Ottm Watchbands started as a little IndieGoGo project with a relatively modest goal of $10,000 to make unique, wooden watchbands for smartwatches. It ended up raising three times that – a success by all metrics. Mark Adams – Ottm’s founder – oversaw production personally, living in China for three (freaking) months to make sure everything was perfect. The result is something pretty damned beautiful. Each band is unique, and comes in three different woods: Canadian Maple, Gabonese Zebrawood, and Indonesian Sandalwood. In addition, Ottm Watchbands also come in two form factors – Apple Watch and Pebble/Wear.
I had the pleasure of giving Ottm’s Gabonese Zebrawood a spin on my Moto 360 (2016), and at first blush, I was very impressed. The entire band is made of premium, precision cut hardwood links, with the exception of the standard, stainless clasp. The striped (get it? Zebrawood?), well-stained wood strikes a dashing figure alongside the dark aluminum of the 360, and the smooth finish it utterly flawless. I’ve always had trouble with watchbands out of the box, finding that most are too short for my fat-kid wrists, but Ottm’s came with plenty of length right out of the box (with two extra links, to boot!).
Fun-Fact: Quick-change springs are the bee’s knees. With no tools required, and less than a minute to completely change bands, it really blows traditional spring-pins out of the water.
A tool is included in the package to add or remove links – and while I was able to adjust the length without too much trouble by hand, I’m wary of having to use any kind of force on the wooden links. Which brings me to my next topic – just how sturdy is the Ottm wood? Will it stand up to the daily wear and tear of an office job? How about a more physically demanding one? Despite the lightweight nature of the band, I got the feeling that it can stand up to some punishment. As I wear it daily, I’ll let you all know if I run into any breakage – so far, I’m impressed.
I have exactly one item on my wishlist: I’d love to see a Build Your Own tool on Ottm’s website, where we can choose our wood, choose our form factor and finally, choose the color of the clasp on the band – as it stands, the band on the Zebrawood band is stainless, while my Moto 360 is black/gunmetal. It still looks great, and it’s a tiny gripe, but hey. Nothing’s perfect.
Ottm’s Watches can be purchased either from the source itself, or from Amazon. It should be noted that buying directly from Ottm also ensures that a tree will be planted for each order placed – I’m not sure if that’s the case with Amazon.
Either way, the bands cost between $29.99 and $49.99, depending on the wood and style chosen.