A young Aussie bloke who’s spent a significant portion of his life out on the waves may not be the first person who springs to mind when you think of IWC’s opulent watches, but for Haydenshapes founder Hayden Cox, his brand of high-end surfboards has a lot more in common with the Swiss purveyors of haute horology than might first meet the eye.
IWC Schaffhausen is largely known for its iconic oversized aviation timepieces and exquisite mechanical movements. Haydenshapes is known for top-quality surfboards that incorporate cutting-edge design and art with modern shaping techniques. But while both brands may seem disparate in terms of the wares each produces, they share one very important thing in common: their passion for reducing waste in their production processes.
To demonstrate the importance of upcycling, a small media contingent was flown to Palm Beach in a seaplane sporting IWC livery, where Cox was waiting in his latest (and very flash) pop-up studio, aptly named “Remote”.
“Remote” is a floating design studio, located in the calm and tranquil waters of Sydney’s Pittwater, where Hayden can ply his trade in peace. While his company, which he started at just 15 years of age, has manufacturing plants here and overseas, it’s alone in a design studio that he finds he’s most able to flex his creative muscle and conceptualise solutions that will ultimately make his business more efficient.
“There is still a lot of work and research to be done in our industry when it comes to creating a more sustainable product and one key issue is that at least 30 per cent of foam and fibreglass is wasted through off-cuts in manufacturing” says Hayden. “The ‘Remote’ studio is a space where I can work on some new ideas outside of the day to day work and distractions in order to come up with new creative ideas which I will then be able to bring to life either through my brand or by making them available to the industry.”
Haydenshapes and IWC enjoy an ongoing partnership, particularly as brands which are both committed to investing in sustainability in manufacturing, an investment that benefits the environment as well as a company’s bottom line, by incorporating what would normally be discarded as waste into high-performance components that can be used to create a final product.
During the demonstration to guests, the talented Cox molded a center stringer made from a mix of upcycled chopped carbon, glass fibre, foam dust and bio-epoxy resin waste, as well as an upcycled custom fibreglass cloth made from factory offcuts. He then demonstrated how to transform waste into lightweight accessories like tail pads and fins, furthering the philosophy of waste-not, want-not down to the last detail.
IWC’s commitment to the cause sees their newly built Manufacturing Center exclusively powered by renewable energy. Featuring sensor-controlled sunshades, rooftop solar panels and production machines, ventilation systems, and air compressors capable of recovering heat generated in the production process, it’s a state-of-the-art ode to responsible practices in the field of watchmaking, and another feather in IWC’s industry leadership cap.
Moreover, by recently signing the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, IWC Schaffhausen has committed to further reduce waste.
“Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do” comments Florian Gutsmiedl, IWC Brand Manager for Australia. “How we manufacture our products, how we promote them, and even how we package them.
“In fact, our new high quality packaging concept uses 90 per cent less plastic than previously. We are proud to see our efforts recognized by the WWF which recently recognised IWC Schaffhausen as best player in the Swiss luxury watchmaking industry.”
“Remote” is the first floating shaping bay by Haydenshapes and IWC, with an exciting global release of similar experiences in the pipeline.
The Watch Worn by Hayden Cox
Hayden Cox’s wrist was sporting a handsome IWC Schaffhausen Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Top Gun Ceratanium. The elegant boldness of the all-black case, dial and strap, is offset by its tough and practical capability – perfect for the man who goes from the workshop to the boardroom to the sea.