One of the most asked questions about wood watches is whether they are water proof.
Frankly, no watch made with wood components is completely waterproof. Wood is an organic medium that reacts to water. Wood watches do not have an acrylic or resin coating which could prevent the wood from reacting to water. The links and casework of wood watches are simply rubbed with oil to bring out the natural luster of the wood. This oil finish does not seal the wood and does not make it waterproof.
Hence, you should not wear your wood watch when you go swimming or surfing. You should not wear your wood watch when you take a bath or shower. You should not wear your wood watch in a steam room. You should not let your wood watch go through a washing machine cycle.
That being said, most wood watches are likely to be water resistant. That means water splashed onto the watch will not likely cause any problems. Hence, if you are caught in a sudden rain or if you splash water on the wood watch when you are washing your hands, there’s no need to worry.
For several years now, wood watches have become very fashionable. Wood watches are a sign of one’s support of sustainability because most wood watches are made from sustainable woods like sandalwood and rosewood. The carbon impact of creating a wood watches has no detrimental effect on the environment, compared to watches made with metal or plastic bands which utilize archaic fossil fuels and degrade the land. Frankly, if you’re going to buy a wood watch, don’t settle for a metal watch with wood veneer glued to the surface. These cheap metal watches are made in Eastern factories that are not committed to sustainability.
Today, high-end wood companies like Martin & MacArthur in Hawaii take sustainability very seriously. Martin & MacArthur produces the only wood watches made from solid Koa wood. Koa wood is the beautiful wood that grows only in Hawaii. Koa was used by the early Hawaiians to create canoes and weapons. Eventually, Koa wood became highly revered as the wood of the Hawaiian monarchs. Martin & MacArthur uses Koa wood from dead and fallen trees to make its Koa wood watches. More importantly, the Company is a leader in reforesting Koa in Hawaii. Its efforts have led to over 25,000 new Koa trees being planted in the last five years.
Wood watches are available in all sizes and styles. There are self-winding, automatic wood watches which boast of 21-jewel precision accuracy. There are Moon Phase wood watches which show the phases of the moon on the face of the watch. And there are wood watches with radiant mother-of-pearl faces.
Regardless of what style of wood watch you wear, be sure to wear it proudly and stay out of the water while wearing it.
Written by Michael Tam, a writer in Hawaii who grows his own fruits and vegetables and wears a wood watch every day.