Hand-crafted items are becoming a rare commodity in this world. As predicted by countless science fiction movies in the seventies, machines are taking over the production processes in most companies. The human element that has declined over recent years now sets certain products apart from the rest. A prime example of this is Seventh watches. Their motto, “The perfect blend of wood and all things timeless”, is such a perfect way to describe the two living elements embodied in their classic timepieces: Wood and artisan work. Read on to find out why you should go out and buy one of these hand-crafted wooden timepieces while you still can.
Working with your hands and turning raw materials into beautiful and functional products is an art form that is losing traction against the large industrial factories that mass-produce thousands of items in a fraction of the time. What is the main difference between one and the other? Handcrafted pieces are unique, made individually by a craftsman with years of learning and experience. This art of acquiring and developing skills over a number of years is not being fostered by the bigger companies of the world for a number of reasons. Let’s take a look at what some of them might be.
Machines don´t go on holiday or get sick or have families to care about. In fact, machines don´t even sleep, so you can pump out production 24/7. They also have a minimal error rate, which turns them into a very cost-effective addition to any manufacturing set-up. The problem with machines is that they produce identical pieces all the time without anything even comparable to the effort and energy put in by a human being. Artisans working meticulously on something like a crafted timepiece add human value and bring the product to life. Machines will never replace the dedication and attention to detail that a human being provides.
There is a negative impact on employers relating to the cost of defective products that occurs as a result of new employees going through the initial learning process. The learning curve when developing handling techniques with a piece of machinery also has very limited value; basically, the skill of effectively working the machine. Conversely, the learning curve of an artisan knows no limits, and can even lead to innovations that revolutionize the way things are made. In this respect, the artisans who work for a hand-crafted goods brand like Seventh, for example, can add their personality, expertise and little nuances as well as innovative ideas to improve the process and the finished product.
Most business niches that are related to beauty, precision, performance, and craftsmanship, maintain the human element as the driving principle or philosophy. Let´s take two examples:
By employing artisans instead of heavy machinery for the production of their timepieces, Seventh votes loudly and clearly in favor of uniqueness. Each timepiece created by an artisan inside the factory is unlike any other out there on the market. This is a quality product in a world in which many things are a serial-stamped, mass-produced clone of all the items beside them.
In the case of Seventh, each piece is unique in a double sense. This phenomenon has to do firstly with each tree being exceptional, inimitable and matchless in the world. Add to that the combination of that specific artisan with that piece of wood in that same factory, and the result is a piece that is unlike any other. If you tune your friends into Seventh, and they happen to have a taste that is much like yours, and you meet at a bar wearing the same model of Seventh timepiece on your wrist, you will never actually be wearing the same watch, because each one is unique.
One would think that artisan-made watches would be way more expensive than factory-produced ones. Often, hand-crafting processes are reserved only for higher-priced goods. Well, while it is true that industrialization drastically lowered the prices of most factory-produced items, some hand-crafted timepieces, like the ones produced by Seventh, surprisingly have a lower price tag than many mass-produced ones. For example, their Emeth model, at less than $300, features West-African zebrawood, a chronograph, and the unique attention to detail that a human artisan can bring to the creation of a timepiece.
Hand-made timepieces will become rarer with time, and this is even more true for those that are made from alternative materials like Seventh watches. Just like a painting can hang from the wall of a museum over 300 years after it was created and still tell a story, a handcrafted timepiece made from organic material can do the same.
Settling for a mass-produced, soulless watch that can even financially cost you more than a Seventh product is unthinkable. Opting for a unique timepiece that reflects your personality and also combines the life of a tree and the work of an artisan is another matter altogether. What would you choose?