Blancier Handmade Watches has succeeded in making watches from empty Nespresso coffee capsules. A patented system is used to turnthe cups into watch faces. In that way Blancier not only contributes to the recycling of used capsules of the popular coffee brand but also creates one of the most sustainable watches in the world.
Blancier’s owner Willem Kamerman therefore uses the term ‘upcycling’ rather than ‘recycling’: "We don’t reuse the cups; we turn the waste into something more attractive and valuable. We move up the chain,” he explains.
The series of watches has been given the name of Grand Cru. The owner’s attention is constantly drawn to the sustainable nature of his watch. Literally, as Kamerman explains: “Every time you look at the watch you’re made aware that you don’t have to throw everything away.”
The fact that they are mechanical and wound up by hand already makes Blancier’s handmade watches more sustainable than makes of watches powered by batteries. “More than a billion used watch batteries are thrown away every year,” says Kamerman. The Nespresso coffee capsules are made of anodised aluminium. That means the colours are wear-resistant and remain intact even if the capsule is flattened with a thousand-kilo weight. Because every watch face is formed differently from a cup, the resulting watches are exclusive.
"The idea of developing this watch came to me while I was waiting to get a coffee at a Nespresso Boutique. I was struck by the fact that the Boutique employees, looking splendid in their smart corporate outfits and even matching shoes, were wearing their “own” watches. As a watch enthusiast I thought how great it would be if every employee also wore a matching watch that was also sustainable,"says Kamerman.
To make the product fully sustainable, he has even found a way of stopping people throwing away the packaging. The watch is presented in a special booklet telling the story of the Blancier Grand Cru series, which people can put in their bookcase.