THE MOVEMENT ISSUE

THE MOVEMENT ISSUE

When you launch a new watch brand, choosing the movement is a lot more strategic than you might think. This is truly the heart of the watch. We needed to find a solution that would meet our sustainable requirements, would be easy-wearing for most people, and would not be too expensive, all while keeping our watch affordable. Tough mission.

For some reasons, a standard quartz movement was not an option. For sure, this is the cheapest solution on the market, and that’s the main reason most brands use it. But batteries need to be replaced several times during the watch’s life. Obviously not the best way to reduce waste or limit the pollution that threatens our landfills and oceans. Couldn’t be our choice.

A mechanical movement could have been a great option, but having to choose between a cheap (and non-necessarily reliable) movement and an expensive one, which would make the watch more expensive, was not ideal. Besides the price issue, there is another point to take into consideration for mechanical movements: practicality. Firstly, a mechanical movement stops every two days if you don’t wear or wind the watch. Some people like that, but most people don’t enjoy adjusting the time whenever it stops. It’s a fact. Secondly, everything that is mechanical needs to be serviced regularly, to prevent damage. This costs money. So, clearly, the most expensive solution is not necessarily the best for most people.

That said, we’ve just crossed off the two options that equip 99% of non-connected watches.

  

The recycled steel that we use is 100% 316L, the highest-quality standard. It is also 100% recyclable, and anti-allergic on the skin. There’s nothing to add!

So, what’s next..?

Do you guys remember that ugly solar calculator, you used at the college for your math lessons? That little solar panel surface was enough to allow it to make thousands of calculations, without a battery or electricity… For most of us, that scientific instrument was our first experience of solar technology.

This technology has improved significantly over the past few years. When used for watches, it gives an unbeatable performance in many aspects:

  • It’s powered by nature. Light is a free, natural and unlimited energy. Our movement absorbs this energy from everywhere, outside or inside, and brings life to our watches, just as the sun does for humans.
  • It’s easy going. Three hours wear on your wrist will provide up to six months of power reserve, without any light. In simple words: it’s perpetual energy on your wrist. Truly.
  • It’s sustainable. No disposable battery. Minimal impact.
  • It’s service-free. No extra cost.

From our perspective, we had all the ingredients to fulfil our expectations. So it was a no-brainer: we’d go solar.

Once we’d decided the technology, we had to find the best partner. We found them in Shiojiri City, in Japan. Seiko has built a solid reputation in the watch industry and was able to accompany us on our journey. With a 99,5% reliability rate in their movement and engineers to help us in the watch’s conception, what more could we ask for?

So why don’t other brands use this technology more?

Firstly, simple because of a lack of demand: most people (just like us before we started AWAKE), don’t really know about all the advantages that a solar watch movement can bring. Therefore, they simply don’t ask for it. We hope that we have raised more interest in this optimal technology.

Secondly, because when brands sell mechanical movements without the luxury markup that often comes with watches, they look for the cheapest solution to optimize their margins. No matter the future costs to the new owner.

Right now, many industries, from big automotive players to governments, are putting their efforts and investments into solar options, to build green, reliable and autonomous energy. Guess why? Well, as Elon would say: because it’s the future.

From our perspective, we had all the ingredients to fulfil our expectations. So it was a no-brainer: we’d go solar.