In a similar vein to other wood watch brands, Apache Pine are another such group that have created a range of watches based on the founders positive experiences with nature. The core concept is to remind us of nature every time we wear one of their watches. With that said, today I will be taking a look at the ‘Original’ bamboo wooden watch.
Movement: Swiss Ronda quartz 762
Clasp: Polished stainless steel buckle
Case Diameter: 40 mm | 1.57” (small), 45 mm | 1.77” (large)
Band Width: 15 mm | .6” (small), 20.32 mm | .8 “(large)
Band Length: 152 mm – 203 mm | 6 – 8” (small), 178 mm – 229 mm | 7-9 “(large)
The original was the first model produced by Apache Pine and features a precise laser etched face, mint colored hands and a genuine tan leather strap. Protecting the dial is a scratch resistant mineral crystal.
I was bit disappointed with the lack of originality in the design. Like so many other bamboo wood watches, the ‘Original’ follows a minimalist approach with hour markings, hands and the logo being the only elements found on the dial. While this is OK and proves to be a loved design amongst wood watch enthusiasts, it would have been nice to find something unique to talk about.
But wait, there is something to mention. The crown is placed at an angle on the bamboo case. In most models, you’ll almost always find the placement to be parallel, so it’s good to see some variation.
These watches are manufactured in Hong Kong and it’s probably the case that Apache Pine have used a standard template with minor modifications to create this timepiece, hence the similarity with so many other designs. Indeed, this may be the ‘original’ watch for Apache Pine, but it’s certainly not original when it comes to bamboo watches.
The movement inside the case is Swiss Ronda quartz 762. Being of Swiss origin, this is considered a premium movement and I wasn’t expecting this in a watch priced at less than $100. The movement is powered by a standard battery which is easy to replace and will last over 3 years.
Durability and quality rather than design seems to be the primary focus of this watch. The bamboo has been coated with a waterproof and scratch-resistant finish. The case inside the wood exterior is stainless steel and water tight.
I personally wouldn’t advocate swimming with this piece on, but it’s good to know the hands will still be functioning if you were to drop it in water. Despite my hesitation, I’ve read reviews of people actually swimming with the watch on and reporting no issues.
The leather strap also features a 3 point anchor system meaning case and strap are attached to 3 ‘anchor’ points to provide extra durability. Take it from intrepid explorer Tania from New Zealand who commented:
‘We’ve been dizzy summiteers of Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Tauhara, and we’ll do a few more mountain missions before we’re through. The strap, the face, and the case have withstood perfectly all the scree and volcanic debris so far, and if anything, my watch seems to only look better and better the more I wear it.”
The watch is unisex and conveniently comes in a small (40 mm) and large (45 mm) size with corresponding band lengths. The band has several stitches which are the same mint color as the hands. Again, I’ve seen very similar designs in other watches but I always welcome stitching to give an authentic feel and look.
Sure, if you’ve seen tons of watches, the design doesn’t come across as anything unique or inspired. But I’m betting the average watch buyer won’t care too much about this.
What’s more important is the durability which is on point. It’s great to see a watch designer actually create something that is built with the wearer’s lifestyle in mind. This timepiece is meant to survive your adventures in the wild and that’s exactly what Apache Pine have set out to do and have achieved.