A british brand use the fantastic work of the fire service as inspiration...
William Wood is a newer watch brand that creates watches using a strong brand story as their main feature of the watch. As you may expect, the name comes from a man called William Wood who is the grandfather of the founder of the company. William was a firefighter who served in the British Fire Service for over 25 years with commendations for his acts of bravery adding to his list of accomplishments.
The name William Wood is only the start when it comes to branding as subtle nods to this man's service can be found throughout the Valiant collection.
First is the logo of the brand, which is a 1920s firefighter helmet from the side. This applied logo sits proudly on the dial of the watch, on the rotor of the movement and also on the crown of the watch. It’s the latter in which we see the logo actually through a melted down piece of brass from a firefighter's helmet from the 20s.
The piece itself has a simple matt black sandwich dial with a date at 3 o'clock and a detailed seconds track framing the dial and adding some context to the piece. This clean design means it is very legible, however the seconds track will rely on great eyesight or skills in guesstimating to accurately read the minute. The hands are also kept simple with a flat design with a small amount of lume present.
The bezel is quite shallow in its aesthetics meaning the teeth to turn the bezel take up the whole surface area. The result is a bezel that relies on a sharp design to help you rotate. The crystal is a domed one which does add some nice character.
This model we have with us is the NH35 powered option, however, they do also offer an ETA 2824-2 option. Both are movements we see a lot in watches and both are fantastic options. Personally, for this watch I would stick with the NH35 option, which just so happens to be the model with us here.
The watch is available on a metal strap, however, the watch you see here is fitted on their unique fire hose strap concept. This is a standard rubber strap, however, the insert of the strap is actually made from a genuine fire hose. An interesting concept that really adds strength to the story of the brand.
Let’s look at the stats on this piece:
- Swiss ETA 2824 or Japanese NH35 Automatic movement
- Case diameter 41mm
- Case thickness 16mm
- Lug width 20mm
- Water Resistant 100 metres / 10 ATM
- 316L Stainless Steel case and metal band
- Double domed sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflective coating and blue tint
- Rotating bezel with Super-LumiNova 12 dot
- Super-LumiNova hands, indices and bezel 12 dot
- Domed dial with date window and sweeping second hand
- Crown inset made from original 1920's British brass firefighters helmet
- Etched engravings on caseback with limited edition engraving number between 1 -250
- Fitted brushed metal band (20mm lug tapering to 18mm clasp)
- Deployment clasp buckle engraved with William Wood logo
- Strap changing tool included with watch
- Presentation box includes instructions manual, 12 month internationally warranty and strap changing tool
- Choice of additional British Fire Hose Rubber, Black Fitted Rubber or Military Nylon straps
The man behind the brand is Jonny Garrett. Since launching the brand Jonny has gone on to win Esquire Self-Made Entrepreneur of the Year 2018.
Watch straps for William Wood Watches
As you can see you're able to purchase the Valiant with a fire hose strap, but what if you want something completely different?
The Valiant is currently available for pre-order which is ending in May of this year. If you want to get the exact look seen here with the NH35 movement £599. This is by no means a cheap watch, however, if you have a strong connection to the fire service and the story speaks to you, this is a small price to pay for a big nod to the amazing work fire services do around the world.
We’d like to thank William Wood for sending this watch on loan. If you’d like to learn more and pre-order a Valiant click here.