Nothing like a classic, wooden timepiece for the corporate fashionista always on-the-go!
Photos: Colten Avers
Location: August 1 Five, San Francisco
Watch: C/O Jord | Metallic micro-pleated dress: Ambiance SF | Rings: Miraya | Aisha Box Clutch: Miraya
10 years ago, I did something that I brag about till date: I broke the Limca Book of Records (national, India) for fastest typing on a standard keyboard, with a speed of 171 Words Per Minute. There was one thing that will top the list of accolades I received that year: a tawny, statement eco-drive watch that my dad gifted to me. Kareena Kapoor endorsed the brand, and I wanted it the second I saw it. It was priced at INR 10,000 (which was a BIG amount at the time) and I accidentally read the tag as INR 1000, so I was sheepishly excited about scoring a deal. My dad bought it for me anyway. A decade ago, I learned to appreciate the value of time, money, and a bloody good watch! Normally, it doesn't take me a second to turn down endorsements, but this incredible, luxury brand called JORD Watches (pronounced YORD) really piqued my interest by taking me back to that post-Limca win in a jiffy. No brand has ever done that before.
JORD watches was conceived by Salman Shah, now Chief Design Officer and Lead Designer at JORD. "It was founded from a very selfish place, honestly! Years ago, a friend of mine purchased a wood watch from another company, and I ordered one for myself. When I received it, I was less than enthused because of the poor quality," shared Shah. I, on the contrary, find it absolutely selfless and noble that this experience resulted in the creation of intricate, sophisticated watches that have a fraction of the impact on the environment compared to a traditional metal/ plastic watch.
Normally, I would condense an interview for it to flow with my story, but Shah had such a compelling take, and his passion for JORD shone through his words. Here are excerpts from my tete-a-tete with Salman Shah:
1. The first thing I think of when I look at a JORD watch is nature/ eco-friendly. Was that the intention?
A great majority of the wood we use comes from furniture remnants. It takes very small pieces for us to create the cases and individual links so we are able to utilize what would otherwise end up in a waste cycle. The Maple we source is completely renewable, and as is expected in the industry – all of our Koa comes from damaged trees or trees that were brought down by a natural weather event. So, sustainability is somewhat inherent in the industry, regardless of us making a dedicated effort on it. Aside from sourcing, environmental safeguards during the manufacturing process is important to us so all of our watches are treated with natural substances, no hazardous chemicals. Not only for the sake of the environment, but for those who work on the watches. The watches are conditioned with natural tung oil. That’s it! In all honesty though, we find it difficult to attach the terms eco-friendly or sustainable to any consumer product and we don't think it's right to lean on that as a benefit for our customers. My original goal, and the company's current focus, is to create quality timepieces that feature beautifully grained woods.
2. What was your first ever watch collection like, and what was the same or different compared to your most recent?
The first watch in the JORD line was our Fieldcrest series. Still one of the most popular, it's a classic, everyday piece that is great for men and women. It's simple, and one of the last in our collection to feature a wood face. Our newest release, the Conway is our first ever men's chronograph and it features a really nice movement, the Miyota 0S10. It features a sapphire crystal, standard on most of our watches now, and is the first watch to show knurling (a cross hatch engraving technique) on the wood as well as a mixed wood and metal link band. I really love this watch and I'm looking forward to using what we learned during it's development on future series.
3. In a world where smart watches and fitness trackers are becoming increasingly popular, how does JORD differentiate itself to stay relevant?
Our whole team is a big fan of the smart watch/activity tracker segment! In terms of staying relevant, I believe that there is no replacement for an attractive timepiece and I don't personally think the current smart watches are all that attractive. It's a one note look, and either that works with your look or it doesn't. Analog watches are a throwback for sure, but a watch can really elevate someone's style - and as convenient as our phones are for telling the time it's a fairly hollow exchange. When I reference my watch for the time, it feels more meaningful.
4. What are some aspects that are exclusive to the JORD brand?
Something many consumers may not realize is that we have by far the best customer service division in our industry. You can access us through live chat on the website, call us, email us, message us on Facebook, DM us on Instagram, tweet at us! We have an amazing group of knowledgeable team members who can answer questions about the line, custom engraving, our manufacturing process, watch care, conditioning, operations, you name it - we are so happy to engage with our customers about anything having to do with our company and our line. For customers of JORD, it may now be your watch but it's always going to be our product and we're going to stand behind it. I don't want to ever see a JORD watch sitting unworn on someone's dresser!
I hope you enjoyed those insights into JORD, because I sure did. Nothing like a brand that is led by a passionate visionary!
Now, for the part you're all actually here for: JORD was generous enough to offer a $100 gift card to one lucky winner, and a $25 code for ALL of you stellar readers that enter the giveaway! All you have to do is fill out your name and email on this form to enter. This international giveaway is open to everyone. GOOD LUCK and may the odds be ever in your favor!
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Miraya originated as a concept magazine for a Publishing class, but much of it now exists online and has been adapted for this blog. The core remains intact, and that is to explore the changing landscape of contemporary Indian fashion through the international lens, engaging readers in a creative juxtaposition between tradition and modernity. Spearheaded by Founder and Creative Director, Namrata Loka.
Click here to read about me.