The young German brand is producing stylish and eco-friendly watches that are also very affordable – a great starting proposition for today’s conscientious consumer.
The story of Kerbholz is half romantic, half silly. According to their website, Matthias & Moritz had been travelling across Central America when “they rediscovered their love for wood”.
What they mean to say is that the duo saw that wood was all around them: it was in boat at the beach, in a terrace in the jungle, and all over the local artisan markets.
That’s when they got the idea to integrate the organic material into everyday street style. Joining Matthias and Moritz were their two friends Adrian and Nils, and after some planning, they started producing wooden glasses and wooden watches in 2012.
Now that we know the origin story, what about that unique brand name? The word kerbholz is German for “notches in wood” and it is meant to be a metaphor for all of the memories you would notch up wearing a wooden watch.
The wood used in Kerbholz is sources from certified sustainable forests, as it usually is with wooden watchmakers. Sustainability is an important part of the brand’s message. For their part, Kerbholz promises to donate a share of its profits to reforestation projects in Nicaragua.
After the wood is harvested, it is treated with a hardwax oil mix to protect it. This treatment also helps to accentuate the grain of the wood, which can also be restored easily using Resinax or even beeswax.
Besides using wood for their lifestyle products, Kerbholz also uses slate and acetate. Slate is known for its folded and parallel surfaces, which makes it a unique material to use in their sunglasses collection. Acetate, on the other hand, is essentially made from wood waste such as bark and other plant fibers, which makes it light and also somewhat weather-resistant.
In terms of watches, the brand uses natural wood and Swiss sourced Ronda 762 E movements. A natural varnish is used to protect the cases from humidity and weather, which makes them splash proof. This also allows the watch to become darker with time, producing a patina similar to leather.
Overall, with Kerbholz wooden watches you get a fine balance of German design, Swiss (quartz) mechanics and eco-friendly material sourcing. All that, and a great price to match makes this young brand a great option for those looking for something a bit different from the watch industry.