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 specialising 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. A year ago and on learning of Oris’s Change for the Better campaign, they approached us and asked if we’d like to collaborate on a sustainable deer leather strap project. We jumped at the opportunity.
Cervo Volante’s hand-crafted products, low-impact methods and huge vision have brought us a great deal of joy. Not only are their leather shoes and accessories beautiful, they also tell stories in a way typical massproduced 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 per cent 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.
We’ll 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.