By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Wood watches were once a cheap, hippy/beach bum staple, adorning the wrists of surfers who – ironically – probably didn’t really care much about what time it was. But lately, wood watches have become far more refined, often using Swiss watch makers for the mechanisms.
Wood is also far more sustainable than other mined materials used to make timepieces; but that being said, of course not everything is made from trees: the mechanics of movement will be quartz or metallic, so you’ll never wear 100 percent tree on your wrist.
But wood is a great and versatile material for watches, especially when it’s sourced from easily renewable sources like bamboo, or better yet, reclaimed hardwoods, like ebony, sandalwood or zebrawood, which are all endangered on some level or another.
Wood watches come with another benefit: they are designed to handle a bit of light water contact. Sure, they may not be as watertight as diving watches, but they don’t die if they’re submerged in a shower every now and then. Upkeep is also easy – just wearing them on your wrist gives the wood some natural oils from those that are on your own body.
The natural, neutral colours and grains of wood mean that wood watches go with just about any outfit, any time. And the best part of our selection here is that no animals had to die just so you can know the time!
Here’s our pick of the best wood watches for conscious fashionistas – both male and female.
1. Lux Woods
This brand originally caught our attention because of their distinguished wood watch designs, but when we looked a little closer, we realized that they have a social mission that really puts them on top!
In addition to using scrap wood pieces that would have otherwise be discarded, Lux also demands that all of their suppliers source from places that ensure the wood was sustainably harvested, and where trees were replanted.
They also actively partner with Plantabillion.org, whose mission is to plant a billion trees by 2025, and feedthechildren.org, whose mission is to end global childhood hunger. We appreciate a company who has such high attention to detail, and a commitment to leaving the world better than they found it.
Price: From around $79 to $99
WeWood was conceived by two eco-minded Italian entrepreneurs who decided to create wooden timepieces from mostly scrap wood waste. Today, they make sharp, unique Italian designs for both men and women, and are super-dedicated to the environment – amongst their sustainability policies is the fact that they plant a tree for every watch purchased.
Prices: From around $55 to $150
3. Jord Watches
Top American wood watch brand Jord makes some of the most luxurious sustainable wooden timepieces around. Their refined, sophisticated designs employ top quality materials in a thoroughly eco-friendly manufacturing process.
These modern watches are stylish enough for the wrists of CEOs and executives, and yet sustainable enough for activists and environmentalists.
Prices: From $139 and to $650 for limited edition pieces
These stunning, elegant timepieces look great with a pair of jeans, a chunky sweater, or a basic tee. The perfect combination of quartz technology and sustainably sourced woods sums up to make watches that are both classic and sophisticated. Any of Original Grain’s styles would make the perfect gift, whether the watch is brand new, or passed down through the generations.
Price: From $179 to $449
Inspired by the sleek simplicity of mid-mod furniture and style, Nixon’s unisex wood watches are made of sustainable timber or bamboo, and are all ethically made in the USA.
Although their watches aren’t all wood (many are just metallic, for example), they are all stylish. So much so, that the brand states it has since grown to become popular with athletes, rock stars, and dedicated loyalists who also love the solid look of these timepieces.
Price: From $73 to $225
6. Bobo Bird
Handcrafted from reclaimed Asian hardwoods including teak and ebony, as well as fast-growing bamboo, Bobo Bird’s eco-friendly watch designs are truly unique. I love not only the fact that these are ethically handcrafted, but also the way Bobo Bird incorporates high-tech LED technology into their designs.
Launched in 1971, tense was one of the first ever wood watch brands, and with dozens of different models and woods to choose from, it’s no surprise they’re still one of the most popular.
From vintage to modern, minimalist to Baroque, there’s a style to suit everyone here, and all the watches are ethically handcrafted in Canada..
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