worn&wound Turns 5

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Wow. It’s been five years since we started worn&wound. Five crazy years watching our brand and website grow from a side project run out of an apartment (and largely written while at a day job) to a full-fledged company, with offices, a team of great writers and partnerships and friendships throughout the watch industry.

When we started worn&wound in 2011, we had no real aspirations of creating a business. Blake and I, friends from college, were simply hanging out, drinking too much beer, idling away after work, when the topic of buying watches came up. As average guys in our mid-twenties with typical day jobs, we weren’t focused on haute horology or high-end watches, but rather watches we could actually afford. Watches that we could wear day-to-day to work and that matched our personal style.

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2011, the good old days

When we found that information was lacking on the watches in our price range, we thought to ourselves “Hey, maybe we should start a website? Maybe other people would be interested in finding out more about the watches that resonate with us?” Boy, if we knew half the amount of work this would all take, maybe we would have reconsidered, but I’m sure glad we didn’t, as the last five years have been incredibly exciting.

In the beginning, a few readers a day was stunning. A few dozen was amazing. A few hundred, mind blowing. Once we hit 1,000 readers in a day, I think we knew we had made something with a life of its own. This wasn’t a side project anymore, it mattered. It mattered to us, as well as an ever-growing readership. Now, with a few hundred thousand readers a month, we’re the go-to resource for content on value-driven watches.

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Our very first batch of Model 1 straps, 100% hand-made in the USA
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Within a year of kicking off worn&wound, Blake and I met James Helms, a like-minded watch enthusiast, and the conversation quickly turned to product. James and I share a background in product development, him as a product manager and me as a designer. And all three of us share a passion for creating unique, well-crafted products. We had been purchasing watch accessories off the shelf for years, but none quite met our expectations, and the best, American-made products were outside our price range.

So, just like with the blog, we dove head first into product development and in October 2012 we launched shop.wornandwound.com.

Just over three years later, we have a wide breadth of products, designed in-house and manufactured by us in the United States that we continue to grow and evolve. This is a real point of pride and distinction for us. We don’t buy other people’s straps and cases and put our name on it. If you search around the web, you wont find our Model 1s, Model 2s, Watch Rolls, Mil-Straps, etc., for sale by other companies unless we provided it to them.

A collection of our Model 2 straps
Our collaboration watch roll with Analog/shift
Three of our rugged Model 1 straps
our two watch fold and four watch roll
our new Model 2 classics

This means that we are involved in every step of our product development from the initial sketching, to the sampling and prototyping, to hand selecting leathers directly from tanneries. We meet with our manufacturers, many of which are in NYC, weekly, going over every little detail and refining our process to make a better product. We’re constantly sampling and developing new things, not just for us, but for other brands as well.

The shop is an integral part of worn&wound as a whole, it’s how we support the site, and everyday we’re working on product development, whether we’re sourcing new suppliers, designing new products or problem solving manufacturing challenges. We see worn&wound as equal parts product development and content creation, and we’re excited by what the future holds. We have several big projects to share in the coming weeks and months, so be sure to check back for more.

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Come on in and stay a while
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Our most recent project is Wind-Up, the first watch fair dedicated exclusively to value-driven watches. We hosted our first ever Wind-Up event in October 2015, in the heart of NYC’s busiest shopping district, Soho. We worked to make Wind-Up accessible and inviting, presenting a fun and casual environment welcoming to both watch enthusiasts and newcomers alike. Did we mention it was free and open to the public for three straight days? We invited some of our favorite micro and independent brands from around the world. Hundreds of watches were on display, many of which can be tough to get your hands-on otherwise.

Over 3,000 of you came through Wind-Up last October to see what turned out to be a massive success. It was an amazing time, and we documented all of it here. You can also check out a recap video we made below. And don’t worry, we’ll be throwing Wind-Up again in 2016 with even more of your favorite brands. Stay tuned to worn&wound for announcements shortly.

Well, it feels odd to try to put the last five years into a relatively short article, but that’s the elevator version right there. This year has already been huge for us with the recent launch of our new site build, which elevates content further and makes navigation faster and easier. We just launched some new straps, and will have even more product in the coming weeks.

So, here’s to the next five years. We’re beyond excited to keep on talking about our favorite little mechanical devices, making great accessories, throwing awesome events and who knows what else. And of course, here’s to you all, our readers and customers. This would have been a very different story had you all not shown up for the fun and kept supporting us by coming back, spreading the word, buying straps and so on. Whether this is your first time on worn&wound or you’ve been reading for years, we want to say thank you for everything.

For the nostalgic out there, we’re going to end this with a list of some of our favorite posts from the last 5 years. Please excuse how rough the early ones are, we’ve learned a lot since then!

For more worn&wound, be sure to follow our social media

instagram: @wornandwound, @shop_wornandwound
facebook
twitter

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2011

Lüm-Tec M33 Phantom Chronograph Review
Bulova 96A102 Commemorative Hack Watch Review
’96 Swatch Irony Automatic Gallery
A Look at the Seagull 1963

2012

DIY Pelican Watch Case
Steinhart Ocean Vintage Military Review
Stowa Seatime Provider Review
Affordable Vintage: 1970 Seiko 6139-7010
Watch Curmudgeon: Overheard at a Swatch Store

2013

A Look at Seiko’s Early Divers
Gallery of Sinn
Archimede Pilot 42H Bronze Review
Heartbeat by Kwanghun Hyun
Affordable Vintage: Hamilton Valjoux 7730 Chronographs

2014

Watches and F1: The Heuer Jacky Ickx Easy-Rider
Omega Speedmaster: The First 15 Years
Seiko 7A28 pt 2: the Quiet Beauty
Stowa Flieger Review
A Guide to Super Compressors

2015

Nomos Metro Review
Junghans Max Bill Anthracite ref 3401 Review
Affordable Vintage: O&W Caribbean 1000
Buying a (Seiko) Tuna
The 240 Year Old Pendulum Clock That’s More Accurate Than Your Watch

2016 so far…

REC P-51 Review
Seiko Prospex SRP777/775
Affordable Vintage: Universal Geneve Polerouter Sub
Chronography 5: The Valjoux 7750
Trump Announces Trump by Trump Watches

Zach is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Worn & Wound. Before diving headfirst into the world of watches, he spent his days as a product and graphic designer. Zach views watches as the perfect synergy of 2D and 3D design: the place where form, function, fashion and mechanical wonderment come together.
wornandwound zsw
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