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Timing it right

A Philadelphia designer is mass-producing a line of wooden watches. Lorenzo Buffa, owner of Analog Watch Co., says a college thesis project led to him create the “Carpenter Collection: Minimalist Wooden Watches.”

Inspired by wooden iPhone cases and wallets, Lorenzo Buffa developed ‘minimalist’ wooden watches for a college thesis project. His company, Analog Watch Co., has about 100 wholesale accounts.

“In 2012 I was part of the industrial design program, but I also took woodworking classes. I became pretty familiar with a lot of woodworking processes and that’s where the project started,” says Buffa, a graduate of the Philadelphia University of Arts.

“[Then] I saw that the wooden accessory category was trending. People were doing wooden iPhone cases and wallets. People were also doing wooden watches, but they were copying the same visual form as a metal watch. I wanted to create something more minimal, that highlights the material and, in addition, is really an innovative use of wood.”

In his senior year, Buffa developed a soft and flexible wooden watch strap, which he attributes to the popularity of his watches. The strap is actually made from a blend of wood veneer and leather.

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He had watches for sale in 2014 and it caught the attention of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City among his roughly 100 wholesale accounts.

The watches are available in teak, bamboo, maple, silverheart, black and red sandalwood and makore. The watches are manufactured in Switzerland, Japan and China and sell for about $150. There’s also a stone version.

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This article originally appeared in the April 2016 issue.

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