A growing number of companies have invested in using recycled plastics in their watches over the past three or four years. Although, perhaps none as much as Maurice Lacroix.
The company has taken its best-selling traditional metallic Aikon watch collection and created an entire recycled plastic case collection called the Aikon Tide. Considering the unprecedented success of the MoonSwatch — in the copycat-centric world of watch design — this is not surprising at all.
While the MoonSwatch is made from bioceramic (ceramic and bio-derived plastic), the Aikon Tide case is made from recycled plastic. Both watches use Swiss quartz movements, however, the MoonSwatch is considerably cheaper at $260 compared to a $700 starting price for the Aikon Tide. They both are marketed as Swiss-made although Maurice Lacroix’s economies of scale are nowhere near that of the Swatch Group, so that could play into the price being so much higher.
That said, with inflation, and the Swatch Group’s on-the-fly marketing strategy with respect to the MoonSwatch, we’d bet the low $260 starting price could surge any day due to the fact that the demand is currently so high, and because of inflation.
For Maurice Lacroix’s latest Aikon Tide, they worked with Thai artist Benzilla to create a special limited edition version. The case and packaging are made from 17 recycled plastic bottles per watch, theoretically helping the environment, and appealing to in the process eco-friendly consumers.
At 40 mm x 11 mm the watch is a comfortable size for a broad variety of wrists. The Aikon Tide Bezilla Limited Edition has a premium sapphire crystal, versus a cheaper plastic crystal on the MoonSwatch, and a water-resistance rating of 100 meters, compared to 30 meters for the MoonSwatch.
In conjunction with the launch of the Aikon Tide Benzilla LE, Maurice Lacroix is opening a mono-brand boutique today in Bangkok Thailand.
With the undeniable early success of the MoonSwatch as a likely leading indicator — plus initial sales data on the Aikon Tide — Maurice Lacroix is clearly wagering that recycled plastic watches are here to stay.
Photo by Maurice Lacroix.