What’s The Secret Behind Entrepreneurs Creating the World’s First Soda Can Watch?

soda can watch

The Can Watch S is a unique approach to recycling. Instead of treating old soda cans as junk, these entrepreneurs have used them to create a watch that actually functions as a fashion accessory.

Alchemist Designs, the company behind the watch, is trying to raise $20,000 on Kickstarter to put it into production. The company wants to create a handcrafted product that will sell at a premium price (retail of about $136) and give jobs to underprivileged workers as well.

soda can watch

Alchemist Designs partners with Hong Kong sheltered workshop Christian Family Service Centre to provide well-paid opportunities for underprivileged workers in the area to build the watches. The goal is to keep the materials sustainable and also to provide some sustainability to the local economy as well. Though the two goals are measured separately, they stem from the same basic values.

In an email interview with Small Business Trends, Kat Ling, Creative Director at Alchemist Creations explained:

“All our works follow a simple motto, “Turn Neglect Into Shine.” We’d like to turn something which has its own specialty and character but is being neglected by the others, into something that we treasure.”

But the company’s first priority has to be the quality and design of its products. The initial concept came from the desire to mix sustainability and practicality. In 2012, the Alchemist Designs team began noticing more and more art pieces utilizing soda cans as a main material. But they had a difficult time coming up with a way to integrate the material into a mass quantity manufacturing process.

soda can watch

After some research, the team found that the bottom of the cans could be processed easily and could translate well into wristwatch dials.

The team collected soda cans daily and made hundreds of different prototypes to find a design that works. The cans still need to be hand picked, but Alchemist Designs eventually came up with a process and simplistic design that they hope will change the way people see design and sustainability.

Said Ling:

“We think from the basic and design from the basic. We take readily available materials and we maximize the possibilities and make them design features.”

soda can watch

Photos: Kickstarter


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

10 Reactions
  1. A really good idea to be honest. Usually entrepreneurship and sustainability don’t tend to go hand in hand, but thanks to initiatives like this hopefully is just the starting point.
    Thanks for sharing this with us Annie.

    • It is really great to see entrepreneurs account for sustainability. Hopefully it will continue to be a growing trend!

  2. For something that’s made out of a soda can, I can say that it looks pretty good. Also, it is about time that companies use materials like these as there are already too many gadgets all over the world. With this comes more trash. It is a good thing that a company is trying to minimize trash by creating watches out of soda cans.

    • Yes, I was surprised by how good it looks. You can tell it’s a soda can once you already know what it is, but for a recycled product I think it looks pretty high-end.

  3. Just when you thought watches couldn’t get any bigger…they make one from the bottom of a soda can. I love the idea of upcycling, but this seems like a tough sell at this price point.

    • I’m not a watch person, so I can’t really speak to what people look for in particular price points. But I think they look great, especially for a recycled product!

    • I’d never spend that much on a watch. In fact, I don’t have one (and I’m fine with that). However, if I ever wore one, and had the budget, I’d buy the Can Watch for the various things it represents.

  4. What a brilliant idea! I love that! Couples sustainability with creativity, entrepreneurship and giving people a fair wage.