Leonardo DiCaprio invests in sustainable, eco-responsible watchmaking

Published - by Maëlle Detton

Currently on screen in Martin Scorsese's new film, Killers of the Flower Moon, Leonardo DiCaprio now also finds himself behind the dial.

The watchmaking house ID Geneva recently announced the participation of the American actor in its crowdfunding campaign, which generated 2 million Swiss francs, during its press conference on October 17th at the Impact Hub in New York.

A close-up on a committed brand whose projects go hand in hand with the environment and sustainability.

When watchmaking rhymes with ecology

Who says luxury and recycling don't mix? Certainly not the co-founders of the start-up watchmaking ID Geneva.

Founded in December 2020 by three childhood friends via a crowdfunding campaign conducted on the Wemakeit platform, this young Swiss-based house already boasts three timepiece collections within its catalog. What's special about these pieces? They are entirely crafted according to the principles of circular economy.

Timepieces in the service of the environment

Certified "B Corp" (a label measuring a company's overall social and environmental performance) at the beginning of October 2023, the brand relies on ethically sourced recycled materials and processes designed to reduce the carbon footprint of their production.

Launched in 2021, the very first collection from the house of 100% recycled steel, Circular 1 was an instant success, selling out 300 copies in just a few weeks.

Galvanized by this promising success, the co-founders are pursuing their ecological challenge, and in spring 2022 will be offering new, ever more ambitious models. The collection, named Circular Sin homage to the star of the day, adapts the precepts of its predecessor to the technique of solar-powered furnace in which steel produced from waste is remelted, enabling it to boast a carbon footprint 165 times smaller than the industry average.

Solar-powered furnace used by ID Genève

Leonardo DiCaprio as "business partner"

October 17 was synonymous with big news for ID Genève. The brand not only announced the closing of its recent fund-raising round, which reached 2 million Swiss francs (2.1 million euros), but also revealed the identity of one of its illustrious investors, Leonardo DiCaprio.

The news may come as a surprise, but it's not totally out of the ordinary since, for the record, the Oscar-winning actor's name had already been mentioned at the end of 2021 by co-founder Nicolas Freudiger, who said in an interview article from New York Times My dream is to have Leonardo DiCaprio in the next three years".

No problem! Seduced by the watchmaking company's circular initiatives, the actor who now appears with the Circular S says he's "delighted to have invested in ID Genève", a brand that he believes "inspires change in the luxury industry". With his long-standing commitment to saving the planet, Hollywood's hottest celebrity is once again reaffirming his image as an activist for the environmental protection with this new investment choice (although the amount was not disclosed), thus completing its long list of financing for eco-responsible projects.

La montre Circular S portée par Leonardo DiCaprio

A revolutionary new project

While the CHF 2 million raised should enable the brand to maintain its growth momentum and ensure a lasting future for its sustainable practices, it could just as easily lend a helping hand to the development of the company's latest creation, which until now has been available in ultra-limited quantities of 20 pieces: the Circular C.

A self-healing watch

Announced to the public last September, the new Circular C defines itself as "the first watch whose material can be cured". Like its predecessors, it has a 100% recycled steel case, but is distinguished by a revolutionary new material called regenerative carbon™.

Developed in collaboration with chemical manufacturer CompPair and derived from wind turbine manufacturing waste, this carbon composite is capable of return to its original state once heated for just one minute. In this case, watch components such as the bezel, dial and side decorations are regenerated almost instantaneously, without generating any waste.

ID Genève Circular C

Featuring a textured black MIRATEX™ bracelet, the timepiece once again illustrates the brand's ecological principles thanks to the use of MIRUM® biosourced material. Produced from natural rubber, cork powder and mineral colorants, it obviously involves no petrochemicals or plastics.

The packaging is no exception to the company's environmental standards either, since its base is made from compostable mycelium, an eco-material derived from the underground part of the mushroom. The pouch, meanwhile, is made from grape leather.

Technical specifications of Circular C

Technical SpecificationsCircular C
  • 41 mm x 9,65 mmCase:  41 mm x 9,65 mm

  • Noir - Carbone régénératif™Dial:  Noir - Carbone régénératif™

  • Automatique ETA 2824Movement:  Automatique ETA 2824

  • MIRATEX™ noir texturéBracelet:  MIRATEX™ noir texturé

  • 20 piècesAvailability:  20 pièces

  • CHF 5,540Price:  CHF 5,540

The bracelet of the brand's latest model offers two choices of buckle: one known as the ardillon (classic clasp system) and the other with deployment, both made from recycled stainless steel.

Les deux choix de boucles de la Circular C

On the caliber side, the timepiece is powered by the Swiss-made ETA 2824 automatic movement in its anthracite version, sourced from unsold stock and refurbished for the occasion. It offers a 38-hour power reserve and displays the hour, minute and seconds functions in the center, as well as the date at 3 o'clock. The 41 mm-diameter case is water-resistant to 50 meters.

Marketed at a price of CHF 5 540 for the barbed version and CHF 5 790 for the folding clasp model (amounts excl. tax), the watches are currently available for pre-order on the brand's website and are scheduled for delivery from March 2024.

A "native impact" brand

While this fundraising of 2 million Swiss francs represents a significant achievement, it is truthfully considered more of a "step" by the three co-founders of ID Geneva, who already announce their intention to increase momentum in order to achieve profitability by 2025.

The brand also plans to establish an "ID Lab" to conceive and co-develop eco-innovative materials and processes, with the aim of making them accessible to the watchmaking industry as well as other sectors.

Originally presented in Swiss showrooms and online, the eco-responsible timepieces are now offered by the retailer Watches of Switzerland in the United Kingdom and the United States. This is another step towards introducing sustainable luxury to the public.

WebsiteID Genève Circular CRegenerative carbon watch Circular C

When and by whom was the ID Genève brand created?


The ID Genève brand was created in December 2020 by three childhood friends committed to developing the circular economy within the watchmaking sector.


What is the circular economy?


The circular economy is a model of production and consumption that involves sharing, reusing, repairing, renovating and recycling existing products and materials for as long as possible, so that they retain their value. In this way, the life cycle of products is extended to reduce the use of raw materials and the production of waste.


What's the link between Leonardo DiCaprio and ID Genève?


Leonardo DiCaprio has become a shareholder in the ID Genève watchmaking house following his financial participation in the fund-raising campaign launched by the brand. The actor, who has been involved in the fight to protect the environment for many years, was attracted by the brand's project, and his collaboration represents an opportunity to give greater resonance to its circular initiatives.


What makes the Circular C model so special?


The Circular C is defined as "the first watch whose material can be healed", thanks to the fact that several of its components are made from a revolutionary new material: regenerative carbon. Once heated, the composite returns to its original state, generating no waste.

About the author

Maëlle Detton


To continue your reading

The 10th Only Watch edition at the heart of the storm

For the past few weeks, the 2023 edition of the charity auction has been facing what could well be the most difficult episode in the history of the Only Watch project. Following the withdrawal of one of the most important houses from the catalog, the watchmaking community has been left wondering why. Let's take a look at the reasons behind this controversy, and shed some light on recent events.

Published - by Maëlle Detton

Only Watch 2023, the charity watch auction

The prestigious Only Watch charity auction returns for a highly anticipated 2023 edition for watch enthusiasts. Find out all about the date and venue of this not-to-be-missed event, as well as the participating watchmaking houses and their exceptional pieces on display this year.

Published - by Maëlle Detton

New Frédérique Constant : Classic Power Reserve Big Date Manufacture

What are the special features of the Classic Power Reserve Big Date Manufacture and its three-complication movement? What models are available for sale? Find out all you need to know about this eventful collection and its new FC-735 caliber, as well as a look back at Frédérique Constant's landmark innovations and commitments, in our detailed article.

Published - by Maëlle Detton