Vollebak has been described as one of today’s most innovative and futuristic fashion houses thanks to creations like the world’s first Graphene Jacket and a Black Squid Jacket that works like an invisibility cloak.
Now the company’s founders, British brothers Nick and Steve Tidball, have turned their attention to watches, but this time they are looking to the recent past for materials and design.
The Garbage watch is a mechanical timepiece that demonstrates the potential of discarded computer and electronics equipment.
It has been unveiled as a prototype with a plan to launch in 2021 but customers can already join a waiting list.
Vollebak points out that most of the 50 million tonnes of electronic waste that’s generated every year is treated like garbage even though it contains many of the world’s precious metals, like silver, platinum, copper, nickel, cobalt, aluminium and zinc.
The Garbage won’t make much of a dent in that waste mountain, but it will draw attention to the issue of how much could be reused.
“To avoid trashing our own planet, we need to start figuring out how to re-use the stuff we already have. So our Garbage Watch started with a very simple idea. What if electronic waste isn’t garbage? What if it’s simply pre-assembled raw materials that we can use to make new things. That’s why everything you can see on the Garbage Watch used to be something else – a motherboard from your computer, a microchip in your smartphone, or wiring from your TV,” says Steve Tidball.
The prototype aims to show the inner workings of the mechanical movement, according to Nick Tidball. “We’ve taken an ‘inside-out’ design approach with the Garbage Watch, making the functional inner workings highly visible in a similar way to how the Centre Pompidou is constructed. Our aim was to reframe an often invisible and hazardous end of the supply chain, and make people think deeply about the impact of treating their wearables in a disposable manner.”