Analog Watch Co. was founded in 2013 by Lorenzo Buffa – a Pennsylvanian native who graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia to pursue his dream of creating wooden watches inspired by nature. The studio currently creates 3 watch collections which include the classic collection, mason collection (marble) and the carpenter collection that is made from wood.
They currently offer 4 models in the carpenter collection that include leather and blackwood (band material and case material), makore and red sanders, silverheart and maple and lastly teak and bamboo. You can buy one of these for $150 so its fits squarely in the mid-budget range.
Movement: Japanese Miyota Quartz
Band: Leather, makore, silverheart or teak.
Wood: Blackwood, red sanders, maple or bamboo
Clasp: Plated steel Buckle in gold or silver
Case Diameter: 42 mm | 1.66″
Case Thickness: 11 mm | .42″
Face Diameter: 28 mm | 1.10″
Band Width: 20 mm | .80″
Band Length: 253 mm | 9.95″
Weight: 25 g | 0.88 oz
Describing these watches as minimalist is an understatement. The simple design consists of a circular hardwood body and a face with only hour markings. In fact, the markings are optional and you can opt to purchase the watch with hands only. You will find no branding on the dial, so focus is maximized on the wood.
The most intriguing element is a world’s first soft and flexible wooden strap. Amish leather smiths based in Pennsylvania produce the bands by using some of the world’s thinnest wood veneer which is bonded by leather.
We get the best of both worlds with this implementation. The band is still made from wood but also provides the flexibility and comfort you would expect from a leather band. You can get the band in several materials – all leather, makore, sliverheart or maple.
I’m going to give some points to the quality of the construction as well. The band is one entire piece as it splits and circles the inner case to reform on the other side. It will be close to impossible to snap it off from one end unless you were deliberate. A wooden back lid is screwed onto the front case via 4 screws to complete the casing.
In order to keep the watch extremely light weight, an inner plastic case has been implemented. A water-tight metal case would have been a more durable choice but it goes against the notion of this piece – that it should be worn for it’s design and not its functionality. I wouldn’t expect anyone to wear this while hiking or doing sports, it simply is not suitable for that type of wear.
The watch dial features its own wooden strap face and this effectively creates a cohesive look that makes it appear as if the band is the dial – a clever illusion indeed.
It’s a gender neutral design and the dimensions listed in the specs are perfect for most wrist sizes. The band features a simple buckle clasp with 8 holes for an adequate level of adjustability.
Lorenzo Buffa set out to create a watch from the ground up that takes inspiration from nature instead of trying to mimic it. Made from a minimum of 35 components, of which over 80% is bio-degradable, this collection truly represents a design that is as eco-friendly as it is unique.
I love the fact that more and more wood watch makers are moving towards a different mode of thinking. Instead of replicating the traditional designs of metal and plastic models, they are designing something inspired from the materials it is made from. Watches are no longer just time keepers – we have phones for that. Rather, they are becoming pieces of artwork that represent an ideal or value of the wearer.
This collection reminds me of a similar offering from Grovemade so I would recommend having a look at that review if you like this type of watch. Similar to that watch I think this collection will either create a love or hate relationship with potential watch buyers. I personally love the design but I can see how the ultra-minimalist and bare bones look can be off putting to some. It’s also super light weight so stay away if you don’t want something that feels like a gust of wind could blow it away.
Despite these minor drawbacks, I think the Analog Watch Co. has created something special here, and for lovers of nature inspired design this timepiece is definitely worth consideration.