps a composite material using recycled plastic might be possible in the future?
Available online and in-store from 20 April 2021, the new BIOCERAMIC has a price of AUD 195.
[Photo credit: Swatch]