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The New William Wood Fire Exit Watch Balances Fun with Emergency

This timepiece is a reminder that moving in the right direction can be life-saving, and more.

| By Denis Peshkov | 4 min read |

William Wood was not a watchmaker by trade, he was a distinguished firefighter in the British Fire Service with a 25-year tenure. To his grandson, Jonny Garrett, William Wood was not just a hero who saved lives but an extraordinary individual whose legacy deserved honour. In 2016, Jonny embarked on a mission to craft timepieces that paid homage to his grandfather’s remarkable life and the dedication of firefighters and first responders worldwide by launching the William Wood watchmaking company. For its latest creation, inspiration was found in a very unlikely place: the fire exit sign! 

Since its inception, William Wood has gone from a Kickstarter launch to a full-fledged brand, offering various timepieces featuring quartz and mechanical movements across five distinctive collections. Each watch is imbued with the rich heritage of British firefighting, reflecting the values of courage, resilience, and service. The new Fire Exit Watch emerges as a standout among the brand’s offerings, distinguished by its playful design paying homage to the universally recognized fire exit sign, featuring the iconic figure of a man moving in the right direction.

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Crafted from 316L-grade stainless steel, the Fire Exit watch’s case has a brushed dark gunmetal grey finish, exuding a tool-like allure. With dimensions of 41mm in diameter, 13.5mm in thickness, and a lug width of 20mm, the case strikes a good balance of size and proportion. With a lug-to-lug measurement of 49.5mm, the watch should comfortably fit most wrists. The fluted crown at 3 o’clock is adorned with an image of a person running for safety.

The domed sapphire crystal protecting the dial has an anti-reflective coating, ensuring durability and clarity. It is also resistant to scratches, guaranteeing optimal visibility and protection for the timepiece’s intricate details. The unidirectional bezel of the Fire Exit Watch features a sapphire crystal insert with indices comprising a mix of numerals and thin bars, all printed in luminescent material. Mimicking the exact hue of the fire exit sign, the tinted insert harmonizes with the green glass dial, which boasts a subtle aperture for the date positioned at 4:30. A larger day window at 3 reveals the day of the week, and the day wheel is partially visible through the dial.

The whimsical interpretation of the days of the week is one of the captivating features of the Fire Exit Watch. Rather than depicting emergency scenarios, each day is represented by an image embodying routine activity. Accompanied by the first letter of the weekday for clarity, the icons convey distinct meanings: Monday portrays being late for work, Tuesday signifies hard work, Wednesday depicts commuting, Thursday showcases exercising, Friday celebrates the arrival of the weekend, Saturday signifies partying, and Sunday is defined as a day for relaxation as explained on the website, or as a day to recover from being hungover as per the press release version. You choose.

At the outer edge of the green glass dial, a gunmetal-coloured minute ring complements the case, providing a backdrop for the large, lume-filled fire exit arrow and baton indices. These indices, gently curved to align with the dial’s curvature, make a bold statement and harmonize with the watch’s overall design ethos, balancing fun elements with a sense of urgency. The prominent central hour and minute hands feature lume treatment, enhancing legibility in various conditions and ensuring clear time reading at all times. Additionally, the applied helmet logo has a luminous outline, adding a distinctive and functional touch to the dial.

Continuing the theme, the William Wood Fire Exit watch reveals more details when turned over. The screw-down caseback features an aperture resembling a fire exit door, marked with luminous words above. This opening displays images of a man running away from fire via a rotating disc, adding to the watch’s thematic allure. The movement inside is the automatic Sellita SW220, with a power reserve of up to 41 hours when fully wound, operating at 28,800 vibrations/ hour.

Completing the ensemble, the Fire Exit watch comes with a strap crafted from decommissioned British racing green fire hose sourced from the UK Fire & Rescue Service. This material is sewn into a rubber strap mould, with the words “Made from Rescue Materials” pressed into its back. The gunmetal buckle, matching the case, features a lume-filled fire exit arrow, adding a final touch of coherence to the design. Limited to just 300 pieces, the Fire Exit watch is priced at GBP 1,495, with March pre-orders scheduled for delivery in September.

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2 responses

  1. The presenter needs a manicure badly. If you present a close up of your fingers it better not look like youve been to the wars

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