Leonardo dicaprio wearing id geneve circular s
Leonardo DiCaprio has thrown his money and support behind ID Geneve, and is pictured wearing the brand's Circular S Sun watch. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Sunshine Sachs)

Leonardo DiCaprio joins $2 million buy into the watch business

First Watches of Switzerland Group threw its weight behind sustainable watch business ID Genève, now the startup has secured the backing of Hollywood royalty and eco-evangelist Leonardo DiCaprio.

First Watches of Switzerland Group threw its weight behind ID Genève, now the Swiss watchmaker has secured the backing of Hollywood royalty and eco-evangelist Leonardo DiCaprio.

In an era when retailers like Watches of Switzerland are trimming their brand line-up, the business taking on what is effectively a three-year-old microbrand is notable, and a clear reward for ID Genève’s commitment to sustainability that is a cause close to the hearts of both the retail group and Mr DiCaprio.

“As an environmental advocate, I am thrilled to be an equity investor in ID Genève,” Mr DiCaprio says.

“Their dedication to circular economy principles, sustainable materials, and innovation is truly inspiring, as is the headway they have made in such a short time. I am excited to support the team and the company’s growth as it drives change in the luxury industry and beyond.”

The actor has invested as part of a CHF 2 million funding round that closed this week and coincided with an announcement that ID Genève has earned B Corporation status.

Certified B Corporations have to prove they are leaders in the movement for an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy and are measured for both their social and environmental impact.

ID Genève has leapfrogged into the big leagues thanks largely to its use of sustainable materials in its watches that significantly lowers its carbon footprint.

It only uses recycled, reused, and renewable materials along with lighter impact manufacturing and business processes. It also seeks out other businesses to work with that share its sustainability values.

ID Genève Circular C

Idg circular c soldats fn photo spectrals scaledA new Circular C timepiece, which was also unveiled at a press event in New York that shared news of the funding round, illustrates the approach.

It is the first watch to have been made with Regenerative Carbon and was developed in partnership with CompPair, a Swiss company that builds products that last longer, produce less waste and are easy to recycle.

Idg pr shooting 2023 09 circular c carbone scaled

The Circular C is made from recycled steel produced by a solar furnace — said to be 165x less impactful on the environment than regular steel — and has a dial and bezel made entirely from recycled carbon fibres sourced from wind turbine manufacturing waste.

Its strap is made from compostable vegetable matter and its packaging is based on mycelium fungal threads and seaweed.

Idg pr shooting 2023 09 circular c carbone hd scaled

For the founders of ID Genève, the funding round, including the investment from Mr DiCaprio, and acceptance by a group like Watches of Switzerland is like a dream come true.

“It was 2021 and we had just launched our first collection when I was asked about potential ambassadors for ID Genève. I said our dream would be to see Leonardo DiCaprio in that role in three years’ time. Today, Leonardo has joined us as an investor,” says Nicolas Freudiger, co-founder of ID Genève.

“We have the unique opportunity to combine ID Genève’s active push for the circular economy in the Swiss watchmaking space with his global environmental advocacy. Our hope is that this synergy will not only give us a louder voice in championing sustainable practices but also inspire and challenge our peers in the luxury sector and beyond to prioritize environmental practices,” he adds.

The Circular C is available for pre-order today, priced at CHF 5,540, with the watches scheduled for delivery to customers from March next year.

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