Sprout Eco Friendly Watch Review


When we talk about going green, the usual suspects tend to come into mind – electric or hybrid vehicles such as the Toyota Prius and the lesser known Honda Insight. Apart from that there are also items such as solar powered devices ranging from phones to netbooks, but how about timepieces? Of course, one could technically argue that since a phone is more often than not the primary timepiece for many young people these days, a green phone would make for a green timepiece. Im talking about a dedicated watch here folks – and Sprout is a name that you should acquaint yourself with if you havent done so already. It is hands-down, the greenest watches you will find. How so, you ask? I have a couple of Sprout watches for review, so why not head on after the jump to read all about them?

Case and Buckle
For starters, the case and buckle are made out of naturally biodegradable corn resin – where in a compost environment, corn resin is 99% biodegradable should you expose it to CO2 (thats carbon dioxide) and water within a year. I do not have a sample to verify that, but Ashley Jones, the PR Director for Sprout, kindly informed me that it is possible only in a proper landfill or compost environment. The case is extremely lightweight in nature, and compared to one of those metal linked watches, you wont even feel that it is there. Since I live in a tropical environment, whenever I go out for bike rides with it, sweat tends to accumulate fast underneath the case, but that happens with other watches as well so it is a non-issue here.

The dial itself is made out of sustainable bamboo, and since we know how bamboo is the fastest growing grass around, this natural fiber would certainly prove to be the perfect material if youre going to churn out watches by the thousands. Since bamboo is used, you can be sure that no two watches will be the same, since the grains on the dial are really unique and do stand out from a regular timepiece.

All Sprout watches will rely on mineral crystal lenses that are made from sand, and technically speaking, is fully recyclable as well. I took careful care not to scratch my Sprout watch wherever I went, and even until now, it has remained scratch-free – although fingerprints are a common sight as I tend to stroke the face out of habit while admiring the bamboo dial.

As for the straps, it is made out of organic cotton – which is good for the environment (naturally), but after wearing it for a couple of weeks, the regular hole where I buckle it at has already gotten bigger, with the sides starting to fray. I am inclined to think that this is a natural occurrence and is expected – after all, it does add some character to the watch after a while. This fraying stopped at a certain point – perhaps that is because the strap had eased in with the buckle for good already. Would be cool if Sprout sold interchangeable or replaceable straps like how Swatch used to accessorize their line last time when I was a wee lad.

Sprout utilizes only mercury free batteries in their timepieces, and once mine dies out (I dont know how long will that take though, although a kinetic-powered timepiece or one that runs on solar power might be a better idea in line with the green theme), I would have to scour around for a mercury free replacement. Should not be too much of an issue, I believe.

Water resistance
Since there was no mention of it being water resistant, I did not purposely test it out by dunking it into a pool, but rather, the answer came in a literal torrent. I was cycling around town when the heavens suddenly opened, and in the downpour, I pedalled furiously to reach home without remembering that I was wearing a watch (yes, it is that light!). While drying myself, I took a look at my Sprout watch and am glad to say that it works perfectly fine.

Sprout Watches do come in a range of colorful and serious styles, where the ladies model that I received looked nothing short of elegant and is definitely worth being worn by a couple whenever they attend social functions elsewhere. The interesting designs ought to be a worthy conversation starter, where you can redirect the talk to that of saving the earth if youre skilful enough with a captive audience. If you want to bling things up, there are models that sport conflict-free diamonds and natural mother of pearl. Depending on your budget, prices for the ordinary models range from $30 all the way to $75.

Overall, I am more than pleased to wear an eco-friendly watch around my wrist even though it does not bear the so-called vanity value of a Rolex or a Patek. At least I know that I am doing my part in keeping the earth green, and even the packaging which it came in was eco-friendly – no styrofoam was used (thanks Ashley!), but crumpled brown paper instead kept the boxes in place and safe from harm. As for the box that houses the watches, it is made out of 100% recycled materials, and there is even a seed pack in the box that when added with some water and sunshine, some grass will grow after a time lapse.

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