While wood watches are not typically on the radar of hardcore watch hobbyists, I know a number of people who have bought one for themselves, or received one as a gift.
As luck would have it, I recently became one of those people. I received a Tree & Twig Watches Aspen from my family. Knowing that I collect watches, they wanted to gift me something special for my 40th birthday. Since it is different from something that I'd normally cover, I thought it would make for an interesting review.
In keeping with the natural theme, the watch arrived in a fairly minimalist light tan cardboard box. inside, it was wrapped around a burlap watch pillow. As a nice surprise, it also came with a metal bracelet sizing tool. I didn't have my tools with me, so this was perfect, as my family was able to see me wearing it.
Likely the first thing that you'll notice when picking up an all-wood watch is the light weight. With three links removed to fit my 7 inch wrist, the Aspen's mass is only 50 grams. This means that, despite its fairly large diameter, it really feels like nothing on your wrist.
How large is it? While Tree & Twig advertises it as having a 44mm diameter, it looked larger than that to me, so I measured it. By my calipers, it is actually about 45.5mm in diameter. It also 56.5mm lug to lug, which is longer than a typical metal watch, and almost overhangs my 7 inch wirst. The lugs are also fairly flat, giving the feeling of the watch sitting on top of your wrist. It is fairly thin for such a big watch, at 11.5mm thick.
If you're someone who likes the look of a larger watch, but not the weight, then the Aspen will work well for you. If you prefer something smaller, the brand does have a few 40mm models in the same unisex category as the Aspen. There are also a few women's models which are 33mm.
For any of them, the light weight makes them supremely comfortable, plus the wood tones down the larger appearance compared to the shinier steel of a more conventional watch.
The Case and Bracelet
The main case and outer bracelet links are made from what the brand describes as "black wood." To provide some color contrast, the bezel and inner links are made from lighter zebra wood. This give the watch a unique appearance, with the black wood having a solid and harder appearance, while the zebra has visible pores. The entire watch has an attractive satin appearance to it.
The case uses the integrated bracelet look, measuring only 12mm between the lugs. The bracelet itself is sized with friction pins, and is secured with a deployant. It is 23mm wide with no taper. The outer release is polished, with the Tree & Twig logo on the clasp.
There are no half links included, nor is there a micro-adjsut on the clasp. Luckily the watch is so light that it can be worn a bit loose and still not flop around.
Tree & Twig described the Aspen as having a "modern and minimalist face," which I would agree with. It has a simple "T" representing the brand, along with a tree logo on the dial, and no other text. Minutes and hours are represented on the dial with distinct rectangular markers that appear to be made of metal or reflective plastic. A polished ring also sits below the crystal, adding some character. Tree & Twig dos not specify the crystal's material, but I believe it is mineral.
I would prefer the hands to be a bit larger, but that is typically a limitation of entry-level quartz movements. Combined with the markers they are still quite legible against the light-colored wood dial, and even have a bit of lume. A polished push-pull crown with no crown guards makes it quick and easy to adjust the time.
The Tree & Twig Aspen is powered by a Japanese Quartz Miyota movement. While it doesn't feature any exotic features, it is a quality reliable movement appropriate for a watch of this price.
The movement is hidden behind a dark wood caseback secured by four screws, which should make battery changes a breeze. Tree & Twig does not specify a water-resistance rating on its website, but being that the watch is made of wood, I'd recommend avoiding water while wearing it.
If you've come to this site to read about Spring Drives movements, and column wheels with vertical clutches, a Tree & Twig watch might not seem like the watch for you. To many people, however, a watch just needs to look good and be comfortable.
If it fits well with your personal style, a wood watch like the Aspen can be an interesting fashion accessory, and a conversation starter. It is also priced similarly to many other fashion watches which are much less interesting.
The Tree & Twig Aspen is priced at $110 USD. To learn more, visit the brand's website.
Do you have any wood watches in your collection or other watches made from unconventional materials? We'd love to hear about it in the comments.
Name: Tree & Twig Aspen
Reference Number: N/A
Dimensions: 45.5mm diameter, 56.5mm lug-to-lug, 11.5mm thick, 23mm bracelet width
Weight: 50g (with 3 links removed, sized for a 7 inch wrist)
Movement: Miyota Quartz
Water Resistance: Not specified
Crystal: Double domed plexiglass
Bezel: Zebra Wood
Strap/Bracelet: Zebra and black wood with stainless steel deployant