A Guide to Sustainable Watch Materials: What You Need to Know - The Sustainable Watch Company

A Guide to Sustainable Watch Materials: What You Need to Know

People around the world are recognising the importance of a sustainable lifestyle. Consumers are consciously making efforts to increase the number of sustainable choices they make while shopping for fashion, groceries, and alike. Hence, more people are turning to sustainable substitutes when it comes to buying fashion, including watches… and a sustainable option for wristwatches is? Wooden watches, that's where we come in. 

Our wood watches are handmade and vegan. Ensuring they release the least amount of carbon through their production process and are made of components that are cruelty-free, harming no animals in the process, thus supporting veganism. However, the key reason for our watches being eco-friendly is the primary material used: natural wood, which is sustainable and recycled. 

The wood we acquire for our watchmaking is gathered from wood furniture scraps and upcycled by hand into our timepieces. We carefully select the types of wood that allow the natural beauty, colour, and grain patterns to shine through; whilst considering its performance in terms of durability, sustainability, and strength. Keep reading to learn about the most suitable woods for wood watch crafting that The Sustainable Watch Company uses when making our sustainable watches. 

Red Sandalwood & Green Sandalwood

Sandalwood is indigenous to the tropical belt of peninsular India, the Malay Archipelago, and northern Australia. These woods are valued for their naturally rich red and green color hues. It showcases fine grain patterns and is a sturdy timber that is used for many wood carving purposes, including our wooden watchmaking. The Redwood and The Ash flaunt the rich natural hues of red and green sandalwood respectively.   



Ebony is widely grown in Sri Lanka and Southern India. This tree stands out for its wide trunk and its jet-black, charred-appearing bark. This bark shields a pristine white wood layer, and an intense dark black heart at the trunk's core. It is an important wood for veneering and watchmaking because of its close grain, hardness, and exquisite yet subtle hazel-brown and black striped colour. Ebony is present through its namesake, The Ebony Apple watch strap and The Fir watch, both handcrafted from Ebony wood.



Native to the lowland forests of Southwest Cameroon, Zebrawood is much sought-after timber for its lively tint and richly veined timber. The timber varies from dark brown to light brown and sits across the full spectrum of rich browns. The wood grain is reminiscent of an African Zebra with a cream to golden yellow background color contrasted with a dark brown. The timber has a moderately coarse texture with open apertures and a wavy to interlocked grain shape. The texture and grains of the zebrawood add to its comfort, making a zebrawood watch feel comfortable on the wrist. This wood is naturally dense and hard, which means that it can withstand prolonged use without extensive signs of wear and tear if looked after. The unique pattern of the wood grain adds an extra touch of style to any zebrawood watch, including The Yew.

Olive Wood

This species is indigenous to the Mediterranean area, which encompasses North Africa, the Middle East, and Southern Europe. The bark is raked and dark brown in color. The sapwood is clearly separated from the heartwood and is a pale, creamy yellow with occasional streaks of dark brown. Olive wood is an ideal material for watchmaking because of its delicate, uniform texture. Our Olivewood watches, including The Rosewood, bring together style and natural beauty in a versatile yet grandiose look.

Maple Wood

Maple wood comes from the Deciduous Maple trees found in Eurasia and North America. Because of its durability, Maple wood is regularly used in construction and furniture. It is preferred for its fine grain, which allows the wood to be hard, yet at the same time have some elasticity; ideal for hand-making wooden watches! Our Maple wood watches, including The Birch, The Hazel, and more, flaunt the natural beauty and versatile light tones of Maple wood. It is recommended to clean your Maple wood watch with a dry cloth and a fine, soft brush to maintain its appearance. However, avoid using a microfiber cloth or a damp cloth. 

Chacate Preto Wood

One of the precious hardwoods of Mozambique is Chacate Preto Wood. This timber exhibits beautiful streaks of dark brown to black heartwood with lighter, honey-brown streaks providing a striking contrasting tone. Chacate Preto has a fine texture and interlocking grain pattern. It is a hardwood, thus making it the perfect wood to upcycle for our watches due to its durability, which  allows the watch to survive wear and tear over time. Our handcrafted Chacate Preto watch, The Banyan, boasts intricate exposed mechanics and high-quality mechanical movement, which is uniquely coupled with recycled natural dark wood.

African Blackwood

African Blackwood is highly sought after all over the world. It features a dense grain structure and a fine, even texture. African Blackwoods heartwood that sits at the core of the trunk is a dark purplish-brown with black streaks, creating a virtually black look overall that is distinctly contrasted from the cream of the white sapwood. It has a modest gloss due to the natural oil the tree secrets. African Blackwood is extremely durable, making it an excellent choice for a long-lasting, sustainable watch such as The Mahogany.  


The Sustainable Watch Company is built around creating a sustainable future both through our product and the impact of our brand. From the production of our watches and straps to the packaging and shipping process, everything has sustainability at its core. Our vegan, handcrafted watches generate minimal carbon during production due to the low energy production techniques making sure we play our part in slowing climate change. 

Consolidate your steps towards sustainability with The Sustainable Watch Company’s sustainable, eco-friendly, vegan watches for women and men, and make an impact with your sustainable fashion choices. 

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