When it comes to sustainability or even traceability of components, the watch industry does not tend to offer the levels of transparency that many of us would like.
Swiss-made does not have to mean that the watch was made in Switzerland. And while making a dial out of reclaimed Ocean Plastic is commendable, if the rest of the watch is constructed using virgin materials, and the components are shipped halfway around the globe to be assembled within Swiss borders, only the most reckless marketing person would dare to label it sustainable.
Which makes it so refreshing to meet watchmaker Olivier Gaud. Born and raised in Geneva, Olivier is a lifelong fan of horology, whose industry experience includes working at Christie’s, Vacheron, and Cartier. And most importantly, his passion for timepieces led to the creation of OLIGO, a Swiss watchmaker with sustainability at its heart.
Launched on the 2nd February 2022, OLIGO is located in the heart of Swiss watchmaking, and early on, Olivier decided that it was crucial for his company to work with local suppliers – to both minimize the carbon footprint and environmental impact of his watches, and to build long-lasting relationships with the people and companies that provide components for his watches.
With slim 41mm Swiss-made cases, constructed from recycled Swiss steel, 100% Swiss-made sapphire crystals, Swiss-made Soprod M100 automatic movements, and even 100% recyclable paper packaging produced in Geneva, Olivier has got incredibly close to a fully Swiss-made watch. But admits that he fell in love with the vegan, PVC-free straps of ColaReb, a small producer of high-quality straps, based in Rome.
One ingredient we haven’t been able to pin down the origins of, is the magic, which is clearly contained under the glass of all three versions of the new OLIGO watch, allowing the hour and minute hand to float around the dial. Seemingly untethered, and entirely mysterious – although we understand that 0.2mm thick pieces of glass may play some small part in the illusion.
Available to pre-order now with delivery starting in October, the first model from OLIGO is limited to 100 pieces, with 40 in blue, 40 in black, and 20 in brownm, priced at CHF 2,600 (minus VAT).