Often when I get asked to do a review for an item, it’s something that is for parents or kids. That is, it’s not an item that a non-parent would likely be interested in (with the exception of some books, but even then they are geared towards parents). This makes a lot of sense given the site that I run, but it ignores that us parents are people too. We actually do like a variety of things that don’t necessarily have to involve our children, though of course we tend to always think practically about what we purchase for ourselves.
Because of this, I wasn’t sure how to respond when I received a request to review the new line of Wood Watches from JORD. These weren’t kid watches and my mind kind of shut down, unsure how to proceed. Can I do this? Can I actually review something for – gasp – me?! After taking a moment to realize that I still am a person who can focus on adult things and a person who has been saying to my husband that I need to get a watch myself (for reasons I’ll discuss below), I jumped on board.
Why I Was Interested
There were two main things that intrigued me most about these watches. The first was generic to any watch, but the second was unique to JORD’s new line of watches. In an era of smart phones, it seems the idea of any watch has slowly drifted away to the point where you rarely see people wearing them anymore. Now I will acknowledge that because of cell phones, they are now more like a piece of jewelry than anything else, but I’m going to argue that actually they can be more than that. You see, the main reason I had been looking for a watch at all is because I was discovering that using your cell or smart phone as a means to tell time also leads to it being used way more frequently than I was comfortable with.
As a parent (ha – see, I still couldn’t get away from parenting), I strive to make sure I’m not consistently on my phone when I’m trying to engage with my daughter. This doesn’t mean I don’t ever use it, but it means that I try to limit that use. When I use my phone as a clock, I found I was checking time, then I’d see X notifications and end up “having” to check them before re-engaging with my daughter. Sometimes, depending on what came in, this was a break of 10 or so minutes as my focus shifted away from us and towards things that seem important, but in hindsight could easily wait the 30 or so minutes it would take to finish whatever my daughter and I were doing. Now, one could say just don’t look beyond the time, but I tried that, and I have yet to be too successful at it, even though I don’t find it hard to not check the phone for longer periods on end when I don’t have to check it (like for the time). For me, the idea of a watch that would eliminate the need for me to even bring my phone out was a huge plus.
The second, and unique, area that piqued my interest was the idea of the wood watch. I have seen leather and metal, but never wood. I immediately thought about how we pushed “natural” toys for our children, spending more in order to ensure the toys are sustainable and made of natural products, so why not for something we use ourselves?
The idea of sustainability is something that I am consistently aware of when it comes to the purchases we make as a family. We’re not perfect, but I like knowing the resources used in what we buy are sustainable for the future. When I went to take a look at the various watches to select one, I was immediately impressed with the section on the site that deals with the materials used. Now, to be clear, not all of the wood used in the watches is listed as highly sustainable. Some might have a problem with this, but I will say this: JORD is a company making a product they hope people will buy and not all people care about sustainability. They could choose to not report any of the sustainability information for any of the woods and focus on the aesthetic appeal of the watches (they are gorgeous, but we’ll get there) or they can do what they did and report it all, openly and easily available, to allow the consumers to make their choices.
My favourite of the woods offered, aesthetically speaking, was the Sandalwood, but when I checked out the information, its sustainability was listed as “a vulnerable species” thus I chose not to select a watch that uses that particular wood. Having the information right there made it easy for me to find it and made it something that others might see without thinking about it ahead of time. In an era where we worry about buying “natural” or sustainable for our kids, it’s nice to have a product for us adults that allows us to do the same.
The Watch I Chose
After going through all the woods to check sustainability, I selected the Koa and Rose Gold Cora series watch. Now, you’ll see immediately that these watches aren’t cheap. The lower end runs just around $100 USD but go up to $300 USD (though they are available worldwide so you’d need to check your local currency). As a parent on a budget, I understand how this may seem off-putting. I will say I was lucky to be able to select one without this cost, but having owned one, I would now be willing to spend the money as a treat for myself on it.
I don’t buy much for myself because I’m quite happy with what I have, but having now owned this watch, I am in love with it. I don’t view it just as a tool for telling time, but as a piece of jewelry that I find beautiful. If you are like me and would never think of spending this kind of money on something for yourself, let me say this: The holidays are coming up and sometimes you need to treat yourself if you can afford it because sometimes we all need that little something that makes us feel just a bit better. It may be that you subtly (or not so subtly) leave a link for your partner to find with a note to your favourite kind of watch or you decide to treat your partner this holiday season, but I was amazed how happy I was to have something nice for myself. Of course it helps when I’m being complemented on it all the time too!
How It Holds Up and How I Use It
Although the price was high, the first thing I was clear to myself about (yes, I have talks with myself) was that the point of me having a watch was to have one I used regularly. Getting one that I would only wear for special occasions just wasn’t worth it, especially given the reasons I wanted one in the first place. When I saw how beautiful this watch was, I paused, ready to throw that idea out the window, but realized that wouldn’t help anyone – me or anyone who looks to this review for information. So right away this became a daily-wear watch. So far, I have worn it in the rain, while out and about doing errands, at the park, cooking, and while working (and I’m sure much more). It has held up amazingly. I take it off for dishes (obviously) but it survived the rain just fine as it has everything else I’ve done. Part of this may be the use of sapphire in many of the watches instead of glass which is harder than glass and second only to diamonds in terms of toughness and durability.
I had one moment of surprise/worry when after not wearing it for a day when my daughter was sick so we were home all day, I went to take it out and found the watch not running. One of the things I hadn’t looked at was that many of the watches use a self-winding automatic mechanism based on movement which requires me to either wear it or wind it after 36 hours of non-use (which we had hit). Luckily, no replacement battery needed, just a good old-fashioned winding and we’re back on track.
The real question for me – outside of just enjoying it as a piece of jewelry – was how it would change my use of the cell phone when out and about. I will admit that it took a few days of getting used to the fact that I actually had a watch on. For about 3-4 days, nothing changed because I’d wear it, accept compliments, and then forget about it when I needed to know what time it was. However, that has now changed (albeit I still have some moments where I forget and pull out the cell) and I will often go hours without pulling out my phone to check. For me, this is a huge improvement and exactly what I was hoping for. I still need to keep track of time for things, but I no longer find that ‘keeping track of time’ equates to ‘checking emails and notifications’. Checking the time is a 10-second process, not a 5-10 minute one. In my mind, anything that helps me limit the time on my smart phone is a very good thing indeed.
My wood watch from JORD is amazing. Not only is it a beautiful piece of jewelry that I am happy to have on daily, but it has served a very helpful purpose in limiting my unnecessary smart phone time. I love the use of wood, the transparency in the sustainability of the materials used, and the self-winding mechanism (now that I know it has one!). I acknowledge that a watch like this is a treat for us parents, especially those of us on budgets, but I can say that I would highly recommend these watches to anyone who is interested in getting something nice for themselves. We all deserve that sometimes, right?