- About Original Grain Watches
- Original Grain Men’s Watches Review
- The Alterra Chrono Collection
- The Pilot-Zulu Collection
- Original Grain Women’s Watches Review
- The Barrel Collection
- The Modern MNML Collection
- Original Grain Men’s Gift Kits Review
- Original Grain Customers Reviews
- Where to Buy Original Grain Watches
- Original Grain Shipping and Return Policy
- Original Grain Promotions & Discounts
- How to Contact Original Grain
- Original Grain Watch Reviews: Editor’s Verdict
- Frequently Asked Questions
Wearing and enjoying timepieces is not a new concept; in fact, it dates back centuries. But in today’s world, paying hundreds or thousands of dollars on adornment is something that we should critically examine; after all, people who succeed in life do so via efficiency, not waste. But what if you could have both? A timepiece that is not only about style and class, but sustainability and efficiency as well? This is what our Original Grain watch reviews are going to explore further.
Handcrafted from stainless steel and reclaimed wood, every Original Grain watch is one of a kind. Using unique materials such as timber from retired Yankee Stadium seats or decommissioned military ammo crates, the brand’s mission is to create watches that “both keep time and tell time”. Featured in numerous popular outlets, including Forbes, GQ, Los Angeles Times, and NBC News among others, Original Grain’s watches are certainly making waves within the industry. But how long is the workmanship of these beautiful and sustainable timepieces expected to last? In other words, are they worth the hype? We explore these and many more questions about this brand in our Original Grain Watches review.
About Original Grain Watches
Original Grain is a San Diego-based company that makes unique timepieces using wood and steel. The brand was founded in 2013 on Kickstarter by two brothers, Ryan and Andrew Beltran, who wanted to create watches “with materials that tell a story”. All Original Grain watches are crafted from innovative, sustainable, and/or reclaimed materials, such as wood from Kentucky Bourbon barrels or retired seats from Yankee Stadium.
The goal is to preserve both the character and patterns ingrained in used wood and then combine this with durable stainless steel in order to create truly unique timepieces. This interesting blend of wood and steel is what helped propel Original Grain out of Kickstarter and into the wild. The seamless fusion of sustainable wood and stainless steel was such a hit among watch enthusiasts that the brand reached its funding target in about an hour and a half!
Aside from using one of the most unique combinations of materials for their timepieces in the industry, Original Grain is also known for its campaigns against the destruction of forests. For six years, the brand was partnered with Trees for the Future, a nonprofit in Senegal (for every watch purchased, a tree was planted in a region where it was most needed).
Today, they are in partnership with a similar but is closer to the home organization: One Tree Planted. This partnership aims to help reforest the planet, including the Umpqua National Forest in southern Oregon. Now, Original Grain also creates reusable packaging for their products, so their commitment to sustainability and the environment is genuine. Let’s get on with our Original Grain watch reviews!
- An innovative and sustainable combination of reclaimed wood and stainless steel
- Each timepiece is unique and has a story behind it
- Beautiful design and excellent craftsmanship
- Watches are splash-proof and certain models have some water resistance
- Original Grain supports reforestation efforts and creates reusable packaging
- Free shipping within the US and 1-year manufacturer's warranty
- Watches cannot be immersed in water for long periods of time, so warranty doesn't cover water damage
- Mineral crystal is shatter-proof but not scratch-proof
- Returns are not free
Original Grain Men’s Watches Review
Original Grain offers an expansive range of men’s watches. At the time of writing, there are a whopping nine styles to choose from, including Alterra Chrono, Barrel, Classic, Grainmaster, MLB Fan Shop, Military, Modern Minimal, Pilot-Zulu, and Sport Minimal.
As you can probably guess, each style is inspired by different things, and so each one is somewhat different than the other. For example, the Barrel collection is inspired by the tradition of making spirits, so these watches boast reclaimed barrel wood and steel, making them perfect for men who like unique timepieces imbued with character. The Modern Minimal collection, on the other hand, is ideal for men looking for clean, subtle luxury and efficiency.
Because covering all watches in detail would take us about a week, we’ll zero in on only two popular styles and their models in our Original Grain Watch reviews. If you’d like to know more about other collections that the brand offers, we highly recommend visiting their official website as it has plenty of info you might find useful in your research.
The Alterra Chrono Collection
Featuring nine unique watches in a 44mm size, the Alterra Chrono collection is designed to withstand the thrill of an outdoor adventure. These seriously gorgeous watches are a blend of style and functionality, so they should suit most tastes, especially those who like their timepieces to have some technical functionality. Each watch in this collection is equipped with a calendar date function and a stopwatch timing system and is available in either leather or bracelet option.
One of the most popular models in this collection is Alterra Chrono Brewmaster Watch. Made from authentic German Oak beer barrels and 316L stainless steel, this watch has a rugged yet classy style, making it perfect for a modern renegade man. Like all Alterra Chrono watches, the Brewmaster also has a 44mm dial, and an 11.20mm thick case. The glass is sapphire crystal, which is the premier league when it comes to watching crystals as it’s highly transparent and extremely strong, with high resistance to scratches.
Other watches in this collection include:
- Taylor Guitar Urban Ash: constructed from sustainably sourced Urban Ashwood (Shamel wood) and then stained with Taylor Guitar wood stain, this model is designed for music lovers.
- Burlwood Chrono: rare and rugged, Burlwood is found in the form of a growth on trees, making this watch unique and rather unusual, but elegant nonetheless.
- Koa Stonewashed Steel Chrono: made from Hawaiian Koa Wood (which means brave or warrior), plus stonewashed stainless steel, this is one bold, unique-looking timepiece.
- Blackwood Chrono: a classy blend of one of the world’s finest woods, African Blackwood, and brushed black plated stainless steel, this watch is perfect for men looking for elegance with character.
- Military Stonewashed Steel Chrono: featuring wood from ammunition crates used by heroes of days past plus durable dark stonewashed steel, this watch brims with patriotism and adventure.
- Whiskey Espresso Chrono: a blend of repurposed wood from Kentucky Bourbon barrels and brushed espresso plated stainless steel, this is a stylish gentleman’s watch.
The Pilot-Zulu Collection
With five timepieces inspired by the thrill of flight and elements from 1940s airplanes, the Pilot-Zulu collection is made for adventure-seeking men. Unlike the other Original Grain collections, including the Alterra Chrono watches, the Pillot-Zulu style has less natural wood and more steel and leather in its construction. Compared to others, this could also be considered a level-up collection as it boasts a domed sapphire crystal and uses a Swiss Ronda movement. Nevertheless, these are decidedly casual watches, perfect for everyday wear.
One of the most popular Pilot-Zulu watches is Walnut Khaki Pilot-Zulu Watch. Constructed from the dark walnut wood, bead-blasted khaki plated case, and dark brown leather for the band, this is a classically masculine timepiece. With a 43mm size case, 35.50mm dial, and 11.75mm case thickness, this is also a fairly large watch that’s suitable for bigger and average-sized wrists.
As mentioned, the glass is domed sapphire which is anti-reflective and with high shatter and scratch resistance, so it should look new and clean for longer than the watches from other collections. But the most interesting thing about this collection and this particular watch is the style itself – with an unmistakable 1940s explorer vibe and extraordinary attention to detail, this timepiece is a conversation starter.
Other watches in the Pilot-Zulu collection include:
- T-33 Jet Fighter: as the name suggests, this watch is made from reclaimed aluminum air-intake from a 1947 Lockheed T-33 Airplane. The steel is bead-blasted gunmetal, while the band is genuine black leather.
- Bamboo Bomber: featuring reclaimed aluminum plane door from a 1944 Cesna AT-17 Bobcat named Bamboo Bomber airplane, plus dark green leather band, this watch has style as much as history.
- Maple Navy: this classic timepiece is constructed from Maple wood, known for its smooth grain pattern and durability, plus standard stainless steel and dark navy Horween leather for the strap.
- Maple Black: like the previous model, this one too is made from Maple wood, but not stainless steel; instead, this watch features Gunmetal, plus a black Horween leather strap with cross-stitch detailing.
Original Grain Women’s Watches Review
Original Grain women’s watches are available in 5 collections: Barrel, Bangle, Military, Avalon and Modern MNML. Each collection is inspired by different things, so there are timepieces to suit most women’s tastes, including rugged luxury, simple elegance, and modern minimalist style.
Like the men’s Barrel watches, the women’s Barrel collection is inspired by the art of making spirits. Combining precision craftsmanship and unique construction materials, including wood with classic whiskey barrel details, this collection is designed for rebel women and those looking for truly unique yet elegant timepieces. On the other hand, the Bangle collection includes watches that are a perfect pairing of modern simplicity and vintage luxury.
The Modern Minimal, or MNML for short, focuses on the very best and necessary watch elements, making for clean and contemporary timepieces. Avalon collection is inspired by the mid-century modern design, so it is delicate but daring too as it includes sustainably sourced hardwoods and materials. As for the Military collection, it currently includes only one watch which is a sub-type of the Barrel collection. As the name suggests, this watch is inspired by the bravery of those who have served, boasting reclaimed wood from actual ammunition crates.
In this Original Grain Watches review, we’ll focus on the brand’s two most popular women’s collections, Barrel and MNML. If you’d like to know more about the other styles, we highly recommend visiting the brand’s website as it contains plenty of information about each collection and watches.
The Barrel Collection
The Original Grain Barrel collection for women includes a whopping 15 unique-looking watches, all made from the brand’s favorite combination of materials: wood and steel. Staying true to the whiskey barrel inspiration, this collection combines precise craftsmanship and classic whiskey barrel details. The watches come in standard 36mm size with a dual-layered dial, as well as in 42mm boyfriend size featuring day/date function.
One of the most popular Original Grain Barrel watches for women is the Tequila Añejo Gold Barrel Watch. Featuring reclaimed tequila barrel wood that was aged to perfection, and custom Añejo Gold plating with the color of tequila, this timepiece is saturated with character. The glass is mineral crystal, which is common on most mid-range watches as it’s not overly expensive.
Yet, has good resistance to scratches (however, it’s not scratch-resistant per se). The Japanese quartz movement ensures accuracy and precision but there is, unfortunately, no date function. With a 36mm dial and 8.20mm case thickness, this is a classically elegant timepiece with added character.
Other Original Grain Barrel watches for women include:
- Mother of Pearl: made from Mother of Pearl (nacre), which is a strong and iridescent material formed from the inner layer of the shell of mollusks, this is an elegant timepiece best suited to women who prefer classic looks over trends.
- Whiskey Rose Gold: a seamless blend of reclaimed American Oak bourbon barrel wood and espresso plated 316L stainless steel, this is a feminine version of the original Barrel.
- Cork Rosegold Leather: constructed from vegan apple leather and sustainable cork inlay, this watch is the perfect timepiece for women who care about the environment.
- Whiskey Espresso Leather: featuring Kentucky bourbon barrel wood, steel and brown genuine leather, this unisex watch is best suited to bigger wrists.
- Koa Stonewashed Steel Watch: an amalgam of all-natural Hawaiian Koa wood and 316L stonewashed stainless steel, this is a perfect watch for a woman who goes for unique but classic timepieces.
- Sapele Black Watch: with its mahogany tones, African Sapele – the wood this watch is made from – is one of the most durable and beautiful woods in the world.
- Military Stonewashed Steel Barrel: a truly unique timepiece for women that’s made from reclaimed ammo wood crates and darkwashed steel.
- Whiskey Rose Gold Leather: a classy watch that is a combination of all-natural Oak and rose gold plated stainless steel with a leather band.
- Zebrawood Gold Watch: featuring exotic, striped timber from Zebrawood and yellow 316L stainless steel, this is an elegant, warm-toned watch suitable for most formal occasions.
- Brewmaster Watch: if you like the look of the men’s original Barrel collection, you’ll love this timepiece as it’s a combination of reclaimed German Oak beer barrel and stainless steel.
- Whiskey Espresso: a unisex watch made from Kentucky Bourbon barrel timber and espresso plated 316 steel.
- Ebony Gold Leather: made from dark and decadent Ebony wood that is known for its incredible durability, this is one of the most elegant casual watches in this collection.
The Modern MNML Collection
Next up on our Original Grain watch reviews is The Original Grain Women’s Modern Minimal collection, or MNML for short, features seven minimalist watches with a subtle and modern look. As always, the watches are a combination of some sort of natural wood and durable steel, so in that sense, they’re no different from other collections. What sets apart the Original Grain Minimalist collection though is the style itself: these timepieces feature only the very best and necessary elements, making them look the cleanest and most contemporary of all.
Available in either 36mm or 40mm size and various colors, these watches are ideal for women who like classic but modern looks. One of the best-selling MNML models is the Ebony Stainless Steel Mother of Pearls Watch. Constructed from Ebony wood, which is one of the strongest and most beautiful woods in the world (coveted by literal queens for centuries!).
Plus stainless steel and Horween leather for the strap, this is one beautiful, classic timepiece. The glass is mineral crystal so it has some scratch-resistance properties, however, it is not as scratch-resistant as sapphire. With a 5 ATM water rating, the watch is also somewhat water-resistant (able to withstand water pressure equivalent to a depth of 50 meters). Overall, great craftsmanship and unique but timeless style at an affordable price.
Other Original Grain watches in the MNML collection include:
- Bamboo Gold Tigers Eye Watch: a blend of light brown Bamboo and yellow gold stainless steel, this watch is a perfect match for a woman who likes an all-natural look and supports sustainability.
- Wine Stained Oak Gold Watch: made from wine-stained Oak Wood and sporting a dark red leather strap, this warm-toned, reddish watch is a fine choice for anyone who considers themselves one with nature.
- Cherry Rosegold Watch: a classic contemporary timepiece that is a blend of smooth-grained hardwood from the American Black Cherry tree and rose gold.
- Zebrawood Silver Watch: a combination of Zebrawood, a striped timber with origins in Africa and Central America, steel and caramel Horeween leather, this is a clean and elegant timepiece.
- Blackwood Steel Watch: black stainless steel and dark, rich hues of all-natural African Blackwood make this watch one of the most unique timepieces in this collection.
- Whiskey Espresso Watch: a classic unisex timepiece made from repurposed Kentucky Bourbon barrel timber and espresso plated stainless steel, plus dark brown Horween leather.
Original Grain Men’s Gift Kits Review
At the moment of writing, Original Grain offers three gift kits for men:
- Teakwood Gunmetal Sport Minimal Gift Box
- Blackwood Classic Holiday Gift Box
- Walnut Silver Sport Minimal Holiday Gift Box
Out of these three, only two are available as the Walnut Silver Sport Minimal Box is currently sold out. Still, all three gift boxes are very similar as each one contains two products: a watch and a wallet. The main difference, of course, is the watch.
The Teakwood Gunmetal Sport Minimal Box contains a Sport MNML Teakwood Gunmetal Watch, which is made from Teakwood, a tree species with gold to medium-brown hue. With a Swiss quartz movement, dual time zone, ultra-modern 43.50mm case, and 10 ATM water resistance rating, this is one of the best mid-budget watches, hands down. The wallet is always the same: brown genuine leather with a simple, classy design.
The Blackwood Classic Box contains a traditional hand-crafted men’s watch with a twist: made from wood and steel (gunmetal stainless steel and African Blackwood), this timepiece blends old-school design and functionality with redefined, sustainable sophistication. The wallet, as usual, is brown genuine leather.
Original Grain Customers Reviews
Our Original Grain watch reviews wouldn’t be the same without customer reviews. The brand’s watches and accessories are, for the most part, positively reviewed. However, the overall impression of the brand does seem to differ depending on the website you visit. To give you an unbiased picture of the customer reviews, we’ve combed through dozens of reviews not only on the brand’s official website but also on Amazon, Trustpilot, and Better Business Bureau.
Let’s start with the positives. On Original Grain’s website, there are a whopping 15,000 five-star reviews from verified buyers. Practically all customers seem to be pleased with their purchase, and most praise the craftsmanship and originality of their timepieces. One watch review written by a happy customer reads:
“This is my second watch from this company. Great packaging and speed with shipping. The best part is the watch itself. Very unique and custom. Nice blend of wood to give it a classic smooth finish. I’ve already had multiple compliments on the watch. I’m a customer for life.”. The reviews on Amazon are also mostly positive, although there are not very many reviews in general. The customers praised the design and quality of the watches, but a couple of buyers did complain about the unclear return policy.
Further customer reviews
The reviews on Trustpilot, on the other hand, are very mixed. Granted, there are only 64 reviews at the moment, which is a too small number to make any judgments, but still, it’s worth noting that the company has a 4/5 star rating there. The unclear return policy seems to be the biggest problem again.
One buyer complained that they were unable to return a watch that was too big for them as it was bought on a final sale. While we understand the frustration of the customer here, we would like to point out that most companies do not allow returns for products bought on a final sale. As for the Better Business Bureau, the brand has a B rating, which is more than good.
Where to Buy Original Grain Watches
If you’d like to purchase an Original Grain watch for yourself or as a gift, you can do so through the brand’s official website, originalgrain.com. Amazon and eBay are also options to consider, however, since they may have different warranty policies, we recommend sticking to the official website. Original Grain’s Instagram is another site you may want to check out, along with Facebook.
Original Grain Shipping and Return Policy
All Original Grain watches and accessories shipped in the U.S. are sent via FedEx or USPS, or a combination of both.
Delivery Service Cost Delivery Time
First Class Mail Free 3-5 Business Days
USPS Priority $4.99 2-3 Business Days
FedEx 2-day $14.99 2 Business Days, no weekend delivery
FedEx Overnight $35.00 1 Business Day, no weekend delivery
As for international shipping, all Original Grain orders take between 5-30 business days to arrive from the date the order is shipped. As you can probably guess, the delivery time depends on the service you choose as well as your government’s clearance time for importing items. Bear in mind that with international shipping, all customs, taxes, and possible additional charges by your government are the recipient’s responsibility.
Service Cost Delivery Time
FedEx Ground Intl.(Canada) FREE 7 – 9 Business Days
FedEx International Economy $0.00 – $9.99 5 – 7 Business Days
FedEx International Priority $9.99 – $19.99 3 – 5 Business Days
As you can see, Original Grain offers free shipping worldwide if you choose First Class Mail within the U.S. or FedEx International Economy for international orders (or Ground Intl. for Canada).
If you’re not pleased with your Original Grain watch or any other accessory, you can return it for a refund to the original method of payment within 14 days of delivery. You can also return the item for an exchange or store credit within 30 days. Bear in mind that Gift Wraps/Bags are not eligible for returns, and neither are items purchased from locations other than the Original Grain official website. All returned items must be new or in unused condition, plus include their original packaging. If you’re interested in more details, we highly recommend checking out Original Grain’s Return Policy on their website.
Original Grain Promotions & Discounts
Original Grain credits $45 to your account if you refer a friend, who in turn gets $45 off on their first order but only if the total cost of that order is $200 or more. You can also get 10% off of any full-price item using the code on the Offers.com website.
How to Contact Original Grain
If you wish to contact the company after reading our comprehensive Original Grain watch reviews, you can do so by sending them an email at [email protected]. Unfortunately, the company doesn’t offer phone support at the moment.
If you prefer live chat, Original Grain offers it directly on their website, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Postal mail is also an option at:
- Original Grain
- 1205 J ST #J
- San Diego, CA 92101
Original Grain Watch Reviews: Editor’s Verdict
By combining durable steel with natural wood that comes from unique places and times, the Beltran brothers have managed to create a truly original watch company with a focus on sustainability. But while they’re undoubtedly original and seriously stylish are these so-called wooden watches worth it? In other words, how long is the workmanship on wooden watches expected to last?
While a good-quality wooden watch such as Original Grain can last well over a decade if well-maintained, no wooden watch can last as long as a more traditional metal watch. This is simply because wood is less durable than metal. The good news is that most Original Grain watches are mostly made of metal, featuring natural wood as details. In fact, many Original Grain watches have some water resistance as well, making them fine choices for sport-loving folks too.
But exceptional durability is not what Original Grain watches are all about anyway. Sure, all models boast excellent craftsmanship but the main selling point of this brand is their uniqueness and sustainability. So, if you’re looking for a sustainable, one-of-a-kind wooden timepiece, we say this watch company is definitely worth considering.
Frequently Asked Questions
Wondering where are Original Grain watches made? This brand creates watches in partnership with various manufacturers. The reclaimed wood and materials are sourced from Africa, China, North America, Japan, and the United States. The watches are finally assembled in China, after which they are ready for sale.
Yes, they offer engraving on most of their watches. However, you will wait for about 5 to 7 days for them to fulfill your engraved order via the shipping method you chose during checkout
Their watches are made of natural wood, allowing them to achieve a natural look. Most of their watches are splash-proof, meaning slight exposure to water will not damage them.
All Original Grain watches are made using 316L steel, which may contain nickel and other components.
Original grain wood watches are unique, and each batch may come with a different color. The color variance is most evident in rosewood and ebony wood as the two have different hues.