As part of our expanded focus beyond watches, Canadian firm Konifer sent us a woodsy review bundle: the Sequoia Maple watch and the KT001 ring. Even though they are from the same company, I think they will appeal to very different buyers. The watch is very taste-specific, but the ring could easily have broad appeal.
The watch is all Paul Bunyan. It’s the watch he would make: the case, caseback, dial, bezel, and bracelet are all cut from maple. It has a no-name quartz timekeeper, with a tiny date window at 3:00. Metal accents do work that wood cannot, like the clasp and crown, and add some glint to the bezel and dial. It’s also Bunyan-sized at 50 mm across and 60 mm lug-to-lug.
If you are a woodsy giant of a man (or woman) this could be your watch, too. I’m sure Mr. Bunyan wouldn’t mind sharing. My wife called it masculine and I know a few people with a thing for wood who would love this. And I could see myself enjoying the lightweight package—if it was much smaller. For people who can pull off a larger watch—or don’t care about conventional wrist/watch ratios—this is an interesting piece.
The maple is nicely finished with a clear sealant and everything is solid wood—no hollow end links here. The all wood construction does lead to some compromises; for example the narrow 13 mm lug configuration avoids the end link dilemma but makes it hard to replace the 25 mm maple Oyster-style bracelet.
The quality of the metal bits is mixed. The signed crown has sharp diamond knurling and the signed clasp clicks into place reassuringly, but they are the standouts among the brightwork. The other metal is shiny, but it looks thin (and not in a good way).
With the Konifer logo doing double duty at 12:00 the dial is mostly balanced, although I feel sorry for the date window floating lonely on the dial; it should be closer to the edge. It’s also too small to give any white space around the numerals, so the numbers often look cramped. And the tiny, forlorn date window looks especially absurd on such a massive watch. The second hand ticks along with no noticeable bounce, but it doesn’t always line up with the indices. The hour and minute hands are decently lumed, but there isn’t a lot of real estate to work with on the slender stick hands, so it’s pretty weak light.
Ultimately, all this is probably academic because for most the watch is just too big to be wearable. If it were a more discrete size and Konifer fixed some of the quality issues (mainly index alignment and date window size and location) I could see myself picking one up for the novelty of an all-wood watch.
The ring, however, is on another level quality-wise. It could also appeal to a wider variety of people, unlike the huge watch. It’s beautifully polished Hawaiian Koa wood and tungsten; the finish gives it a refined look.
The wood has a vibrant luster befitting a piece of jewelry. Unlike the watch, the wood ring has plenty of heft thanks to the tungsten frame. It would make a fine wedding band or fashion accessory, whether you’re marrying a giant woodsman or an average deskman. koniferwatch.com
Konifer Sequoia Maple
- Price: $180CAD (~$132USD)
- Who is it for: Paul Bunyan.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: Too big for me.
- If I could make a design suggestion, it would be: Date window size and location; case size.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: The novelty of a well-made wooden case and bracelet.
- Case size: 50 mm x 13.5 mm; 60 mm lug-to-lug
- Dial width: 36 mm
- Lug width: 13 mm
- Case material: Maple
- Crystal: flat, unspecified type
- Crown: 6 mm x 3 mm, signed, diamond knurling
- Strap: 25 mm maple Oyster-style bracelet
- Movement: Quartz; three-hand with date
- Warranty: 5 years
- Price: $150CAD (~$111USD)
- Who is it for: Seeking a stylish alternative ring.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: If I were in the market for a ring.
- What spoke to me the most about this ring: The luster of the wood is remarkable.
- Ring dimensions: 8 mm wide x 2 mm thick
- Sizes: Half sizes, 6–12
- Material: Hawaiian Koa wood and tungsten