Oris Puts Skin in the Sustainability Game with Cervo Volante Collaboration
Oris’ response began more than a decade ago when the company started partnering with pioneering organizations and brands that shared its passion for cleaning, restoring, and protecting our world. Collaborations, whether with conservation agencies such as Coral Restoration Foundation and the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, or with global events such as World Clean-Up Day, have become a central pillar of Oris’ philosophy. A few years ago, the company brought these environmental and sustainable projects under one banner – Change for the Better.
Looking out is only half the story, though. We know that Change for the Better begins at home, which for Oris is in Hölstein, a Swiss village in the beautiful Waldenburg Valley. The company founders picked this place very deliberately. Back in 1904, they established Oris on the same site it still occupies today, recognizing the value of nature to power their business and inspire everyone who worked for them. For more than a century, nature has played a pivotal role in Oris watchmaking.
The company’s duty therefore is to respect and sustain nature and the environment. Oris is working hard to produce watches more sustainably, improve the efficiency of its factory and supply chain, and reduce its emissions. Last year, Oris was certified as a climate neutral company by Climate Partner. But this is just the beginning – they’ve set far-reaching goals, which it outline in the Oris Sustainability Report, due out this spring.
One area where Oris is working to do better is with its watch straps. The company is delighted to announce the next step in that process, a collaboration with the Swiss company Cervo Volante, which creates beautiful products using sustainable deer leather.
Every year, around 15,000 wild red deer are culled in Switzerland. The operation is entirely legal and necessary, highly regulated, and undertaken to manage deer populations and protect the Swiss countryside.
But for years, little was made of the natural by-products this process yielded. Four years ago, two entrepreneurs took it upon themselves to do something about this.
In 2017, friends Kadri Vunder Fontana, a biotechnology engineer and experienced businesswoman, and Conny Thiel-Egenter, a biologist specializing in nature protection and wildlife and habitat management, founded Cervo Volante. Their vision was to take the waste, specifically deer skins, and transform them into beautiful, hard-wearing and ultimately sustainable footwear and accessories. Their business has grown quickly. After learning of Oris’ Change for the Better campaign, they approached the brand and asked if they’d like to collaborate on a sustainable deer leather strap project. Oris jumped at the opportunity.
Cervo Volante’s handcrafted products, low-impact methods and huge vision have brought a great deal of joy. Not only are their leather shoes and accessories beautiful, but they also tell stories in a way typical mass-produced equivalents never could.
For example, they keep imperfections that occur during the life of a deer in their skins, where many companies would discard them. Their skins are never the product of farming, and they never require chemicals or fertilizers. And if the skins weren’t used in this way, they’d simply be burned. Cervo Volante has also employed Switzerland’s last two remaining tanneries, both of which use 100 percent vegetable tanning processes.
The Oris x Cervo Volante collaboration begins with three Big Crown Pointer Date watches. Each has a gradient dial inspired by Alpine hues and a strap made of sustainable deer leather. They come with a pouch and a card holder made of the same material. But they’re not limited, and nor is this is a one-time deal. Oris will be working more with Cervo Volante, bringing Change for the Better together.
From every angle, the story is a natural, sustainable joy. And that makes us smile.