We don’t often talk about wooden watches on worn&wound… in fact, I believe this is a first time. While the use of interesting materials in watches is something we are very excited by, and wood certainly is an interesting material, rarely do the watches themselves come together to really win us over.
Often they are large and chunky with toy like bracelets and bezels and while the wood imparts interesting organic textures and colors, the watches as a whole don’t succeed. Well, Sioux City Watches recently started a Kickstarter campaign to fund their new series of wooden watches that are subtle, interesting and pleasantly inexpensive.
Perhaps what makes the Sioux City Watches so immediately appealing is that they have a simple design that allows you to accept the use of wood in the case and dial, without challenging you to accept a wild formal design. The bamboo cases, which are available in two sizes, are elegant with wide bezels, classic lines and a warm ochre color. Rather than attempting a wood bracelet, they went with a no-fuss oiled leather strap in dark brown, which perfectly compliments the wooden case. Things get a little more dressed up with the dial options, but once again they found a unique approach.
Clearly inspired by Native American patterns, the Sioux City watch dials utilize abstract graphics lightly laser-etched into the blonde wood dials. The result is quite attractive, adding a subtle decorative element to the watch that ties in with the materiality while also adding something modern and youthful. On some of the larger designs they added applied hour markers, likely to condense the more expansive dial. Finishing the dials is a set of matte black dauphine style hands, another interesting choice that compliments the design well.
There is a lot to really like and admire about this project. From a design standpoint, they really nailed something unique by taking a step back and realizing that simple was the best answer. They ended up with something immediately attractive that they can keep updating by simply designing new dial patterns. And by creating two sizes they clearly expand the amount of potential customers.
One strange thing to note is that their two sizes, 45 and 52mm, both sound huge, but they are measuring lug-to-lug. As such, I would guess the diameters at closer to 40 and 45mm, which is far more reasonable. But perhaps best of all is that end retail prices for these watches is $89 – 109 for the 45mm and $109 – 130 for the 52mm, making them very affordable. If not your style, these would make a great gift for people young and old.
For their Kickstarter campaign, Sioux City Watches was looking to raise a modest 12k, which they already have surpassed. So, no worries, these watches are going to get made. Currently they are trying to reach 20k in order to fund an additional dial design. Their donations include various discounts on the watches themselves, such as $75 for one 45mm watch to $310 for 4 watches 52mm watches. They also have a very limited option for $300 where you can design your own dial.
by Zach Weiss
images courtesy of Sioux City Watches