About Original Grain
Original Grain is a San Diego-based watch company that crafts watches with wood and steel. ‘We make watches with materials that tell a story’–true to its tagline, every material used to craft an Original Grain watch has a story to tell and a journey to trace. From barrels that once stored bourbon to retired seats from stadiums, these watches–made mostly of sustainable, reclaimed, and repurposed materials–tell you the time while taking you back in time.
The Original Grain watch company has been featured in more than 100 media outlets, including distinguished ones like Forbes, The Huffington Post, NBC News, Sports Illustrated, Los Angeles Times , and Business Insider. The brand has a substantial following in social media, with a whopping 175k followers on Instagram and 486k followers on Facebook.
So what makes Original Grain tick? As part of my research for the Original Grain watches review, I combed through multiple media outlets’ content, surfed review websites, interacted with a couple of customers and read the fine print in the company’s website to help you decide if these watches are worth the buy, and if their stories hold promise.
Overview of Original Grain
So, this is how it began: Two brothers, Ryan and Andrew Beltran, grew up playing in the woods in the stunning landscape of the Pacific Northwest, a region bound by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Rocky Mountains to the east. The brothers, now adults, wove the brown of the mountains and blue of the ocean to create time. Is this story for real? Literally, of course not! Figuratively, it works, I guess.
The duo, noting the dearth of innovation in the watch industry, decided to create unique timepieces out of wood and steel. “It’s not really a timepiece, it’s a piece of time,” said Ryan in a promotional video. And that’s how Original Grain was born in 2013.
Ryan and Andrew launched Original Grain via Kickstarter, becoming the third most successful fashion campaign in the crowdfunding company’s history by reaching their funding target in just 90 minutes! With its seamless fusion of sustainable hardwoods and stainless steel, Original Grain watches were an instant hit.
It wasn’t just the uniqueness of the product itself that made these watches enduring. The bold stroke to use reclaimed wood was wind in their sales. Besides using reclaimed and sustainably sourced materials, Original Grain also uses reusable packaging and contributes to campaigns against destruction of forests, a topic this Original Grain watches review will elaborate on while delivering its final verdict.
In a wood watch, the makers incorporate wood materials on the straps or the case. The mechanism of the watch is still that of a conventional watch. The few watch companies like Original Grain that have forayed into this do it to promote sustainability. By using reclaimed wood, the wearer becomes an advocate of sorts for use of renewable sources that do not contribute to the destruction of forests.
Original Grain watches are assembled in China, while the exotic woods are reclaimed from valued scraps sourced from Africa, South America, China, Japan and the USA. The brand only uses wood that is either repurposed or certified as sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council.
With its unwavering commitment to craftsmanship, staunch support for sustainability and drive for authenticity, Original Grain pushes boundaries of what wood and steel can achieve. But what about quality? What don’t their stories tell? This Original Grain watch review will shed light on the pros and cons of these products based on Original Grain watch reviews and my research.
- Made of reclaimed and sustainable materials
- Attractive packaging makes the watches highly giftable
- Sturdy construction with solid weight
- Splash proof and high water resistance
- Simple to adjust date and time
- Free shipping worldwide
- One-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Easy returns
- Immersion in water for extended period of time can affect quality of wood
- Warranty does not cover water damage
- Customers have reported loose clasps and breakage of straps
- Returns are not free; return shipping label cost is deducted from the total refund/store credit amount
This Original Grain watches review will showcase some of the products rolled out by the company, so you can get a sense of what they’re all about.
Fancy a whiff of whisky? Perhaps something milder, like wine. Or you could choose to tell a story instead. Original Grain offers an array of watches for men and women based on their choice of material type including Beer Barrel, Whiskey Barrel, Ash Wood, Mahogany, Baseball Bat Ash Wood, Koa Wood, Ebony, Rosewood, Sapele, Burlwood, Mahogany, Oak, Zebrawood, Blackwood, Bamboo, Driftwood, Birch, Horween Leather, Rawlings Leather, and Reclaimed Ammo Wood crates. Watches can also be selected by steel color: Espresso, Silver, Gold, Rose Gold, Black, Stonewashed, Brass.
Dial sizes range from 43-47mm for men and 36-42mm for women. You can also choose your band style (Leather or Steel) and movement (Quartz or Automatic). Original Grain watches cost anywhere between $199 and $661. The company also offers accessories like waxed canvas roll, wooden bracelets, a variety of straps and kits.
As part of this Original Grain watches review, let’s now take a look at a selection of the brand’s bestsellers and see what makes them tick in a competitive watches market.
Original Grain Men’s Watches Review
Original Grain men’s watches come in six styles. Here are the highlights for each:
- Want something with elevated style and seamless functionality? The Alterra Chrono Collection is exactly that. Designed to withstand the adrenaline-rush of an outdoor adventure and a wild night out.
- If you prefer something that’s aged to perfection and imbued with character, the Barrel Collection’s blend of old school and style is probably a better fit. Aged whiskey barrels give the sense of bygone eras.
- The iconic Classic Collection is for the sophisticated tuxedoed gentlemen out there. The classiness of wood combined with the sleek nature of metal.
- The Minimalist Collection is for those who want to be subtle in their luxury. Nothing showy, just gentleman, through and through.
- The Grainmaster Collection comprises watches for all occasions and is distinct for its bold lines. Think striking pieces that make eyes wander.
- The Pilot-Zulu Collection, inspired by the thrill of flight, is for adventure junkies. It’s about the attention to detail you’ll always find in the cockpit.
Enough of the bird’s eye view. As promised, this Original Grain watches review will now swoop right in to scrutinize the company’s most iconic watches.
Whiskey Espresso Barrel Watch
This Original Grain Whiskey Barrel Watch is distinct in its quality and craftsmanship. A favorite among the spirited, the Whiskey Espresso Barrel Watch comes in two case sizes, 43mm and 46mm. While the inlay is made of wood chipped off of repurposed American Oak Bourbon barrels, the Espresso plated-steel strap is solid and stainless.
You can forgo the sheen of steel and settle for a more subtle leather strap as well. Encased in mineral crystal, this Original Grain watch is perfect for men who have a penchant for large dials and those who don’t shy from making a statement. Flex that wrist and show the world your drink of choice.
Pump that fist and show people you care about the environment with the Whiskey Espresso Barrel Watch, priced between $399 and $439.
Rosewood Black Classic Watch
With its distinctive rich hues, this Original Grain Rosewood Watch is embellished with dark timber from Africa and India that emanates a fragrance and exudes elegance. This handcrafted icon is a timeless combination of natural elements of wood and steel.
The Rosewood Black Classic Watch features a band in a black matte finish. The case size of this analog watch is 43mm, with hour markers made of wood or steel. Comfort and style are the driving force of customers who own this piece, available for $306.
Koa Stonewashed Minimalist Watch
Clean lines, simple design, and meticulous attention to detail is how customers describe this Original Grain Minimalist Watch. With its leather band, stonewall stainless steel clasp and inlay of Hawaiian Koa wood, this snap-on/push-pull is beautiful in its simplicity. Unlike other timepieces in this Original Grain watches review, this minimalist design does not include a date function.
With a dial size of 40mm, the Koa Stonewashed Minimalist Watch is a favourite for those who prefer smaller dials. A review of this product will not be complete without a brief comment on the exotic wood that adorns it. Hawaiian Koa wood, used in ancient times to build canoes and sculpt images of gods, is considered one of the finest textured woods in the world.
If you find joy in little things and see beauty in simplicity, this could be a personal favorite (it’s mine). The Koa Stonewashed Minimalist Watch goes for $159, discounted from $266.
Brewmaster Alterra Chrono Watch
The Brewmaster Alterra Chrono Watch is a conversation-starter. With a 44mm dial, strap, and case made of solid steel and a case thickness of 11.2mm, the attention it receives is justified. You can also choose between the more expensive bracelet in silver for $532 and the currently discounted strap on in brown for $279.
Each Brewmaster Alterra Chrono Watch comes with a stopwatch timing system and a three-day date function, combining style and functionality. What makes this watch truly distinct is its embellishments with reclaimed German oak beer barrels.
Original Grain Women’s Watches Review
This Original Grain watches review will get into how the brand styles timepieces for the ladies. Vintage luxury, mid-century simplicity, and à la mode influence and inspire designers at Original Grain while crafting watches for women. You can opt for wood, steel color, size, band style, and movement.
- The Avalon Collection is inspired by mid-century modern designs, and the familiar Barrel Collection is infused with a feminine aesthetic.
- The Bangle Collection blends vintage luxury and modern simplicity, the best of both eras.
- Minimalist Collection is popular for its subtly and modern look.
This Original Grain watches review showcases the popular styles for women, and one might just catch your eye.
Koa Stonewashed Barrel Watch
The first thing that strikes me when I see this timepiece is harmony and the seamlessness with which natural elements blend. The light brown wood ensconced in stonewashed steel. The Koa Stonewashed Barrel Watch is available as a bracelet and strap on watch.
With its 36mm dial, this analog watch is for women who want a more elegant and sleeker version of the original Original Grain Barrel watch. But for those who prefer the bulk, the 42mm dial is an option. The Koa model for women is priced between $372 and $439.
Mother of Pearl Barrel Watch
Popular among women as a gift, the Mother of Pearl Barrel Watch has no evident trace of wood but has all its characteristics, strength and resilience. The watch comes with a 36mm dial and stainless steel strap adorned with Mother of Pearl.
“My wife cried when she opened this gift,” according to a Original Grain watches review on the website. This is some seriously impressive (and emotional) praise. Get the Mother of Pearl Barrel Watch for yourself or a special someone for $372.
Rose Gold and Birch Bangle Watch
Enough with these mantras on simplicity, it’s time we brought in some bling! You can rep some glamor with Original Grain’s Rose Gold and Birch Bangle Watch. This elegant timepiece features a 32-mm dial, rose gold plated stainless steel band, Swarovski crystal bezel and traces of Golden Birch finished with a satin sheen.
The Rose Gold and Birch Bangle Watch is elegant and lustrous with a delicate pink shade, without being over the top. Given its price, this model is accessibly priced at $266.
Ashwood Gold Avalon Watch
Graceful and sleek, the Ashwood Gold Avalon Watch integrates nature with a unique brand of chic. The dial is 34mm in size and the hour markers are made of steel and wood. The gold stainless steel band and the inlay of sustainably sourced ash wood in the crown lends this watch an air of dignity and earns the wearer respect.
The Ashwood Gold Avalon Watch combines the gentle earth vibe of ash wood with a golden lustre that emanates an almost royal sophistication (gold, after all, is the precious metal of kings and queens). This upscale timepiece is priced at $151, discounted from $252.
Original Grain Reviews: What Do Customers Think?
Customer response to Original Grain watches have been mostly positive. The pricing and attractive packaging make Original Grain watches a popular gift among customers. These watches are also rated highly for their durability and style, credited to the right balance of wood and steel.
“They look even better in person so if you like the style and want a wood watch, go for it,” vouches a reviewer on Original Grain watches Amazon, who owns a green sandalwood Original Grain watch. However, in the end, it all comes down to a person’s personal taste, preference and budget.
As with any brand with a range of choices, reviews for some of the products are not particularly positive. In a review on Original Grain watch Amazon, a reviewer posted, “Beautiful watch. Love the look. But the quality of watch is very poor,” a view shared by a section of customers who felt some of the products didn’t match up to the brand’s lofty promises on its website.
A couple of customers complained about flimsy clasps. A reviewer on Amazon described an embarrassing moment when his wife opened the Original Grain gift watch package excitedly, only to find the second hand of her Rosewood Silver steel watch had dropped!
Are Original Grain Watches Worth It?
I wouldn’t call myself a Watch snob, but, yes, you could call me a skeptic. I share a couple of reviewers’ apprehension about the durability of wood when exposed to different climes. Will rosewood from the tropics survive the harsh winters of the Arctic? This being said, I would still fish out some bills to own a piece of Original Grain. But, why?
The concept of sustainability is exciting and I’m all for it. Most sustainable solutions come with compromised style. Original Grain watches have struck a balance between the two and it’s for all to see. Besides, most people who buy an Original Grain watch don’t seem to stop at one. Now that must mean something.
Want my verdict? A sure yes. The price may be on the slightly steeper side, but I think it’s a small price to pay to support the environment. Besides reusing materials, Original Grain also allocates its profits towards planting more trees. Win win for customers and trees, which we need for producing oxygen and to live. Just saying.
Original Grain Promotions & Discounts
You can get $45 credited to your Original Grain account if you refer a friend, who will in turn get $45 off on their first order of $200+. You will get $45 for each successful referral.
Where to Buy Original Grain Watches
All Original Grain watches and accessories can be purchased through OriginalGrain.com. You can also see the models and order via their Instagram account.
Original Grain is also available on Amazon or find new and used Original Grain watches on eBay. However, the warranty policy on these websites may be different from that of watches purchased on the official site.
Original Grain Shipping Policy
|Delivery Service||Cost||Delivery Time|
|FedEx Smart Post||Free||5-9 Business Days|
|USPS Priority||$5.99 USD||3-5 Business Days|
|FedEx 2-day||$19.00 USD||2 Business Days, no weekend delivery|
|FedEx Overnight||$40.00 USD||1 Business Day, no weekend delivery|
Original Grain orders delivered outside the United States will take anywhere from 5-30 business days to arrive from the date the order is shipped.
All customs, taxes, import duties, or any additional charges by the local government are the responsibility of the recipient.
Original Grain Return Policy
If you’re unsatisfied with an Original Grain product, customers can return products for a refund to the original method of payment within 14 days of delivery or returned for an exchange/store credit within 30 days (subject to price differences).
If purchased from an authorized retailer, customers will have to refer to their Return Policies as Original Grain does not accept returns for refunds purchased from other locations. Returned items must include their original packaging. Exchange will not be accepted if:
- The item is marked Final Sale on the site
- It has been worn or taken out of original protective plastic
- Customers have attempted to reassemble a broken watch
- Watch is broken due to wear and tear
- The product is a free promotional item (such as a bracelet or keychain)
- Product is engraved or customized in any way
While Original Grain provides a return shipping label, the return shipping label cost is deducted from the total refund/store credit amount. Refer to the website for international and domestic returns processes. All international return shipping costs are the responsibility of the customer.
Contact Original Grain
Original Grain currently does not offer phone support, so there is no Original Grain phone number You can reach the company via email anytime by sending your queries to [email protected].
Original Grain also offers live chat on its website from Mon – Fri 9am to 5pm PST. You can also write to the company by sending a postal mail to:
1205 J ST #J
San Diego, CA 92101
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