A watch strap made of wood Where innovation meets tradition
The launch of the I.N.O.X. mechanical watch marks the first time Victorinox has introduced a watch strap made of wood. Read our interview with Basile Maeder, Product Manager at the Victorinox Competence Center in Delémont, to learn why this strap has sustainable value, both conceptually and ecologically.
A strap with genuine wood crafted onto a leather base reflects our commitment to sustainability; how did this idea take shape?
As a brand, we are dedicated to the continuous search for innovative materials; one of our partners proposed this solution and we took it on without hesitation. We were in the middle of developing the I.N.O.X. mechanical watch and this strap was just a perfect fit for this watch.
Is this strap made by Victorinox, or is it sourced from outside?
The strap is manufactured by one of our Swiss suppliers; we do not produce straps in our own manufacturing facility.
What kind of wood is used and how is it processed?
The manufacturing process is just the same as for a leather strap, but instead of leather, the surface consists of thin layers of wood. To ensure maximum flexibility during daily wear, the wood is shaved into very fine layers. In our case, we use FSC-certified linden wood; the Forest Stewardship Council is dedicated to forest preservation and ensuring wood is sourced from controlled, sustainable origins.
Was it the original intention to use a renewable natural product, or did you mainly focus on how it would feel for the wearer?
Comfort is always a key factor in our product development process, so our challenge is to find the ideal blend of comfort and innovation.
What makes a wood strap different from alternative materials such as steel, rubber, or paracord?
What is special about a wood strap is its unique character? This is because the material has grown naturally and each strap features a slight color variation, which then assumes a unique patina with wear.
How would you describe this strap in terms of durability and wear resistance?
The life cycle of this strap is similar to a leather strap, and in a best-case scenario it may last even longer.
Did you ever consider using other types of natural materials?
We never stop looking into all of the opportunities offered by natural materials, we also studied options using cork and bamboo, but we felt that wood was the material that best reflects what our brand stands for.
Are there any plans to offer replacement straps in wood for other models in future?
Today all our production is for this version with a 21 millimeter lug width, so it is compatible with all I.N.O.X. models with a case diameter of 43 millimeters.
And – we really have to ask this question: are there plans for other colors, or are you sticking to the basic shades?
If it’s a question of using materials that work for our customers, we’ll probably develop other color variations, but it’s still a little early to make any firm predictions in that area.