The Pros and Cons of Wood Watches – A Quick Guide

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Wood watches may seem like a strange idea at first because of how unorthodox they are, but they’ve actually proven to be a great and practical concept. First introduced as a purely stylish choice, wood watches have proven to be a viable alternative to watches made from other materials such as metals or silicone.

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And no, the watch’s internal mechanisms are not made out of wood – to function properly they are made out of the same metal materials as regular watches. It’s the casing of the watch, as well as the wristband, that’s made of wood.

You can easily find a wood watch that will go with your preferred clothing style, and if you make sure to buy a wood watch of a high enough quality, you can be surprised by its durability.

In this quick, common sense guide, we take a look at the most important considerations before you buy a wood watch.

Pros and Cons of Wood Watches

Stylish wood watch
Wood watches are undeniably classy! See this here.

There are a number of pros and cons to wood watches, so let’s take a quick look at them:

Pros of Wood Watches

1. Price

Wood watches are significantly cheaper than metal ones.

2. Eco-friendly

Depending on the wood they are made out of, wood watches can be very eco-friendly. Many of the bigger brands in the wood watch industry are known for committing great efforts to replant forests so that they can counteract any negative effect of their business model. Even when they don’t, however, a wooden watch is always eco-friendlier than a metal one.

3. Hypoallergenic

Wood watches are not just good for the environment, but they are also good for us. If your skin is allergic to certain types of metal, silicone, or leather, a fully wooden watch may be your best bet.

4. Lightweight

A lot of people don’t like to wear watches because they are too heavy. Wood watches solve this problem with ease. They’re lightweight and comfortable to wear.

5. Lack Of Bad Smell

Leather and silicone wristbands can sometimes give off a bad odor especially when you sweat, but a wood watch with a wooden wristband renders this problem mute.

6. Unique Look, Feel And Design

Not only are wood watches new to the timepiece scene but they’re also very versatile and stylish. They tend to catch people’s attention and stand out.

Cons of Wood Watches

1. Durability

As we mentioned, even though a good and well-maintained wood watch can last for over a decade, they are still not as durable as metal watches.

2. Faux Wood

As cheap as wood is, some manufacturers still resort to its even cheaper faux wood alternatives such as plastic imitations. This gives you low quality and durability.

3. Not Suitable For Sport

If you love swimming, running, or playing sports, a wood watch may not be as good of an alternative for you. Sure, you can still take it off any time you’re about to engage in rigorous exercise routines, but a lot of sports people would prefer a sturdy plastic or silicone watch instead.

Wood Watch Durability

rugged timber wood watch
Personalized wood watch. See it here.

The main concern with wood watches is their durability. And that’s a reasonable concern to have – wood watches are indeed not as durable as metal watches. The reason metal watches have been at the top of the hill for so long is that, when cared for well enough, they can last more than a lifetime.

The same can’t really be said about wood watches – as a natural material, wood will deteriorate in time, regardless of your care regimen. It can be attacked by pests, damaged by water, sweat, or even prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.

However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that all these factors make wood watches unreliable. The fact of the matter is that when wood watches are cared for well enough, they can last years, and even decades.

How to Care for a Wood Watch

With reasonable care, you can keep your wood watch beautiful and in working condition for a long time.

Many wood watches today are waterproof, so check with your retailer about this. However, in general, it’s best to keep any wooden item away from water, especially from complete submersion. If you don’t swim, shower, sweat, or walk in the rain with your wood watch, as well as if you protect it from insect wood pests, there’ll be little more to worry about. Always take off your wood watch when engaging in such activities.

Also, keep your wood watch away from harmful chemicals as this can break down the finish of the watch and damage the wood.

Keep your watch free from dirt and dust to ensure that it looks its best. If dirty, you can gently wipe the watch with a damp cloth, and dry it immediately.

You can also use a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice, in equal parts, and then wipe gently with a q-tip or soft cloth. This will remove stains and dirt on the watch while maintaining its shine and luster. Make sure you wipe the watch off thoroughly afterward.

Always store your watch carefully, as it can get damaged if pressure is put on it. Wrap in a soft cloth and place in a jewelry box or pouch and keep in a safe area.

Types of Wood Used for Wood Watches

There are multiple types of wood that can be used for a wood watch. The type of wood plays a role in the watch being as durable and long-lasting as possible. Aside from that, however, the color, grain, and texture of the different types of wood are the main criteria that will influence how you choose your future wood watch.

Here are the main types:

1. Bamboo Wood Watch

personalized bamboo wood watch
Beautiful bamboo wood watch. See it here.

Bamboo is one of the eco-friendliest wood types because it is very fast-growing and easily replaceable. What’s more, it also has a very smooth texture and a very light color which makes it great for both men’s and women’s wood watches. Bamboo often has a beautiful natural pattern that adds to the beauty of the watch.

2. Karri Wood

This type of wood has a distinct red color which makes it very suitable for a stylish watch. Its grain is straight and durable, and its texture is relatively coarse. This makes it both beautiful and durable.

3. Maple Wood

personalized maple wood watch
Maple wood watch. See it here.

Maple wood is very easy to craft, which makes it highly praised in the timepiece industry. Its grain is fine and straight, and it is also very durable wear in harsh conditions. This type of wood also has a light color and is very attractive.

4. Olive Wood

engraved olive wood watch
Olive wood watch. See it here.

Olive wood can come in a lot of different colors so you won’t be restricted to a certain one. More importantly, however, because of its slow growth, olive wood has a very dense and hard texture which makes it highly durable. It can withstand exposure better than most other types of wood.

That same dense texture and tightly-grained surface make it perfect for masculine-designed watches as well as for more elegant watch styles.  

5. Sandalwood

Sandalwood wood watch
Sandalwood watch. See it here.

An exotic type of wood, sandalwood is frequently used for face masks and skin exfoliation due to its natural properties which are widely acclaimed to be great for the body. It’s also known for its soft, woodsy scent. 

It can vary greatly in color and comes with a very unique grain that’s typically straight but can also be wavy based on how it’s cut. This adds a certain level of uniqueness to sandalwood among other wood watch types.

6. Teak Wood

Teak has a beautiful light brown color that’s quite unisex. However, teak wood is somewhat difficult to source. That, in a way, makes it less eco-friendly. At the same time, it is very weather-resistant which can be great depending on the climate you live in.

7. Walnut Wood

This is among the most popular wood types for timepieces because of its rich and dark color, making for attractive, classy-looking watches. What’s more, walnut wood is also quite durable, which is always great for a good timepiece.

8. Zebrawood

zebrawood watch
Zebrawood watch with typical stripy pattern. See it here.

Zebrawood has a zebra-stripe appearance that makes it stand out from most other types of wood. It has a wavy or interlocked grain that looks beautiful to look at. It’s a difficult type of wood for designers to work with as the grain is hard and soft alternatingly, making it an unstable wood to work with. However, once crafted into a watch, it’s durable and stunning in appearance.

Wood Watch Prices

The price of wood watches is among their best benefits. Many people tend to think that wood watches are extremely expensive because they’re made of wood.

But in reality, wood watches are significantly cheaper than their metal counterparts. You can very easily find a high-quality wood watch in the 2-digit price range as well as luxury wood watches that don’t go above the 3-digit price range. In comparison, metal watches of the same quality can cost hundreds of dollars.

The average wood watch costs about $50 but you can find beautiful pieces for just over $20 as well. This makes wood watches perfect to easily get a chic, unique and stylish look without breaking the bank.

Digital Wood Watches

digital wood watch
Digital wood watch. See it here.

It may sound strange but yes – digital watches can be encased in a wooden body as well. It may be an unexpected combination and definitely one that’s sure to start a lot of conversation. The natural aesthetic of wood and the modern look of a digital clock face isn’t a combination that you see every day, making this a special type of watch.

However, from a mechanical standpoint, there’s nothing in a wood watch that prevents the mechanism of a digital watch from working properly. If the face of the digital watch and the color plus the design of the wood match well with one another, they can make for a special combination.

Engraving Your Wood Watch

Most wooden watches can be engraved, depending on your retailer and the specific design of the watch. This allows you to truly customize your watch and make it your own. This also makes a wood watch an excellent gift for a special person in your life.

In general, the engraving is done on the back of the wood watch, giving you a large surface area to have your special words imprinted. However, some designs allow you to have the engraving on the clock face or along the edge of the watch.

Note that you may not be able to return the watch if it’s been engraved, so choose carefully.

Wood Watches for Men and Women

Wood watches look stunning in both masculine and feminine designs and are a beautiful choice for anyone.

Wood watches for men and for women can be made from a large variety of wood types in a variety of different styles and designs. As with traditional watches, wood watches for women are generally smaller and lighter with narrow designs. Wood watches for men, on the other hand, are bigger and rounder.

Of course, these are just general guidelines but as with all things fashion, there really aren’t any rules nowadays.

Where to Buy Wood Watches

You’ll find many specialist wood watch stores on the internet, and these are great places to take your search. Always check whether the retailer is trustworthy and look into its track record. Customer reviews and returns policy are a must-check prior to purchase.

We also recommend searching on Etsy as there is a wide range of wood watches to suit all budgets and styles. Communicate clearly with the seller to ensure that you get exactly what you want.

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