When it comes time to get a new watch, even those of the wooden variety, there’s no shortage of options for you to peruse. It’s a nice change of pace compared to a decade ago when buying any wood watch meant choosing between just a handful of options.
As helpful as the increased choice is, though, it does also make the process of finding a high-quality timepiece a little more complicated. Are there any features you shouldn’t compromise on? And just what exactly separates a good wood watch from the rest? Well, we’re here to help you figure that out. Continue reading for a quick rundown of what to look for in a quality wooden watch.
1. Sustainable Materials & Practices
Once upon a time, sustainability simply wasn’t on most people’s radars. The majority of folks were much more likely to focus on price or additional features than on how environmentally-friendly their potential timepiece was, which makes a lot of sense. But times have most certainly changed. We now know how important it is to reduce some of the harm caused by production practices, and any watch company (especially those that make wood watches) worth its salt will do its best to meet these new expectations while still creating a great product.
So, anytime you find yourself on the market for a new wristwatch, try to find an option that uses more earth-friendly materials and practices. It is particularly important that a prospective watch doesn’t use freshly felled wood for its band or case, as this seriously contributes to widespread deforestation and habitat destruction. Opt instead for sustainable, 100% reclaimed wood. It’s better for our planet, plus it has more character, making it a positive across the board.
2. Precise Movement
Whenever you wear a watch day in and day out, it kind of fades into the background a bit. It almost becomes something that’s a part of you, and you’re not likely to think about it much as you go about your daily business. That’s a good thing because that means it’s comfortable, unobtrusive, and reliable. However, there’s a whole host of factors you need to think about before a watch makes it off store shelves and onto your wrists. Perhaps one of the biggest things to consider? The watch movement.
The movement essentially acts like the engine of your timepiece. It’s what keeps your watch ticking and ensures that it stays a functioning daily tool rather than only a pretty yet useless accessory. Yet this is where many brands cut costs, choosing to use cheap versions that are more prone to technical issues than their most expensive, renowned counterparts.
Stay vigilant against this and seek out a wood watch that prides itself on using precise, quality movements. Japanese Miyota quartz, precision Swiss, and mechanical movements are all usually good options to look for and are accessible even for mid-range budgets. Sure, they do cost a bit extra, but they will be longer-lasting and help your watch stay on your wrist and out of the repair shop. To us, that’s more than worth the additional small fee.
3. Product Warranty
Buying a new watch is a commitment and an investment. As something you’ll probably wear every day, you naturally hope it will work perfectly for years without any major problems. Although, as with anything else, even some of the best watches can run into issues no matter how great the brand or how well you take care of it. Manufacturing defects or random mechanical failures will pop up from time to time through no fault of your own, and should that happen, you'll definitely want to be covered.
This is why it’s imperative to search for a watch option that comes with an attached warranty. Any quality choice from a reputable company should offer a few months to a year of coverage. But a word of advice: don’t take warranties at face value. Not all will provide the same things.
For example, some may fully cover damage arising from normal wear and tear, whereas others will only replace certain parts proven to have problems due to material/workmanship details. A good watch in an average price range should have a warranty guaranteeing replacement for all defects but will likely not cover water damage, misuse, etc. In other words, take care of your watch or consider upping your budget for a more comprehensive warranty!
4. Sapphire Crystal
Despite their compact and seemingly simplistic design, watches are actually pretty complex little machines. There are a lot of tiny pieces that make up the whole, each playing an essential role in the watch’s form and function. The movement, band, case, dial -- all of those are the obvious bits you should examine for quality before money changes hands. However, there are a few other parts that deserve some careful attention, and the crystal is among them.
For those not as well-versed in watch anatomy, the crystal is that smooth glass-like covering that protects the watch face. Because it’s transparent, it doesn’t usually receive more than a passing thought, but you might want to change that with your next purchase. Most budget brands (and even some mid-tier) have a propensity to use cheap mineral crystals in their watches. These spell trouble in the long-term because they scratch very easily, quickly becoming a mess if you so much as bump your watch against something a wall or desk.
Better off avoided, spend a little more cash, and get a wood watch that utilizes a sapphire crystal. First off, this will make your watch significantly more durable and guarantee you won’t see any unsightly scratches from normal wear. But on top of this, it will also ensure that your watch pick is a good one since sapphire crystals are primarily utilized by high-quality, luxury brands who know what they’re doing.