I have always loved natural wood, and couldn't believe it when I found watch manufacturers had started to experiment with the medium in their watch designs. I will be pulling together a collection of wood watches crafted around the world available to buy in the UK. For now though I thought you would be interested in learning a bit more about watches made of wood.
As well as looking absolutely fantastic on your wrist, for those who are allergic to nickel in traditional metal watches, the hypoallergenic nature of wooden watches is an absolute god send!
Of course some of the watches do use metal for things like clasps, so its important to check how much metal is in contact with the skin and whether the limited metal parts are nickel free themselves.
Not all types of wood are suitable for building watches. Some are too soft or splinter too easily. Typically a woodwatch is made from red, dark or green sandalwood, ebony, zebrawood, maplewood, ash, koa, African blackwood, olive or bamboo.
A lot of "wooden watches" are made of bamboo. Technically bamboo is a type of grass rather than from a tree, so its not wood as such. However it is used as a wood substitute in a lot of applications, and at the end of the day, does it look good as a material for a watch? I think so!! Bamboo is hard-wearing but light, making it a great material to wear on your wrist.
With the relative easy at staining and varnishing wood with different colours, there are all sorts of combinations of natural and stained wood colours coming to market. Often the watch dial itself is non-wood or a coloured wood that complements or contrasts fantastically with the rest of the watch. I've seen every shade of natural looking and varnished wood right through to some very brightly coloured wooden finishes.
Your 5th year wedding anniversary is coming up and that means finding your partner a gift made from wood. Unlike most presents made from wood at least your partner can wear a wooden watch every day, or just for special occasions! They can be great gifts for men and women alike on your wood wedding anniversary - in fact you could get a his and hers set of watches!
I thought there would be a lot of time involved in caring for a wooden watch. I mean you clean, polish and varnish wooden furniture and flooring, so it seems natural to assume you would have a similar care routine for a wood watch right? Well don't worry, its not that complex!
Most watches come pre-oiled, and the wood reacts to your natural skin oils the more it is worn – this is quite normal, so don't worry about it, it just adds to the charm. You can clean them with a solution of olive oil and lemon. This is a gentle solution that shouldn't affect the colour much like a shop bought cleaner. I'd suggest using a cotton bud for between the links and using a soft cotton cloth to clean the face sides and back of the watch.
Most are splash resistant, but I wouldn't recommend submerging your wood watch. Water marks can spoil the wood finish, and not all watches are water proof. You can of course lightly oil them which helps protect the wood - but certainly won't give the watch much protection if you fully submerge it.