Haute Horlogerie : Watch reviews

Valerii Danevych’s Wooden (from Oak) Watch Collection


 

Note: There is no watch rating for this entry because 10Swiss has not reviewed this watch physically. The information found on this page is based on the data available from Mr. Danevych’s website and other reliable news media sources.

 

Who is Valerii Danevych?

Valerii Danevych, who is Ukrainian by nationality, is an expert when it comes to making timepieces made out of wood. He is  carpenter by profession who recently started making timepieces. The fascinating aspect is that he has not received any formal training in the art of horology. Despite no professional background in watch-making, he designed many watches just using wood – well, mostly using wood. In all the watches, he has used a metal spring which is required for the functioning of the movement (as it is the best material to store the energy).

He was obsessed with carpentry from this school days onwards. He has also got a special interest in watches. These two factors inspired him to make watches almost entirely made out of wood.

He was recently accepted as a member by the highly reputed Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI).

 

image thumb21 Valerii Danevych’s Wooden (from Oak) Watch Collection

Valerii Danevych

 

A Few words about his watches

 

As mentioned before he makes his watches just by using wood, with the exception of the metal spring used in the watch. Most of his watches have a soaring power reserve capacity of about 20 hours. His timepieces are accurate to within 5-10 minutes a day. This accuracy is not really an issue considering the fact that he is an independent maker and the watch is almost fully made out of wood.

We have picked two of our favourite watches from his collection. Please note that all the images are modified images taken from his website. You can also see pictures of some of his other works as well.

 

Model 1: Men’s Watch

 

image thumb22 Valerii Danevych’s Wooden (from Oak) Watch Collection

Men’s Watch

 

One of his works is simply called Men’s watch. And this is one of our favourites.

This watch took him about 4 months to make and he finished the work in July 2011.

According to him the materials used in the making of this watch includes

Canker of birch, juniper from Crimea region, guaiacum from Australia, bamboo, Wenge from Africa, Mammoth’s tusk, mainspring and hairspring from metal, view disc of glass

And yes, he has also used glass!

 

pib pinterest Valerii Danevych’s Wooden (from Oak) Watch Collection

image thumb23 Valerii Danevych’s Wooden (from Oak) Watch Collection Men’s Watch full case back view

 

The timepiece is quite intricate with about 141 parts; out of which about half of them are moving parts.

This watch has a power reserve capacity of about 24 hours which is remarkably impressive for a watch made out of wood (and ,furthermore, it comes from an independent maker).

The accuracy of the watch is average considering that the watch movement is made entirely of wood except the spring part. The watch loses about 5-8 minutes every day. This is not good if are going to use this as your primary watch. But ,let’s face it, this watch is primarily aimed at watch collectors and the admirers of horological marvels.

The most impressive part ,according to us, is the case of the watch itself.

The case is about 41 mm in diameter which is the average size of a modern watch case. Its thickness is about 14 mm which is astonishing considering that the movement has got hardly any metal parts in it.

The movement itself is about 30 mm in diameter and 10 mm thick.

This watch has hour, minutes and seconds complications.

The small seconds feature of this watch is truly striking and you can find the sub-dial , with a small second , located near the 6 o’clock position.

The screwless wooden movement can only be described as a ingenious work of an artist.The movement has a balance (like in any timepiece) and the escapement movement made just using  birch-canker.

 

image thumb24 Valerii Danevych’s Wooden (from Oak) Watch Collection

Men’s Watch full front view

 

The watch is  pressed back top and has a got a  separate opening lever for operation.

If you were wondering about the bracelet, you will be surprised to know that Valerii Danevych has designed an expanding bracelet that is made using wood and wooden hinges. The fun fact is that even the pins (about 0.75 mm in radius) , which are used in the hinges, are made from bamboo. It also has an adjustable wooden shackle lock.

Some of tiniest components used in this timepiece includes a wooden 6-tooth pinion (about 0.75 mm in radius and 1.2 mm large) and  a fixing pin (about 0.1 mm in radius).

If you look at the dial you can see that there are two crowns attached to the dial. One of the crowns is used for changing the time and the other is used for winding the watch.

This watch comes in a wooden (surprise, surprise!) folding case that has velvet layering and wooden hinges. It also comes with a bracelet additional part.

 

Retrograde

This is another one of our picks. This is also a men’s watch. Out of the two we selected, this is our most favourite.

 

image thumb25 Valerii Danevych’s Wooden (from Oak) Watch Collection

Retrograde Watch

 

This wooden watch comes with a flying tourbillon and retrograd function.

Valerii Danevych has spent about 7 months constructing this work of genius.

There are about 188 parts used in this timepiece. Out of these 154 are moving parts.

The case is about 46 mm. This is the similar size of a relatively big sports style watch. The thinness of the case is about 18 mm which is also bigger than many normal watches.

According to Mr. Danevych, he has used the following materials for the making of this watch.

Canker of Apple-tree, Plum-tree, Walnut and Birch, wood from Australian Guaiacum, Crimea box, Bamboo and African Bubinga

The complications include hours and minutes (both retrograde).

Just like the other watch this timepiece also has a power reserve capacity of a soaring 24 hours.

 

image thumb26 Valerii Danevych’s Wooden (from Oak) Watch Collection

Retrograde Watch

 

What makes this watch different from the other one is that this watch loses only about 2-3 minutes a day. This is quite remarkable for a watch movement made mostly of wood.

Another reason that makes this our favourite is the presence of the flying tourbillon (1-minute) with anchor escapement.

The retrograde dial makes it quite distinctive.

 

image thumb27 Valerii Danevych’s Wooden (from Oak) Watch Collection

Retrograde Watch side view : Crown visible

 

If you look at the dial carefully you can see indices and sub-dial protruding outwards. This  3-dimensional layout looks exceptionally good in wood.

The dark brown colour wooden bracelet goes well with the light coloured dial.

The movement of this watch is fixed with help of two eccentric screws.

Another feature that needs to be mentioned here is that if you look at the right side of the watch (when it placed on its back), you can see a removable curve with a non-pulling crown. You can also find a slide switch along with that. This enables the wearer to use the crown in the upper position for winding the movement of the watch. If you slide it to the lower position, you can set the time.

 

image thumb28 Valerii Danevych’s Wooden (from Oak) Watch Collection

Retrograde Watch case back view

One should note that the crown should always remain at the upper position except when you want to change the time.

Like in model 1, there are many tiny parts used in this watch as well. One of these is a pinion which is about 0.4 mm in radius (8 teeth, Crimean box), just like in the other watch. There is also a bearing pin of the size about 0.6 mm in radius (Guaiac).

 

image thumb29 Valerii Danevych’s Wooden (from Oak) Watch Collection

Retrograde Watch full body view

 

The movement itself is more complicated than model 1. There are 8 springs employed in this watch. The fascinating part is that only 4 of them are made from metal. The remaining all are made from bamboo!

The retrograde complication is supported using two spiral cams on coaxial axis.

This spectacular timepiece comes in a wooden box.

 

Some of our favourites

Here are some of our favourites from his collection:

 

image thumb30 Valerii Danevych’s Wooden (from Oak) Watch Collection

Open Time model full view

 

image thumb31 Valerii Danevych’s Wooden (from Oak) Watch Collection

Nostalgia model dial view

 

image thumb32 Valerii Danevych’s Wooden (from Oak) Watch Collection

Wooden Wall Clock

 

image thumb33 Valerii Danevych’s Wooden (from Oak) Watch Collection

Wooden Pocket Watch

 

We will be posting a review of the Wall clock and the wooden pocket watch later on 10Swiss.

You can find more about these watch collections here.

 

Verdict

The two watches are great for watch collectors. Out of the two we recommend the retrograde model.

Price of wooden watches: Please contact 10Swiss to get the best price!


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