Acetate as a material is not new. In fact, it’s almost as old as plastic! To the naked eye, the two materials appear incredibly similar in look and feel. The biggest difference between the two, however, is acetate’s biodegradability. In today’s day and age, the need for eco-friendly alternatives to plastic is raising. We’re fighting a constant battle for sustainability in order to save our planet. Acetate might be the answer to a lot of our problems. More and more watch brands are turning to this new material as a replacement for plastic. These watches are just as comfortable to wear and hold a distinctively modern aesthetic. To help spread the word about this great material, we have compiled a list of our top 5 acetate watches for men and women below.
What is acetate?
Acetate, or Cellulose Acetate, was first created in 1865 by French chemist Paul Schützenberger. Acetate’s usefulness was immediately recognised and its use quickly became widespread. The material was used in the film industry, photography, the aircraft industry and later the making of synthetic fibres.
As mentioned above, the material has been gaining popularity in recent years as it makes a good substitute for traditional plastic. On one hand, acetate has a similar hardness and finish to plastic and can be just as easily dyed and moulded. On the other hand, acetate is more flexible than plastic, making it less brittle. In addition, acetate is a bioplastic. The material is synthesized and made from plant materials such as vegetable fats or woodchips. Though initially acetate was thought to be non-biodegradable upon further experimentation, it proved to be completely destroyed in 4 to 9 months in biologically highly active soil.
Our 5 acetate watch recommendations
Be environmentally conscious and stylish with this Michael Kors watch. The model is made almost entirely out of tortoiseshell coloured acetate. The ridged bezel of the watch is coloured gold and so is the sunray dial. For a more cohesive look, the watch’s pushers and the crown are also gold-toned. Rectangular crystals are set into the bezel adding a touch of glamour to the design of the watch. Features on the model include a chronograph as well as a date aperture between 4 and 5 o’clock. The watch is powered by a quartz movement.
If you’re after something more distinctly feminine, we suggest this Michael Kors women’s watch. With its rose-gold and pink colour scheme, this watch will delicately add a romantic tone to any outfit. This quartz model also has a chronograph and a date aperture. Its case is made of stainless steel coloured rose-gold and measures 33mm in diameter. The bracelet of the watch features both stainless steel and pink acetate elements. The semi-translucent of the acetate gives the pink a softer tone. The feminine and glamorous tone is highlighted even more by the rows of crystals set into the bezel and the crystal indices.
Nixon prides itself on their sustainability, so it’s no surprise the brand has been utilising acetate for years. Though this Nixon Time Teller watch is unisex, it has more masculine undertones with its larger 40 mm case. The bracelet, bezel and case are made of acetate with a blue, black, purple and white tortoiseshell-like pattern. The dial of the watch is kept simple and black. White indices and hands contrast it for easier readability. The watch is powered by a quartz movement and is water-resistant to an impressive 100 meters, or 10 bars.
Briston is one of the brands which pioneered the use of acetate in watchmaking. The Briston Clubmaster GMT watch offers you both functionality and style. The watch case is in the brand’s signature rounded square shape. Its made out of brown-tone acetate and measures 42 mm in width. The polished bezel highlights the red and white two-tone inner GMT scale. The dial of the watch is black making the large luminescent indices stand out better. Additionally, the watch has a date aperture. A sapphire crystal covers the dial and adds to the utility of the timepiece. The watch has an automatic movement with a 42-hour power reserve. Its water resistance is 100 meters. Last but not least, securing the watch is a red NATO-style nylon strap.
If on the other hand, you’re after a more unique dress watch we suggest the Briston Streamliner Skeleton. The case of the watch is again made of acetate and has a blue smoked colouring. The black dial has a window into the automatic movement. To the right-hand side of the dial is placed a subtle small second indicator. The hands are luminescent. Covering the dial once again is a sapphire case. A matt black leather strap with blue top-stitching guarantees your comfort. The watch is also water-resistant up to 50 meters.
What are your top 5 acetate watches? Let us know in the comments below.