Waterman’s WeWood watch weview

WeWoodWhen I was umming over whether to indulge in my purchase of a WeWood watch (which I spotted at jorgandolif.com, via Katie Lee’s Tumblr) I was frustrated that there weren’t many reviews online that went beyond press release levels of detail. So I thought I’d “fill” that “niche” in case anyone else goes a-searchin’.

I don’t like status symbolic, wrist-obscuring watches whose faces are bigger than my own actual face. The main reason for this is that I’m the owner of puny girl wrists, and I don’t really need them to look any punier or girlier.

However, I have been looking for a new watch that possesses a modicum* of funkiness for a while.

(*”Modicum” in this context: enough funk for it to look “a bit different”; not so much that you need to apply a new set of mental processes to read the time.)

When I encountered WeWood watches – elegant unisex timepieces crafted from actual wooden wood – I had to immediately weigh up the pros and cons of shelling out for a piece of bark to wear on my wrist.

Pros:

1. Lovely
2. Different
3. Face not bigger than my actual face
4. “Environmentally friendly”, in that they’re made from reclaimed floorboards and the company supposedly (I mean, definitely) plants a new tree for each watch sold

Cons:

1. Likelihood that there’s probably a rather good reason watches haven’t been manufactured from wood for the last forever
2. Actually, con no.1 is probably worth 2 points
3. Wackiness factor; if I met someone wearing a wood watch I would almost definitely sneer inwardly, if not outwardly. Unsure whether sneer would come from a place of jealousy or from the place that sees me grimace at females who struggle around with impractically large handbags
4. Increased risk of wrist fire

In the end, pros 1 & 2 predictably held out over flimmy flammy practical concerns.

I purchased my watch at WatchMeGo.com, as the price was, at the time, slightly cheaper (£75) than on the WeWood site. The free delivery was nice and quick – it took about 3 days to arrive by standard postage.

I went for the analogue one in dark brown, which is also available in a range of other shades. You can also get more sci-fi-looking ones that combine analogue and digital.

A few words on WeWood’s branding now, because it confuses me a bit. To avoid accusations that they’re mullering rainforests to produce wrist-trinkets, WeWood claim to plant a tree for every timepiece sold. This is very kind of them, but I’ve not been able to find out where they’re planted. I’m not saying I want to go along and kiss the bark or anything, just that the specifics of the claim are somewhat vague.

Also, while their website states that WeWood “has emerged out of Italy”, then moved to LA, and uses Japanese workings, the box my watch arrived in had a sticker that said “Made in China”. This might upset some conscious sorts drawn in by the company’s touchy-feely philosophy, of which some highlights are:

  • “WEWOOD lets us rediscover nature in its beauty, its simplicity and inspired design. It reminds us of a tree’s powerful way of life; rooted, yet reaching.”
  • “Completely absent of artificial and toxic materials, the WEWOOD Timepiece is as natural as your wrist. It respects your skin as you respect nature by choosing it. Your WEWOOD Watch breathes the same air that you breathe and may awaken memories from another time and place. Your WEWOOD Watch records your sensations and shares your experiences as the perfect natural mate, whose story also becomes yours to wear, smell and feel.”

Whew! I just wanted a cool-looking wristular ornament, but this stuff may appeal to some free-spirited wood-whisperers.

WeWood watch full
Anyway, the watch. I love how it looks, and it is very light. The first time I wore it out I got at least three compliments on it, which is the most I’ve had in one evening since my passionate night with the Misteeq ladies, many moons ago.

WeWood watch on girly wrist

The clasp situation is a bit weird though. I thought there was a bit missing for at least fifteen minutes when I unpackaged the watch, and was huffing myself into a moody do about probably needing to return it. It’s hard to explain what I was doing wrong, so I’ll just say that if you buy one, the end you think you need to open in order to clasp it to your wrist is the wrong end. Open the other end instead.

WeWood watch clasp

Sorry, I just need to take a call from the talent-spotter at GQ’s product reviews department.

The wee bar that attaches to the clasp looks a bit flimsy, too.

WeWood watch clasp bar

And attaching it to the clasp is pretty awkward – you feel like you need an extra hand to link it up. But you get used to it, and once it’s on there are no problems. Although I do have a slight fear that, were I to indulge in some “rough-housing” (I don’t really know what this means) it could give way. I’m not sure how fair this is, because I’ve never worked with a clasp like this before. I’m in a whole ‘nutha clasp territory over here.

Assuming claspy holds out, I will be happy with this watch for a long time, or at least until every other berk in the world has one on their wrist. The wood – which originated as floorboards, remember – is smooth and un-splintery. Will I need to varnish it one day? Hopefully not. I know I’d do the lazy thing and attempt to apply the Ronseal while I was still wearing it.

Finally, you know how I mentioned my girly wrists? Well, predictably, when I first put the watch on it slid down and virtually fell off my hand. I read one article where a guy described removing links as “a snap”, which I took to mean I could probably do it myself. I would advise against attempting this unless you have a screwdriver with a head the size of an ant’s eye.

I gave up pretty swiftly and took it to manny man round the corner, who didn’t fill me with confidence as he grasped his WD40 ever-tighter and gazed in furious confusion at the links. Eventually it was OK – and he didn’t laugh at my wood watch, as I feared he might – but if you need links removed (which you will if you’re someone who has girly wrists – e.g., a girl) take it to a watch wizard you trust not to scratch your precious timber timepiece.

So, in summary: looks good, bit awkward to put on, may fall apart some day. I suspect that if you’re in the market for one of these things then only point one will be of much relevance.

WeWood UK website

WeWood US website

WatchMeGo.com

45 Comments

  1. Oh, this is my favourite review of anything probably… well in the last couple of months, at least. More, please!

  2. Thanks for the details-helps a lot!
    I had a question I have ordered mine but am concerned the wood might change color due to water, sweat, “rough-around-the house” activities…i know it is water resistant but have you had any problems? Thanks!!

  3. Stuart

    August 7, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Hi Britain – have just been on holiday where I wore the watch quite a bit. I didn’t use it in water but it’s still holding up well with no problems of any kind.

  4. Thanks Stuart! just got my beige wewood watch!! I totally understand the clasp confusion. But appreciate the information! I will be wearing it to the PGA Championship and hope the sweat wont affect it :)

  5. Anything more to add or is it still holding up?

  6. Stuart

    September 8, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Still all good! I don’t wear it every day though…

  7. Still don’t get how to open the clasp. Can you help out with some more specific instructions?

    Thanks.

  8. Stuart

    November 7, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    You know how one end of the clasp looks slightly more hinge-like than the other? You want to prise open the *other* end – it has a little bit sticking out that you need to pull on.

    When I pull on it I push down on the wood near the clasp with the other fingers on the same hand, because this helps you get a bit more purchase.

    Basically it’s the part you probably thought you needed to pull on before the difficulty you encountered made you think you were wrong!

    Hope that helps, it’s difficult to explain without a physical demonstration…

  9. I recognise that clasp. It’s generally found on women’s bracelets. My wife has several diamond bracelets with that clasp and they have held up very well over the years. I should think the wood around it will fail sooner.

    Yoshi

  10. Hi Stuart,
    Brilliant review. We’ll pass the feedback on to the chaps at WeWood, it’s all good to know. We’ve sold quite a lot of these now at http://www.WatchMeGo.co.uk, and our customers have hardly had hardly any problems with them. Glad you’re getting compliments!
    Thanks,
    Gerald

  11. Thanks for the review! We’re thinking about buying these as groomsmen gifts for our wedding next summer. We’re looking for something original and not overdone (flasks and cuff links).

  12. Hey Stuart, is your watch still holding up? I am concerned with this type of watch’s durability.

  13. Stuart

    December 25, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Yup, still holding up!

  14. Thanks for the input…I’ve been debating the same watch for some time and needed a decent review, which yours was.

  15. Hi, the prior reason for my interest is that perhaps their watches especially the dual ones might find a niche for international travellers if the watch does not need be taken off at airport security, does anyone know if this is the case?

  16. Hey, thanks for the informative and enjoyably written review.
    I am hoping to find out if the WeWood watchfaces are wood or simulated.
    Also….I wood offer (wordplay…) the clasp is fine as long as one doesn’t overthink it…it is a very intuitive design probably invented in ancient times for partying Babylonians or Greeks.
    I got two…and one has glitched a coupla times since they arrove…which probably is simply due to a cheap battery winding down.
    I am going to be researching American Forests to confirm actual tree-planting, but I am enjoying the feel and the look of the WeWood, and like you mentioned…the positive attention!
    All The Best…

  17. My watch broke three months after I got it. I loved the watch, but getting a new one wasn’t easy. I had to take a photo of the watch, submit my tracking number (evidence of returning a broken watch – which you have to do first before getting a replacement), and pay the cost of shipping (I’ve NEVER heard of a company requiring this), and all the while dealt with a rather surly customer service representative. My cost of shipping was over $16 with shipping and packaging as it is cross-country. The policy on their site states that shipping back a broken item will be covered by WeWood. I submitted my receipt for reimbursement for shipping and two weeks later- nothing. I called to check and they hadn’t mailed it. Then, they tried to insist they’d only pay me for $5. Be aware of this if your watch does break.

  18. By far THE BEST review I have ever read about anything. Honest, funny and helpful.

    I will be purchasing one very soon, hopefully my girlie wrists are a bit more manly, and the clasp has no issues, and I too don’t have to ‘Ronseal’ it!

    Thanks again for a top review.

  19. Thanks great review, very informative and funny, will definitely be sharing this!

  20. Thank you for the honest review about WeWOOD and our watches. We are now the official UK distributors for WeWOOD and if anyone would like more information please do get in touch!

  21. It broke after 2 weeks and they would not honor the warranty and replace it. Bad company parading like a socially responsible organization.

  22. Don’t purchase a flimsy we-wood! They are a complete rip-off and not eco friendly. Most of the information on their website is a bunch of bologna. I purchased mine directly from the we-wood us website, based out of Los Angeles. I received my watch broken – very disappointed. And to make matters worse, It had “made in china” stickers plastered on on the box and wrist band. Keep this in mind: We-wood doesn’t do refunds, but exchanges only! They claim to plant a tree, every time a we-wood is purchased, yeah right? Thanks for the review Waterman!

  23. If you want a quality/durable/and much better looking wood watch you should purchase and review MICA http://www.micamove.com they were around before wewood jumped on the idea and started a big phony parade of being a green conscious brand.

  24. @Reuben Canada – This is not true generally a watch is replaced or repaired the only reason would be if you have no proof of purchase.

    @Lua – WeWood is ECO friendly, all the materials used to make the watches are reclaimed, yes some are made in China and the wood used is recycled. A tree is planted for every watch sold.

    I do not know what the WeWood US policy is but WeWood UK do refunds and exchanges.

  25. wewood watches are a ripoff. mine broke after 7 weeks. Im sure MICA watches are durable and save you all the ecofriendly BS.

  26. Chris from Newfoundland

    December 25, 2012 at 4:16 am

    Mine just broke after owning it for only seven days. I took it off and the bits that holds the strap to the case just cracked right off. We Wood should consider reinforcing that area with metal.

    Oh well, I guess I’ll have to see what their warranty service is like now. I’ll report back.

  27. I have the same model reviewed here, mine had no “made in China” (I believe THOSE are knockoffs, idk; WeWood knockoffs DO exist) & have 100% LOVED this watch for 5, going on 6 months. Then last night, not “rough-housing,” rather simply fishing for something in my jean pocket: that CLASP came undone & feel about a FOOT onto my kitchen tile. It is now broken, as in stopped working.

    I am PRAYING that maybe just the battery got knocked loose, but cannot get inside the damn thing, due to how difficult they have made that. I stumbled here searching to find a way to get that back off, without a special watch repairer’s tool & now fear it perhaps may be actually broken. I ADORED this watch & am not even a “watch person,” now I am enraged. ALSO to be noted: One of the wooden links BROKE too! That I can deal with, as I can loose another link & still fit me perfect.

    But remember, this was ALL because of that CLASP & me reaching in my jean pocket, with a FOOT (Foot, 4-5 inches MOST..) drop. I have been endorsing this watch, but now it has all changed. Beware: If you have money to throw around, buy one & it may/may not break. If you are like me & $100 is a lot to spend on what is virtually a neat looking Accessory to me (my cell is how i keep time, like most); think about my story & these other people’s. (also keep in mind, some MAY be knockoffs; mine is DEF NOT.)

    Love&Art,
    deadpopstar

    ps- If ANYONE out there knows a DIY (do it yourself) way or ANY way, to get the back off WeWood watches (they Twist, not “pop,” off; unlike most all metal/other watches), I’d be BEYOND Grateful for any help!! Email: deadpopstarr@gmail.com

  28. We-Wood do not use reclaimed wood, it’s all sandalwood the Chinese import from AUS. Greenwashers suck!!!! lies lies lies!

  29. I rang the number on the wewood website on Christmas Eve to find out where my order was as it hadn’t turned up. The guy I spoke to was really, really rude and clearly didn’t want to talk to me, despite me being gutted that what was obviously a present, ordered well within the given times, hadn’t turned up. He essentially told me to go away. I’m pretty disgusted, tbh.

  30. Crap!!! I have seen nothing but issues with these guys. I guess thats what you get for ripping off the Original wood watch company Tense wooden watches http://www.tensewatches.com. Tense has been making wood watches since 1971 and along with the whole eco thing they also believe in producing the product themselves. I guess they figure quality and handbuilt craftmanship means something not to mention they likely don’t feel to good about using sweat shops. This is what really gets me about these apparent eco companies they use it for nothing less then a market tool, sure great you recycled something I guess this makes it ok to use slave labour. Tense really don’t seem to intrested in making big claims on the eco thing or anything like this but rather just utalize these resources becuase it something they feel is right or they beleive in. Good on them for not trying to whore out on the whole eco thing, besides the craftmanship and quality of the tense watches is amazing. If you want a nice unique watch that happens to be wood and is going to stand up buy the tense watches, you won’t be disappointed.

  31. I got my wood watch a couple months ago and it’s pretty cool. It’s not a wewood but something similar (if not the same) from http://www.woodmanwatches.com. Recently on a trip to China, I found out that’s where wood watches come from like everything else. In fact, I didn’t even know about most brands like Seed, Silvano, Mica, and Wewood until I saw them for sale at a Chinese factory. I don’t blame them for buying from China, but I wonder if wewood knows Chinese have little concern for the environment and that’s part of the reason they are saving money by buying from there. Also, are they saying they collect and ship recycled or otherwise wasted wood to China? OK, but I can see their watches are made from the same wood as their competitors who claim to get their wood from trees all over the world.

  32. Stuart

    January 23, 2013 at 11:41 am

    I like it! Quite tempted…

  33. WeWood may or may not be a cool company but their retail prices are pretty ridiculous considering the quality of the watches. My manufacturer in China make the same models as WeWood so I know what you get for your money.

    http://www.enjoygloriousdays.com sell bamboo watches at a slightly more “honest” price if I may say so myself.

  34. Really funny (and informative!) review – laughed out loud multiple times. Nice work!

  35. Hi –

    I know for a fact the Wewood lie about the wood they use; it is not as per the company explanation, they say they from Italy but the watches are completely Chinese. I have investigated and investigated but yet to find ONE picture of a tree per watch that they claim.

    My watch broke within days and they don’t replace.

    Wewood are international con-artists and their watches are complete rubbish and rip-offs.

    Another company acting like they ‘do good’ when I can only imagine the damage they have done to source their watch and producers…

  36. Dianne Elizabeth

    September 4, 2013 at 3:40 am

    Glad I found this page. I always try to research a product throughly before purchasing, especially when it’s a gift for my boyfriend. I am going to purchase Mica-I think their designs are classy and look more authentic. My boyfriend loves working with wood-he built all the furniture for his home and office. Very talented dude! I’m sure he’ll be inspecting the watch with a fine tooth comb. I’m always looking for unique gifts for him and the watch will be an Anniversary gift. I hope I can get it engraved! Thanks for the reviews-very informative and witty!

  37. Sorry rick I’m goin to have to stop you there… I’ve wore mine everyday for 2 years and still holding strong. The only prob I can see from this watch is a tricky one. No jeweller will actually have the opening tool to change the battery but myself being a tradesman improvised using a compass from my sons school bag… Simples,,, can all be seen on YouTube

  38. I came across WeWood’s site and immediately thought what a great Christmas gift this would make for my boyfriend. The site looked professional and the product and company looked promising. I received my watch tonight and first impression? Disappointed. “Made in China” stickers on the box and watch. Quality was questionable. I had to laugh when I read this review because it’s exactly what happened to me with trying to open clasp. Still going to give it as a gift but worried :-(. I hope it doesn’t break as I don’t want to pay any more shipping/taxes on replacement that sounds hard enough to get them to send!!!

  39. Terrible watch.
    I have a WeWood watch. I got it as a gift. The minute hand fell off after four days. let me say that again: the minute hand fell off after four days. I contacted WeWood and they will not repair it.
    To be fair, the watch was a gift and so I don’t have the receipt, but any Sherlock could deduce the watch is brand new since it has no scratches or marks of any kind.

    Terrible watch.

  40. I received my WeWood watch as a Fathers’ day present. It broke on October 24, only 4 months old. The wood split on the watch case where the pins hold the band to the case.

  41. Its pretty obvious that this company is using the standard Japanese movement/Chinese construction found in a number of affordable (aka cheap) watches, so although they look funky and cool and I would give the design factor a high rating, I just can’t bring myself to spend this kind of money for a WeWood when I can buy a watch with a much better movement and a case of equally attractive design, albeit manufactured of a less funky material. While I appreciate design, this is essentially a mass produced junk movement being re-branded in an attractive machined wood casing.

  42. I just got one from my fiancé for my birthday. Looks great on. I think these watches are made for wearing once in awhile or in safer conditions. I have watches for many types of occasions. Iiving in Canada I will probably keep it as a summer watch and never wear it for any type of athletic activities.

  43. I bought myself a wewood watch in Australia and thought it fantastic. Loved it so much…until day 10 when the glass face fell out. Luckily the customer service over here was fantastic (I read a lot of contrasting reviews online which got me pretty nervous when it came to me requesting an exchange). When my new watch turned up I was so happy to have it back on my wrist..unfortunately two weeks later I just noticed a massive crack across the glass face. I didn’t notice knocking the watch, obviously it must have hit against something but it definitely wasn’t anything obvious enough to even grasp my attention. I love this watch but have to admit the quality is pretty unimpressive. Such a shame.

  44. sharonawa74@gmail.com

    November 12, 2015 at 9:42 am

    I LOVE LOVE LOVED your review, this is the hardest I’ve laughed in ages. Thank you so much for posting this. I defo am not buying one of these now. I would be devastated to receive such a fishy clasp and I hope not to cause offence but the watch displayed in the review is a little sissy and I would not like to see that on a mans wrist at all. I do like the assunt all black and gold I think it’s called WeWood Limited Edition Kappa Black Gold, however. I was about to hit the buy now when I found your review and as I said I am very pleased now as I do have too many watches and only want something that is perfect from every angle and clasp included.

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