Is it possible to consume luxurious objects with environmentally friendly awareness? What direct contribution to sustainability can watch manufacturers make? Judith and Walter Hess in the interview with «Öko-Bilanz (KMU)» regarding the environmental sustainability of HESS watches.
by Walter Hess
Luxury and environmental friendliness
Eco-Balance (SME): How do you think the consumption of luxurious products is compatible with the consumption of environmentally friendly products? Is that even possible?
Judith Hess: Yes. Because even luxury can and must be sustainable. There is no contradiction for us as a company. At HESS Watches we strive to really live responsible entrepreneurship. This also includes sustainable production and the choice of materials.
Walter Hess: Incidentally, the energy needed to run our mechanical watches is supplied automatically by arm movement. Ecologically sustainable, without any battery.
Sustainability of watches
Eco-Balance (SME): Can you explain by using an example what environmental sustainability means for a watch manufacturer like yours?
Walter Hess: We are currently in negotiations with a Swiss company that produces machine-made diamonds here in Switzerland. These diamonds are made from the same natural raw materials as diamonds from the mines around the world, and are therefore absolutely equivalent. But these diamonds are manufactured in Switzerland under guaranteed fair working conditions. Furthermore, the mechanically produced diamonds are not “mined” in the mines under extraordinary efforts, and therefore do not destroy nature at all. Shipping through half the world is also eliminated. In addition, the machines required for the production are supplied with electricity from solar collectors on the roof of the Swiss manufacturer. In the future, our dials can therefore be set with ecologically sustainable diamonds under responsible entrepreneurship. Recently, our customers can also choose a watch band from the label “Eisenbahn” in Lucerne. This manufacturer produces high-quality tapes from vegetable-tanned leather in elaborate manual work.
Continuously optimize the eco-balance
Eco-Balance (SME): That sounds exciting. But how are you going to further increase sustainability at HESS watches?
Judith Hess: We will have our company’s eco-balance measured for the first time soon. Based on the determined sustainability status-quo, and the concrete measures, we will align the strategy of HESS watches accordingly. This means, that with such an instrument, we will be able to continuously optimize the eco-balance of HESS watches.
Communication of ecologically sustainable achievements
Eco-Balance (SME): Companies are often publicly criticized for marketing the smallest of ecological sustainable innovations too extensively. Which ecological measures do you think companies should communicate, how and when?
Walter Hess: Investments in the private sector are mostly made when profitability is realistic – at least in the long term. Consumer loyalty by applying an optimized eco-balance plays a crucial role herein. This is the only way ecology is also economical for companies. However, what is crucial for the credibility of companies is the absolute honest and timely information about achievements, successes – or failures as well. This is the only way to ensure credibility and real consumer loyalty. The communication of small ecologically sustainable achievements is tempting, they can also be communicated calmly, but they should be placed in the overall context of what is actually feasible. This is especially true with regard to responsible entrepreneurship. Small achievements deserve little marketing only.
Positioning of HESS watches
Eco-Balance (SME): How does HESS watches position itself in relation to the expectations, feelings and needs of a watch? What does a HESS watch stand for?
Judith Hess: A HESS watch is unisex, because a HESS watch combines simple elegance and aesthetics with functionality and understatement. This modern claim is convincing and exactly reflects the reputation of our customers. Since we are also constantly optimizing in terms of ecological sustainability, our products and efforts meet the expectations and needs of our customers in a holistic manner.
Thank you very much Ms. and Mr. Hess for answering our questions.
Interviewer: Thomas Schürch, Consultant for Eco-Balance Optimisation, at Öko-Bilanz (KMU) Ltd.