Tree Ring S1 Classic 43mm (Review)

Today we are gonna take a look at another wooden watch. I rarely want to review these, but this is another example of an interesting timepiece with some interesting story to tell with the dial. So the company is Tree Ring. They mainly make pens, but in 2014 they started to make watches.

“Tree Ring LLC was founded in 2009 to manufacture and sell fine writing instruments and watches that commemorate milestones of individuals, society, and natural history through the growth rings of a tree. Trained as a forest ecologist, Dave Wager came up with the idea for the tree ring pen while in graduate school. While spending hours in the research lab counting and measuring tree rings, he discovered that a tree’s rings could be displayed beautifully on a wooden pen. By removing a cross-section of wood from a log, Wager could form a pen blank that included tree’s annual growth rings, from the center pith to the outer layer of bark. The pen-making remained a hobby while Wager pursued a career promoting responsible forestry through the Forest Stewardship Council. In 2009, Wager decided to turn the hobby into a business and launched Tree Ring LLC. In 2011, Wager began designing a watch with a slice of a very small tree as the face of the watch. After three years of tinkering, the Tree Ring watch was launched in the fall of 2014.”

So the watch we are looking on today is Tree Ring S1 Classic 43mm. It is most basic watch they make, it has no logos, just hour markers. That was what I was looking for. Just to see the wood yer rings on the dial. The dial features at least a quarter century of tree rings.  The size and pattern of rings are like a person’s fingerprint- no two are the same.  The clean look of this watch highlights the rings of time without the distraction of a logo or engraved year.

S1 Classic arrived in this cool wooden box. I really like the smell of wood and this is my favourite material to work with. You open the box and there is the watch. In the box, there is this wooden “pillow” on which the watch is wrapped around and I don’t know if it was meant to be so, but you can use it as the watch carrying case. Taking out the watch you really feel the weight of it.

The case is very hefty, it’s made from 316L stainless steel. Diameter is 43mm so for some it is big but it wears quite comfortable. Lug width is 22mm so you have many options of straps to choose from, I suggest cheapestnatostraps.com. The case is round with brushed lugs, but the edges are polished. Finishing of the case is really nice. It is smooth and you don’t see any rough surfaces here. The finishing is top notch. What could you expect from a hand built watch? On the 3 o’clock, you will find the crown. It is big and easy to grab, so setting time is no problem. Water resistance is 5ATM (50m) so it’s plenty enough for daily use. Caseback is a screw on and you will find some specification engraved there and also that the watch is hand-built in Montana, and that the patent is still pending.

The dial is what makes this watch great! Dials are crafted from thin slices of very small Douglas-fir trees harvested from forests of western Montana. These wood dials are hand selected for their beauty and unique annual tree ring history. You can really see the rings on the dial. It’s just interesting to look at, imagine it once was a seed. On the dial, you will find only the hour markers, no logo, no other text. The watch just concentrates on the year rings. Hands are in this leaf shape, but I don’t know the material they are made from because they look like they are made from wood too. Watch shows hours, minutes, seconds. On top of the dial sits the sapphire crystal to protect the nice dial.

Movement is Harley Ronda Swiss made movement, and it is reliable. But what’s amazing is that Tree Ring gives you a lifetime warranty on any mechanical failure, and that is quite an amazing thing. Even luxury brands don’t offer such thing. The strap is made from genuine leather and is soft to touch. It came with Brown strap. And I got to say, it’s been a long time since I received a watch with a strap this good. The leather didn’t need any break-in time, it just wrapped my hand beautifully on the first wear. The buckle is just a regular one, made from brushed stainless steel.

Overall the watch has an interesting dial and it surely will make a great story when you meet up with some mates in the pub or when someone asks you about your watch at fancy dinner or maybe on the street. Definitely a conversation starter. Would I buy it? Ummm, it’s a hard question, because it costs 275$ and is relatively unknown brand, but on the other hand, the dial is truly interesting, the finishing and that its hand built, the lifetime warranty it all kind of add’s up and the price doesn’t seem so big after some thinking.

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Price: 275$ @ treeringpens.com

  • Case Type: Stainless Steel with Sapphire Crystal
  • Case Size: 43 mm
  • Wood type: Douglas-fir
  • Movement: Harley Ronda (Swiss-made)
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
  • Band Width: 22 mm
  • Band Type: Leather
  • Battery type: 364/363 SR621SW
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Warranty: Lifetime for mechanical failure (excluding battery and strap)

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