The Goodwood is a new everyday automatic by Designed On Nature's Kingdom (affectionately known as "Donk") of North Yorkshire, England. Available for pre-order on Kickstarter, the watch features a mid-size stainless steel case with a warm and attractive wooden dial and bracelet. This is not the company's first foray into mixed media timepieces. They have already produced some inexpensive quartz models, and while they look nice, it is the Goodwood that is most likely to set watch nerds' hearts aflutter.
The Goodwood's own heart is a Seiko NH35, a 24 jewel automatic movement with a 21.6k bph vibration rate, a power reserve of over 40 hours, and both hacking and hand winding capabilities. To The Bum's ear, the Seiko's bi-directional rotor is pleasantly quiet, which some consider a slight advantage over similarly priced unidirectional Miyota units.
The movement is housed in a round, 40mm stainless steel case that is 12mm thick with a brushed top and polished sides.This is a comfortable mid-size for a man's watch and fashionably large for a woman's watch. The overall dimensions should make for an easy fit under a standard buttoned shirt cuff. It has a fixed, rounded bezel, drilled lugs, and a push-pull crown at 3 o'clock. Around back, you will find a display window with an etched surround. The crystal is flat sapphire.Water resistance is 50 meters. So far, so good, but the more interesting bits are still to come.
The dial is made of wood. Buyers may choose maple, ebony, or red sandalwood. The Donk fellows are not the only purveyors of wood watches, but I like their approach more than many others I have seen. The applied and polished steel hour markers are raised, as is the "Mountaintop" logo. Minutes are flush with the surface. Polished pilot-style sword hands are filled with luminous material, as is the spearhead tip of the second hand. There is no text to clutter the dial. The effect is simple, but not sparse. The elements are properly balanced and allow ample room for the wood grain to tell its story. The 20mm link bracelet is also made of wood, secured with a fold-over, push button clasp.
I have only seen photos, but I like what I see. The Goodwood has the right combination of quality specifications and unique materials for a rather satisfying watch. I particularly like the fact that it is an automatic, not just because I dig mechanicals, but because it seems to be the natural choice for a watch designed around organic materials.
Kickstarter pricing starts at £99 for the first 200 (@ $145 USD). List price after the campaign ends will be £199 (@ $290 USD). For more information, visit Designed On Nature's Kingdom and the Goodwood Kickstarter page.