Matters of the environment — in conservation, preservation and innovation — pertain to every industry that exists today. The admittedly beautiful leather straps that often accompany heirloom timepieces? Meet your eco-conscious match: IWC Schaffhausen’s newest paper-based straps made entirely from low-impact TimberTex.

A pioneering spirit has defined IWC Schaffhausen’s approach to watchmaking since the Swiss brand’s inception over 150 years ago. The new TimberTex strap joins an impressive series of innovations, including the early adoption of titanium and ceramics in the 1980’s — from which birthed the world’s first-ever pure ceramic watch, the 1986 Da Vinci Chronograph Perpetual Calendar — and the more recent creation of Ceratanium®, a mixture of titanium and ceramics.

TimberTex straps, a work in progress.

TimberTex joins IWC Schaffhausen’s roster of leather alternatives like steel, textile and rubber; only this time, TimberTex can truly stand in as a replacement with its veiny, grained surface that mimics that of leather.

Unlike most synthetic leathers which are often derived from plastic or petroleum, TimberTex is made of 80% natural plant fibres. Ties to nature doesn’t stop there, with the cellulose used derived from Forest Stewardship Council-certified trees grown in the non-profit organisation’s sustainably and responsibly managed European forests. Then, the straps are manufactured in Italy with traditional paper-making techniques and coloured with natural plant-based dyes.

Finishing touches to the water-resistant straps include padding with recycled microfibre for the comfort factor and stitching via recycled thread.

(Images courtesy of IWC Schaffhausen)

IWC Schaffhausen’s TimberTex straps are available in blue, brown and black colourways. The straps currently only complement four models: the Portugieser Chronograph, Portugieser Automatic 40, Portofino Automatic and Portofino Chronograph. Learn more here.

Joey Wong
Editor
Constantly in pursuit of a multi-hyphenated career, Joey has written her way through fashion trends, youth culture and luxury retail in New York and Hong Kong. Beyond internet adventures tracking down the perfect vintage find, you can probably catch her sipping on her third oat milk latte of the day in the city’s newest café. She’s currently mourning the loss of TikTok in Hong Kong.