Luxury watches have a reputation for glitz and glamour. On the red carpet, celebrities will flash their golden wristbands and jeweled watch faces. But it doesn't stop there, people all over the globe will spend excessive amounts of money on these shiny fancy watches!
Don’t misunderstand us; there’s nothing wrong with the “shiniest and most exclusive” thing that money can buy, but when we first started in 2013, we wanted to introduce something different.
For us, that meant making watches from new, unique materials that would make you stand out from the crowd, even if you didn’t have the budget of a high-end watch collector. In the end, we landed on two materials that we felt great about; stainless steel and wood. The combination of natural wood with steel accents was a huge hit, but we hit our stride when we switched to reclaimed wood.
Reclaimed wood matched our goals in more than a few ways, and ever since our first watch was crafted from this unique resource, we’ve never looked back. Since then, we’ve only continued to add to our collections of wooden watches for men and women, expanding our stock of unique and unforgettable timepieces.
That being said, not everyone knows what reclaimed wood is and why it was so important to us as a company, so we’re here to fix that. If you’ve never heard the term before, or want to clarify a few questions you might have, think of this as your handy dandy guide to the ins and outs of reclaimed wood.
We’ll explore where we source our wood, how it’s best put to use, and why our choice isn’t just about finding pretty materials; it’s about keeping our environment healthy and clean!
Reclaimed Wood Defined
Even if you haven’t encountered the specific term before, you can probably make a pretty good guess at what reclaimed wood means. As far as a simple definition, reclaimed wood can be any type of wood that has been salvaged, reused, or repurposed after its initial use. This wood can come from various environments and structures and can be anything from a single wood plank to an entire stack of reclaimed lumber.
You might think this limits our ability to find wood, but wood is wasted at a much higher rate than people realize. There are some relatively common sources, such as lumber yards and scraps salvaged from old whiskey, beer, and tequila barrels, but reclaimed wood comes from all sorts of nooks and crannies (we’ve found some truly unique pieces of wood in our search). Old logs and dead trees that have fallen in nature are still considered reclaimed wood, and no new trees have to be cut down to produce the lumber!
Most notably, reclaimed wood is often some of the hardest wood on the planet, as the trees that produced the original wood were part of “old-growth” forests that had been logged decades ago.
What is an old-growth forest? Basically, forests that have been unaffected by logging or human influence for an extended period of time, allowing for the trees to grow stronger, taller, and harder than others. Nowadays, we’re seeing more and more forest areas gain this “old-growth” label and protection, but unfortunately, plenty of ancient forests have been lost to the logging industry.
Connecting the Past and Present
As we mentioned before, we chose to use reclaimed wood for several reasons, including its sustainability and sturdiness as a resource. Not all of our reasons are “practical” in the traditional sense, however. We could have easily used other sustainable materials or stuck to conventional watch designs, but there’s a story with reclaimed wood.
A wristwatch is a personal accessory, but it’s also a statement, a representation of yourself. Whether you consider yourself a “fashionable person” or not, accessories will always be more than just pieces of jewelry. They can speak volumes about a person or show off a side of someone’s personality all on their own! However, if you don’t have a connection to the piece, it just won’t represent you in the right way.
When we find reclaimed wood to add to our watches, we’re giving our watches the depth of the history that wood has already gone through.
Maybe your watch is crafted from the sides of an ancient whiskey barrel that once held top-quality alcohol. Perhaps your watch has pieces of wood from the seats of Yankee Stadium. Wherever our wood comes from, it comes with a story and a past that’s ready to join you on your own journey.
Making wooden watches for women and men alike was always the goal of Original Grain, but thanks to our use of reclaimed wood, we can also keep up our eco-friendly goals! With roots in the Pacific Northwest, Original Grain’s connection to nature and the environment runs deep, so promoting sustainability was a big focus.
Using reclaimed wood is one of the few genuinely sustainable methods of using wood as a material because it doesn’t harm any existing forests. As forests are one of Earth’s most valuable natural resources, particularly in the face of climate change, it’s been a perfect balance of wooden craftsmanship and sustainability.
Our conservation goals don't end there either, as each watch sold equals a new tree planted through our partnership with Trees For The Future! To top it all off, we're committed to using recycled materials in packaging and any other areas it is possible.
Reclaimed Wood: Not Just For Show
At Original Grain, we don’t just make women’s and men’s wooden watches; we create unique and exquisite timepieces for anyone and everyone. Maybe you want to find a personalized gift for a loved one, or you’ve seen our wood watches online and fallen in love! Regardless of the reasoning, Original Grain will give you the timepiece that you’ve been looking for without compromising on sustainability or quality.
Check out our collections today, or learn more on our blog!