Firefighting History in Every Watch: A Conversation with William Wood’s Jonny Garrett at the Windup Watch Fair

One of the real pleasures of the Windup Watch Fair is discovering brands that inhabit a niche you may not have explored, or even knew existed. William Wood Watches is one of those brands, and we were excited to see them exhibit in Chicago at their second Windup event (they made their Windup debut in San Francisco just a few months ago). The London based brand, founded by Jonny Garrett in 2016, takes the profession of firefighting as their inspiration, and uses materials salvaged from authentic firefighting equipment in their watches in ways that are truly creative.

As you’ll hear Jonny discuss in the interview, the William Wood watch brand takes its name from Jonny’s grandfather, a veteran of the British Fire Service. Wood passed away in 2009, but the brand that’s been named after him ensures that his legacy lives on in the firefighting inspired watches that are proudly made with his name on the dial. The brand’s logo is a representation of a 1920s firefighter’s helmet in profile, and a selection of William Wood watches feature brass that has melted down from such a helmet and incorporated into the watch itself. William Wood watches also feature straps made from upcycled used firehose material, adding unique color and texture to each watch.

It was a real treat to see watches like the all new Triumph Bronze Jubilee chronograph in person at Windup, and to hear Jonny explain what makes this watch’s purple firehose strap special and rare. We were also happy to hear Jonny tell us about his long term vision for William Wood, which involves the conversion of an old British Fire Station into the brand’s headquarters, a fitting location to be sure. We were also excited to hear about the great charitable initiatives William Wood is involved in, including the Tunnel to Towers foundation here in the United States. Giving back to the community is foundational to the brand, and an important part of carrying on its namesake’s legacy.

We hope you enjoyed this conversation with Jonny from William Wood. If you missed it, be sure to check out our recap of the Chicago Windup Watch Fair here, and watch this space for more information on our upcoming event in New York. And be sure to check out William Wood Watches at their website here.

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