Watch aficionados have historically displayed the tendency to go for the biggest, shiniest options in the jewellers’ window, a bit like large magpies, so it’s understandable that the trend for wooden watches would seem odd to some.
Nevertheless, with a carefully chosen ensemble, the best wooden watches look amazing, and the best wooden watches is exactly what we’ve got here.
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If you’re looking to make more responsible choices when it comes to your lifestyle, and especially your wardrobe, wood watches tend to be a great bet.
Sustainably-sourced and FSC-certified wood, recycled stainless steel and responsibly manufactured leather all feature on our list, and some brands even plant trees or feed hungry children in your name.
Who knew watch-buying could make you feel so saintly?
For us, the watch that best combines this eco-friendliness with spot-on design is the Fritz Walnut Watch from Kerbholz, but no matter what your preference when it comes to wrist candy, there should be something to suit.
Keep reading below for the rest of our top five.
If you love the minimalist faces of brands like Skagen, but are in the market for something a little more unexpected, this Kerbholz watch has got your back. In the Fritz watch, a clean face with minimal branding and no numbers is the perfect foil when it comes to bringing out the natural grain of the walnut dial and setting off the cognac-toned leather strap.
Those straps are easily interchangeable, incidentally, so you can mix and match if you like, and the whole thing is sustainable for peace of mind. Can’t get enough of wooden accessories? They do a mean pair of wooden sunglasses, too.
The Latvian wunderkinds behind the OVi watch have a good thing going, namely the ideal combination of cool factor and capabilities that might just win round die-hard watch classicists. Using a Swiss movement prized for its reliability (a quartz Ronda, caliber 762 3H, to be very precise), and premium sapphire glass over the usual mineral, reviewers say the quality is discernible.
The design is a cut above too, with an unusual button fastening and raised carved numerals rather than metal inlays, making this a real standout. Like the Kerbholz Fritz before it, it takes sustainability into consideration too, with eco-friendly hand-making processes and an initiative that sees a tree planted for each watch bought. Neat.
The motto of independent makers Lux Woods is “class with a conscience”, and at least where the Oakwood watch is concerned, it’s very apt. Like OVi, they’ll plant a tree for your purchase, and give a child a meal too; that, plus the option to engrave a name or message on the reverse of the face, makes this our best watch for gifting.
But how does it look? Well, if you like a chunky, sporty watch with a bracelet strap, but prefer a casual twist on the traditional links, this looks to be a great bet.
Not a far cry from our previous pick by Lux Woods, the Wewood Kappa Watch puts a twist on the popular link watch strap by taking the design and rendering the whole thing in solid wood.
With contrasting shades of light and dark wood for an extra dose of cool that mimics the gold and silver watch straps of yore, and three-dial setup that let you use your wrist furniture as calendar and 24-hour-converter, it’s a real statement option, and one that won’t cost the earth.
Some reviewers did find the hands a bit thick, saying that they obscured the dials every so often, but if you just want to know what the time is, it’s not a huge deal.
Kerbholz’ Fritz still not quite minimal enough for your Scandi sensibilities? We’ve got you. Or, more specifically, this MAM originals wooden watch does. Crafted from FSC-certified premium ebony hardwood, recycled stainless steel and quality vegetable-tanned full-grain leather, the whole thing’s rather responsible, and not to mention beautiful.
Testament to the fact that wearing a wooden watch needn’t make you feel like you’re lugging around Baby Groot, the face is thin and lightweight, sitting close to the wrist for a streamlined look, and the face is totally fuss-free. And, we’ve no doubt that those of a certain disposition will love the fact that every minute, the second hand and top marker form a perfect line. Ahhhhh.