Should You Buy A Wooden Watch? A Complete Guide

Wooden timepiece

Wooden watches have been around for a good couple of years already. They are considered as unique-looking fashion items that add special spark. Many people, though, question whether wooden wristwatches, out of all the different types of watches available, can offer decent enough quality, besides being an out-of-box and eco-friendly accessory. Let’s look at the reasons why anyone should or should not invest in a wooden watch.

grayscale picture of a Bewell wooden watch
Wooden timepiece by Bewell


Advantages Of A Wooden Watch

1. Eco-Friendly

Wood is a renowned material for being sustainable. Most of the other raw materials in the watch industry are not renewable. They require a lot of energy for production, thus lead to higher emissions of carbon dioxide. Also, some wood can often be sourced locally, which means reduced energy consumption.

These aspects make wooden wristwatches immensely appealing to those who stand for a well-sustained and eco-friendly society. Many wooden watch companies, such as Original Grain and TruWood, have gone even further in conserving nature by planting trees for every watch they have sold.

2. Hypoallergenic

Many watch lovers often face the problem of having allergies towards metal or silicone. With wooden watches, though, there will be no such problem as the material is hypoallergenic.

Another good thing regarding health issues and hygiene is the fact that there is no smell. Sometimes leather and plastic tend to develop unwanted odors, which makes the wearing process somewhat uncomfortable. Wooden timepieces, on the contrary, have a specific nature-like scent that many people find very pleasant.

3. Unique & Stylish Look

If you’re a person who doesn’t like to follow the masses and wishes to distinguish, then these watches are meant for you. All the different wooden watch brands have a distinctive style, ranging from modern to vintage.

What adds an extra spice compared to regular watches is the different color specter that comes with a variety of different wood types. Lighter watches are made of bamboo and maple, while darker wristwear comes from walnut and ebony. One of the most exciting materials you can find is purpleheart and zebrawood.

Expect to get compliments because the best looking wooden watches are truly one of a kind! In order to avoid picking the wrong sized timepiece for your wrist, in that ruining the unique looks of wooden watches, make use of the watch size chart.

Brown Holzkern wooden watch with white dial
Wooden watch by Holzkern

4. Price & Weight

It is possible to get a decent wooden timepiece for as little as 50$. Higher quality watches are in the range of 100$-400$. Taking into consideration the fact they are handcrafted pieces of art with a unique look and eco-friendly approach, the prices are indeed low.

You may be thinking – watches made out of wood can’t be heavy, right? Right! Most of them weigh below 3.5 ounces (100g) but there are some with an unbelievable weight of 1-1.5 ounces (30-40g). Regular stainless steel and titanium watches weigh well above 3.5 ounces (100g) but there are also heavyweights at 9 ounces (250g).

The size usually determines the heft. If you’re a fan of massive tickers but prefer to keep them light on your wrist, then the wood watch is your choice.

5. Engraving Options

Wood is a soft material which makes engraving possible. Imagine receiving a personalized watch from someone you love? Or go for yourself for an exclusive gift idea next time. Forget a tie or a sweater – your husband or dad also craves for attention and recognition, and a wooden watch can offer that. It will give a whole new meaning for that everyday accessory.

Numerous brands offer personalized watches, aimed for “husband” and “son” for example. It is also possible to engrave your very own message to make it even more special. Use that opportunity, and your relationship stays stronger than ever.

Original Grain wooden timepiece on a hiker's wrist
Original Grain wood watch

Disadvantages Of A Wooden Watch

As mentioned before, wood is an excellent material for being soft which makes watches light and possible to engrave. But the fact of being soft shortens their life span. Wood is more fragile than metal and has some negative attributes.

1. Not Waterproof

Forget going swimming, watch around your wrist. It absorbs water and is not waterproof. Most of the watches can take splashes and stand light rain but thoroughly wet conditions ruin the aesthetics. Wood also soaks up all kinds of other liquids and substances such as sweat and dirt. 

2. Sensitive

For being soft, wooden watches are sensitive towards all kinds of knocks, scratches, and scrapes. Therefore, sports, extreme hiking, or different maintenance works could harm the smooth and slick surface.

3. Prone To Extreme Temperatures

Extreme weather conditions harm your wooden timepiece. Wooden watches are made out of different wood types in different colors. Under constant sunlight, the natural color can quickly fade or lighten. Your friends, though, might think you have gone for a new watch with lighter (and cheaper) looks but that’s not what you’re after.

There’s a threat from the opposite condition as well – drastic temperature changes from cold to warm can cause cracks after moisture in the wood freezes and then expands.

How To Minimize The Disadvantages?

For some, the disadvantages of wooden watches are too overwhelming, especially if the active lifestyle is part of their lives. There are also a lot of people who fancy the wooden ticker but are hesitant because of the negative aspects. It is possible to minimize the negative attributes with the following tips.

brown leather straps


1. Wood/Metal Watch & Leather Straps

Go for a wooden watch that also consists of metal. It is a known fact that metal is extremely durable and stands aging well. If you can’t give up on the thought of owning a wooden timepiece but are worried about the durability, you should choose the middle path of 50% wood and 50% metal.

Another choice for keeping the durability levels higher is to have leather straps instead of wooden links. Leather is a solid natural material. Straps are elastic, long-lasting and mostly care-free. Thus leather straps are a more viable option for longevity.

2. Choose Quality Watches

Brands that have higher prices offer higher quality. Cheap watch manufacturers usually don’t invest in quality materials, so their wristwear won’t last very long. Watches made out of wood require professional handcrafting techniques and only professionals can provide the quality needed. That is also one of the reasons why quality watches cost significantly more. Higher quality means a higher price.

3. Avoid Strenuous Activities

In order to maintain the great looks of your wooden watch, it is highly recommended to avoid any strenuous activities. Sweat and dirt do not go well with wood. So when going out for jogging or helping out your friend with maintenance works, leave your watch home.

4. Take Good Care

Wooden watches need to be cleaned more regularly than metal watches. Cleaning prevents the wood from discoloring and it stops dirt from piling up. Use a mixture of lemon juice and olive oil in equal parts and wipe with a soft fabric. Lemon oil and tung oil are also great for wood polishing.

These liquids help to remove stains and keep your wristwatch shiny and healthy. In addition, many manufacturers print their cleaning processes on the watch box. Don’t forget to check out their FAQ section as well.

Keep your watch away from water and humid conditions, excessive sunlight and extreme temperature changes, and from any impact that could damage your timepiece. For maintaining optimal humidity conditions for the storage of your wooden watch, use humidity packs.

traveler sitting on the edge of a cliff


Checklist For Buying A Wooden Watch

Splash-Proof

Make sure the watch is splash-proof. If it’s not splash-proof, you may encounter problems early on. If you have enough bucks to spend, go for a water-resistant watch.

Warranty

Go for a quality watch with a warranty and check out the company’s return policy. If something unexpected happens, you’ll have a guarantee and can return it for a repair.

Style

Determine that the watch you’re buying suits your style. Check out the company’s website and, if possible, any videos that show the watch in real life. Pictures can sometimes give a better impression than in reality.

Movement

Select your preferred movement. An automatic self-winding watch and a quartz watch are the most common types available. They differ quite extensively from each other, so make sure you understand what the different watch movements are and which one suits you the best.

Solid Wood

Pick a watch with solid wood. If you’re looking for a long-lasting wooden timepiece, avoid watches made out of cork and half-plastic faux wood. Good and durable materials for wooden watches are maple, bamboo, olive, and walnut.

confident and stylish man sitting at a table


All In All, Should I Buy A Wooden Watch?

Wooden watches are very trendy nowadays. They look solid and unique, and most of all, watches are very eco-friendly. As with every other product, it also has its flaws. Durability becomes the main reason why many decide against buying one. 

Those who find wooden wristwatches not fit for their lifestyle, or feel taking good care is too much hassle, should not buy it. But who fancy one and are willing to put some effort into maintaining this beautifully handcrafted piece of jewelry should not miss the opportunity of owning something that many others don’t.

Wooden watches NEED extra care and attention and can not be taken to anywhere a heart desires. However, one-of-a-kind appeal and environmental friendliness may be the keywords to push people into buying wooden watches.

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