Breitling is introducing a foldable, reusable watch box created entirely from upcycled plastic bottles. With the new box, Breitling has effectively reinvented packaging in the watch industry – underscoring the brand’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact and replacing the large, heavy watch boxes that have long been an industry mainstay with a small, smart, modular alternative. The sustainable packaging has already been awarded the Efficient Solution Label, given by the Solar Impulse Foundation to solutions that have a positive impact on the environment and the economy.

Breitling’s new watch box is made from materials that can be recycled and reused in future projects. From the fabric to the push buttons that open it – the new watch box is made from 100% upcycled PET bottles, which is among the most widely recyclable types of plastic. Following the cradle-to-cradle – or regenerative – principle, once the box is no longer needed, it can be recycled at a dedicated facility where it will be fed back into the rPET cycle. Breitling’s new watch boxes will be available in early 2021.

Breitling CEO Georges Kern is excited about what the industry’s first 100% recycled and recyclable watch box that is both foldable and reusable means to his brand. He says: “Breitling is committed to doing everything within its sphere of influence to reduce the company’s environmental impact. With that in mind, we started working on a sustainable packaging concept with the goal of optimizing the impact on the environment, and the result has exceeded our ambitions. It has evolved into a positively disruptive element that has affected many different aspects of our packaging, ranging from material to transport and even to how customers will use the box.”

A Reduced Footprint and Fewer Materials
Before introducing the new watch box, Breitling had already explored ways of reducing the environmental footprint of its packaging. The brand created an alternative box that was about half the size of the industry standard – and that was only the beginning. The next major step was the introduction of the new watch box, which, in turn, is about half the size of Breitling’s current box. At the same time, Breitling reduced the number of elements used in its packaging from an average of 12 to just 3: the box, the pillow, and the quick-start guide.

Optimized Logistics Flows, Minimized CO2 Emissions
With its revised packaging concept, Breitling is able to ship the new boxes directly to its markets, meaning that the average distance a box travels is reduced by almost 30%. The smaller size has a positive impact on logistics, particularly since the box can be unfolded and shipped flat. The steps that Breitling has taken since the start of its search for an environmentally friendly watch box have meant a reduction in transport-related CO2 emissions of over 60% compared to those generated by the shipment of its original watch box. 

These new, ecologically responsible watch boxes complement some of Breitling’s other initiatives, including its partnership with the NGO Ocean Conservancy, which is dedicated to solving the most pressing challenges facing the world’s ocean, including ocean plastics.

Added Benefits for Breitling Customers
In addition, the pillow inside the box has been given a second purpose with a design that allows it to be used as a travel pouch. Breitling started out with the idea of creating a watch box with reduced environmental impact but the project has resulted in some additional benefits. With the innovative design and multiple uses of the box and pillow elements, customers will appreciate the packaging for its practicality and versatility. 

The Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label
Breitling was delighted to see its new sustainable packaging concept awarded the Efficient Solution Label, delivered by the Solar Impulse Foundation. The foundation has set itself the goal of selecting 1000 solutions that protect the environment in a financially profitable way, presenting them to decision-makers in order to accelerate the transition to a carbon-neutral economy, and has recognized Breitling’s new packaging as one of them. Thanks to a rigorous evaluation process, the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label is the only evaluation that guarantees the economic profitability of products and processes that protect the environment. Considered a recognition for innovators and a credible marker of quality for governments and companies, it enables decision-makers to find efficient solutions to meet their environmental commitments.

Customers Can Choose the Conventional Box – and Support SUGi
The classic Breitling watch box will still be available to customers who request it. They will be encouraged to offset the environmental impact of their choice by making a voluntary contribution to SUGi. Breitling is proud to be a partner of this people-powered impact venture, which is committed to making the restoration of biodiversity simple, shareable, and societally transformative. The funds will be used to restore biodiversity and regenerate ecosystems in SUGi Urban Forests around the world.


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