When 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.