My New Automatic Jord Wood Watch

I have to admit that I'm writing this post with some trepidation, since some people feel that if you're frugal, you can't have nice things- that spending money on luxuries when you're short on cash makes you a hypocrite.
And yet I don't believe so.

I believe that frugality means spending your money wisely, so you not only live within your means, but that you also spend according to your values and what is important to you, so that you aren't throwing away money on things that you don't are about, and then not have the money for things that are important to you. Nay, I think the whole essence of frugality, the whole purpose of saving money is not to be able to add up as much money in the bank as possible- that's miserliness, not frugality- but to be able to free up cash to pay for things that you feel are worth the money.

Thats is why I spent money on my homebirth, and that's why when I was asked to do a review of the Jord Wood Watches, I was ok with that. Because yes, even though their watches start at $139 and go up from there, I feel they are worth the money. And if I hadn't gotten a watch from them free to review, there is a very good chance I would have purchased one for myself.

Why is that?

Well, let me tell you a little background about me and watches.

I have a love hate relationship with watches.

I need a watch. I've had multiple watches throughout the years. And I have really bad luck with watches.

Specifically watch batteries.

Supposedly, watch batteries for simple watches should last for around 4 years.

They don't on me.

I buy a watch with a brand new battery, and within a month or two the battery is dead.

I buy another one, and the same thing happens.

Replacing the battery, the same thing happens.

I really like watches both for their functionality and for their beauty, but for years I gave up on wearing watches, because of my experience with watch batteries.
So my husband had a watch whose battery lasted him for years. I decided to see if maybe it was the type of watch I was getting, or something.
I wore his watch. The next day, literally, it died.

As I said, I have bad luck with watch batteries. It seems that something about me and my body's energy just sucks the life out of batteries.

Apparently it is a pretty well known phenomenon, though the cause of it is a mystery.

For years I didn't have a watch. And it would drive me crazy. Every five seconds asking other people what time it was. By nature I'm not a very "on time" person, and not having a watch only makes that worse for me. I've been suffering without a watch.

So I decided to splurge and buy myself an automatic watch, also known as a self winding watch. I didn't buy a top of the line one, but even a "cheaper" self winding watch was still more expensive than other watches. Because they have no battery, but are automatically wound up via your hand movements, I thought it would be the perfect solution to my watch dilemma.

And it was. For a time.

Until I started getting a bad rash on my wrist from the metal on the watch.

You have no idea how much that bummed me out.

Bad luck with watches- I tell you.

I pretty much gave up on the idea of having a watch- because either it was the battery issue, or the rash issue, or both.

And then I was contacted by Jord, offering for me to review one of their wooden watches, which sounded like it would be the solution to my issue of getting rashes from metal watches. Only there was the battery issue.
Then I saw their Cora series of wooden watches- their self winding watches- and asked if I could review one of those.
Because this seems like the only type of watch that I could wear.

The self winding aspect would prevent my constantly sucking out the energy of my watch batteries, and I hoped that the fact that the watch was wooden would prevent rashes as well.

I couldn't be happier with my watch.

It is beautiful, and I feel that it is just my style- natural and woodsy and eco-friendly, and at the same time it it is delicate and dainty and feminine.

Its nice enough to wear when dressing up, especially with its Swarovsky crystals, but doesn't look out of place when wearing it with more casual outfits.

The face of the watch that I have is silver, and my watch is beautiful, but it looks like that one is out of stock, and the automatic watch currently being sold by Jord has a turquoise face, which is even more stunning than the one that I have.

The watch's back is glass, which, in addition to being more allergy friendly, also allows you a view of the unique inner workings of the watch, which is just cool to watch, if nothing else.

I was a little worried that the watch wouldn't fit me perfectly, since I have a very large wrist, but my watch came with extra links to add on to the watch. At first I thought I'd have to bring it to a watchmaker to extend the band, but my husband was able to figure out, easily enough, how to extend the watch band on his own.
And if I'd thought about it in advance, I wouldn't have had to deal with the hassle of extending the band at all, since these watches are provided with a sizing service, and it would have been sent to me exactly the right size had I asked.

When my husband and I got engaged, he bought me a beautiful diamond bracelet... and it fell off my wrist at my sister's wedding, which, you can imagine, caused quite a lot of stress and headaches until I luckily found it inside my pocketbook at the end of the wedding. Since then, to be honest, my husband hasn't really been so cool with my going out, wearing more expensive jewelry on my wrist, because he's afraid it'll fall off and get lost. It's a nice perk that my Jord watch not only has a clasp that prevents it opening up accidentally (it needs to be pressed on both sides simultaneously), but even once opened, still remains closed enough that it can't simply fall off my wrist the way that my diamond bracelet did at my sister's wedding- it would need to slide over my hand to fall off, which is something I'd notice and be able to prevent.

Being self winding, my watch gets wound up whenever I move my hands- which is awesome, but I was also a little worried that that meant that if I didn't wear it for a time, it would die, and to get it to start again I'd need to do a lot of shaking of my wrist, which, quite frankly, would be annoying. So I was thrilled to discover that my watch also is able to be wound by hand, and not just by moving it. It is nice to be able to wind for one to two seconds to just give it a quick jump start, and then the rest of the way is wound on its own, via my inevitable hand movements.

About pricing, being that this blog is about frugality- I did some searching on the internet, and it looks like Jord's watches are pretty unique- there aren't many companies at all who sell wooden watches, which in addition to being hypoallergenic are also eco-freindly- and of the ones that are, Jord's watches are on the low end of average.

I only found one other company that sells automatic wooden watches, and they literally cost 3 times what my Cora watch costs- $275. So I would say that while this is a luxury of sorts, its a luxury that was frugal and well worth it.

Is this watch for everyone?


If you can get away with a cheaper watch that you still love- that's great.

I can't.

Which is why I'm so glad that I found this watch. And as I said- expensive or not- I would have bought it if I weren't given it free to review. Because it just is worth it for me.

Have you ever heard of people who suck out the electricity from watch batteries? Are you one of them? Do you have any idea why on earth it happens?
Are you allergic to watches? Have you found any solution?
Ever seen or worn wood watches before?

What would you say are your splurges, the things that you feel are worth spending extra money to get, even though you're pretty frugal the rest of the time?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. Wow, that's awesome! I am a battery killer too and I haven't worn a watch in years because of it :-)

  2. Wow! I didn't know that the battery killer thing is a thing! I have this too I guess bc no watch lasts me more than a few months. I've got Sooooo many. Weird! Thanks

  3. I too seem to wear out watch batteries like it's my job. I have also considered buying a more expensive watch in the hopes it would last but haven't made the plunge yet. I do have an I pod which I carry around a lot. I keep my to do list and shopping lists and it can also track how many steps I take. I end up using it to tell the time a lot when I am out and about (although looking at a watch for time looks more adult than whipping out an I- pod). Maybe one day I will be convinced to try a higher quality watch.

  4. Hi. I kill batteries. I was at an electrician's course at a college (I sign for deaf students) when the teacher asked all students to hold a meter to see if there were any battery killers among them. When there were none he urged me to try although normally I never take part in the lesson. Straight away the needle went right across to the other side. It answered so many questions. I feel bad about the number of batteries I have returned to shops as faulty. I too wear an automatic watch now. I love your wooden one.

  5. I don't wear watches now (stopped with a newborn and never started again) but I used to love it. Batteries last me 6month to a year and can be easily and cheaply replaced at home. I never liked metal watch bracelets, they pull out hairs on my arm; so leather bracelet was my only choice. Have you tried them? They last several (3-5 and more) years and can be bought online and replaced at home. And I like the smell of leather))))) so an added bonus))))

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