When I was a young teen ––everyone, including me –– wanted a Swatch watch. It was the height of the ’80s and having a Swatch watch meant customizable, interchangeable and yeah, all those throwaway watch bands. If that wasn’t enough everyone wanted different watch faces to customize with their bands. So I had a few watches and for some ’80s fun we could wear a few watches at the same time.
Global warming, and Covid comes along and the world in general has changed a lot in values since then. Though newspapers like the New York Times heavily advertise expensive watches that can cost $10,000, a new kind of watch has come into being –– using mechanisms and materials that are timeless.
Svenn, a company based in Turkey –– built by friends, two couples –– has created a European-style common-sense wooden watch. They aren’t the first to turn one of the world’s most renewable resources, wood, into watches and accessories, but they might be the most accessible with their price point and design.
With prices ranging from $99 to $200 you can buy a timeless treasure that can continue on to be a family heirloom –– or you can save the mechanical, Swiss-made parts, and compost the rest. Creating appliances from wood, like speakers and even desktop computers started about 15 years ago, and the trend is here to stay.
Svenn is now making watches from wood which are a godsend to people who are allergic to wearing metals like nickel and alloys. Svenn watches don’t react on the skin and are 3 times lighter than metal. They are definitely something to talk about on a first date, and with the ability to engrave personal messages offer a lovely gift to couples on wedding days and also on birthdays.
You can customize your watch by writing a special note to be inscribed on the watch. This way, you can give an unforgettable gift to your beloved one. You may use your own handwriting in the design.
Green Prophet asks Merve, one of the founders of Svenn, how the idea all started, and what was the impetus. She tells us: “Our journey started during intimate and deep conversations among us four close friends,” says Merve (pictured left below) currently based in Izmir, Turkey. “Our dream was better lives for all people in the world and to make sure that beyond fair trade labor practices we would be respectively to nature in anything we were to create.”
“Covid accentuated the needs of our time… we are all wishing to better our lives and the planet of course,” Merve explains and “the dream of change became the main topic of our endless conversations. We realized that everything starts to change with individuals so we had to do something under the mantra that one person can change the world,” she tells Green Prophet.
“We believe in it and with this notion Svenn was established.”
We ask some additional questions.
Tell us more about the team: We are four close friends (two couples) who live in Izmir. We know each other from high school. Two of us are mechanical engineers, one of us is a logistics specialist and one of us is a teacher. We all have different kinds of talents to contribute. This makes it easier to create a good product. We have a sister in the Netherlands. She helps us a lot.
What drives your passion? One special watch can be a meaningful gift. Something that can make somebody smile. And smiling people makes our life better and worthwhile. A special watch can create beauty in someone’s life.
What’s next? We have plans to grow in the accessories field. We will move onto vegan handbags before this Christmas. The second step might be jewelry. Above all, we would love to provide work opportunities to other people in a respectful environment and share and enrich our values with them. It seems like walking on the way we dream … drawing the picture of our lives.
How durable are Svenn watches? Svenn wood watches are 3 ATM water resistant and our company provides warranties under this scope. Do not forget that wood is a natural material and normally it is in durable against water and humidity.
Also thanks to a heat treatment process which is applied to our wooden watches during production; splashes of water do not cause any deformation or damage to the watch. Wood watches should be protected as much as possible against water, but off course you could wash your hands like you wish or you could use it during rainy days. Please do not use your watch under conditions which can cause exposing excessive water and humidity to it, like swimming and taking a shower.
Can a watch save the world? “I would like to add an explanation about the expression you’ve quoted: (We realized that everything starts to change with individuals so we had to do something under the mantra that one person can change the world) ––
In fact, we believe that one person can change only himself/herself –– not the whole world. But the changing of one person (even one person) is vitally important for world. Because if people learn not to feel weak and do something and stand behind their ideals, the world starts to change for the better. Even one person can be a good role model for his/her little world and be the spark to change the entire planet.