Carving Out A Style: Wood watches take root at Analog

“We’ve transformed wood as a material,” say Lorenzo Buffa, founder and head designer at Analog Watch Co. Analog is home to the Carpenter Collection, a series of minimalist wooden watches that mark a new level in the appeal of wearable wood.

The idea of all-wood wristwatches has been around since at least the 1970s; Canadian manufacturer Tense claims to have been producing wood watches since 1971. Wood watches came to prominence on the watch marketplace in 2010, with the arrival of WeWood, a custom watchmaker based in California. Within a few years the market was saturated, with Etsy pages full of wood watches, and such companies as Original Grain, Earth Wood Watches, Mica, and Wood Mark selling dozens of different designs.

Analog rode this wave of popularity, raising over $70,000 in a Kickstarter campaign, but Buffa wanted his watches to be distinct from the generic-looking timepieces already on the marketplace.  “Wooden watches already existed,” he says. “But they copied metal and alloy designs. We wanted to redefine how wood can be used.”

A former design student at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia,  Buffa set about designing his watches from scratch, exploring new ways to work with wood. The resulting Carpenter Collection showcases minimal, uncluttered, iconic designs with clean lines, unique texture, and sustainable manufacture. Instead of clunky and quick-to-break wooden links, Analog’s wood watches use an elegant wood-veneer leather strap. These wood watches are museum quality, literally: they retail at the MoMA, the Barnes Foundation, and other design stores, art museums, and boutiques worldwide.

“It’s much more than a watch,” says Buffa. “It’s a piece of art; a tiny sculpture on your wrist, and a little piece of nature that you can always carry with you.”

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