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Breitling to Use Only Lab-Grown Diamonds by 2024

Oct 24, 2022 5:41 AM   By Leah Meirovich
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Watchmaker Breitling plans to create “end-to-end traceability” for its entire product portfolio by switching exclusively to lab-grown diamonds and artisanally mined gold over the next few years.

The company will feature synthetic stones produced by Fenix Diamonds in India and accredited by SCS Global Services, Breitling said last week. The watchmaker will use only lab-grown in its timepieces by 2024. It will also contribute to a social-impact fund that supports diamond-producing communities for every carat purchased, it noted.

In 2025, Breitling will transition completely to gold sourced from artisanal and small-scale miners that meet criteria set by the Swiss Better Gold Association. Similar to its lab-grown diamond initiative, for every gram of gold purchased, the company will make a contribution that supports local community development projects in areas from which it sources.

Together with the announcement, Breitling released its first watch bearing artisanal gold and lab-grown diamonds, the Super Chronomat Automatic 38 Origins. The timepiece’s entire chain of custody has been traced and recorded in a blockchain-backed non-fungible token (NFT).

“Until now there have been limits on how far you could trace precious materials,” the company explained. “Even when following industry best practices, tracking gold and the small melee diamonds used in watchmaking to their origins had been nearly impossible. By default, these raw materials tend to be combined from many different sources — meaning their provenance literally gets lost in the mix.”

Breitling’s decision to transition to lab-grown diamonds and artisanal gold addressed buyers’ growing concerns over provenance.

“Consumers are increasingly reflecting on the products they buy and what goes into them,” said Breitling CEO Georges Kern. “We want to give them those answers up-front.”

Image: The Super Chronomat Automatic 38 Origins watch. (Breitling)
Tags: artisanally mined gold, Breitling, diamonds, Fenix Diamonds, Georges Kern, India, lab-grown diamonds, Leah Meirovich, NFT, SCS Global Services, Super Chronomat Automatic 38 Origins, Swiss Better Gold Association
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