IWC Introduces Plant-Based, Plastic Free MiraTex Straps

Leather Like No Other: Luxury Watchmaker Introduces Plant-Based, Plastic-Free ‘MiraTex’

From its base on the shores of the Swiss Rhine, luxury watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen has announced the release of a new, 100% recyclable leather alternative to be used on its next generation of timepieces.

Launching under the name of MiraTex, a new material (for watch straps) is being heralded as “a revolutionary, plant-based leather replacement,” according to the brand responsible for it.

Spearheaded by IWC Schaffhausen in collaboration with material innovation company Natural Fiber Welding, MiraTex straps are made with MIRUM, a bio-based, plastic-free, circular material.

Here’s what you need to know and what it could mean going forward.

What Makes It Different?

gisele bündchen partners with IWC - MiraTex Straps

There are plenty of eco-friendly leather, leather alternatives, or even plastic options on the market. We’ve even reviewed a few, including the zero-water leather on the Timex Field Post Mechanical, the recycled plastic fabric on the Luminox Bear Grylls Eco Master, and the Tide material on the new Timex Waterbury Ocean.

But none of these make quite the same boasts as the MiraTex.

According to IWC, the Mirum base is “composed entirely of plants and minerals, [and] is 100% recyclable, circular, and does not contain any petrochemicals or plastic.”

The brand also states that the straps are less resource-intensive to produce than both animal and synthetic leather. Additionally, it purports to use no additional water, “besides what is contained in the natural ingredients.”

And while the Timex leather and Luminox fabric showed some wear in testing, IWC states that this new material meets its “rigorous standards of durability, flexibility, and aesthetic style.”

Why Should You Care?

All this innovation comes at a price, as IWC’s customers are no doubt aware. With one of the brand’s popular “entry-level” pieces retailing for a whopping $4,250, this is a luxury brand by any measure.

Still, IWC’s reputation in the enthusiast world is a good one. And from a manufacturing standpoint, there’s legitimate interest here.

While it may seem out of reach now, cutting-edge technology has a way of scaling itself into more affordable, even commonplace territory. Just ask anyone who bought a laptop computer or a brick cellphone in the 1980s.

Eventually, the process becomes more affordable. If this leather alternative can follow the same route, it could find applications in a whole new generation of gear.

And in the search for sustainable materials, the world needs all the options it can get. For this, if no other reason, IWC has our attention.

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Josh Wussow

Josh Wussow is a writer and power sector worker based out of Wisconsin. He has degrees in English and video production, but you wouldn’t know it by his reviews and photos. Josh enjoys camping, hiking, and anything involving a campfire or grill. His work has taken him from Tennessee to New Mexico and Colorado. He misses the mountains very much.