Ukrainian Watchmaker Valerii Danevych’s miniature wooden timepieces are incredible. You could study them all day, especially with the beautiful display set up at the Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI) booth at Baselworld.
This creative genius is not a one trick pony, he carves it all out of wood from wristwatches to pocket watches – even clocks and tourbillons! The only component that isn’t from a tree is the spring!
“Inspired by the Bronnikov family, who during the 1800s made unique pocket watches from all kinds of unusual materials, Valerii Danevych set out to create a collection of mind-blowing timepieces out of wood. Working under a microscope to get the parts working perfectly, the Ukrainian craftsman imitates complex mechanisms like the flying tourbillon, creating amazing masterpieces that actually keep time (with an accuracy of around 1-2 minutes per day for wristwatches). He claims the series of wooden gears inside his watches can store 20 hours of reserve power.” –source
Check out the line-up below, starting with this retrograde hour hand tourbillon, made from wood. This piece took 1,800 hours of work over seven months.
Working tourbillon watch fully carved from wood, including the bracelet.
Close-up of the intricate skeleton dial tourbillon wristwatch, made from wood.
A raw watch movement, caliber W00D-1.
An egg-shaped tourbillon watch, made from… wood.
A key-wound hunter case style pocket watch, made from… wood.
A pendulum clock, made from… wood.
The watchmaker himself humbly poses for the camera.
As if all this isn’t interesting enough, there is one quality that sets Valerii Danevych (http://danevych.com/en/portrait.html) apart from the other watchmakers at Baselworld: he is not a trained watchmaker! Rather than a family heritage in horology, his family has a history in cabinetmaking. Board with making cabinets, VD started making other things out of the surplus of wood around him. For example, before watchmaking, he was creating 3cm guitar with human hair strings.
A lot of watch brands incorrectly use the word “hand-made” for watches made on machines. Mr. Danevych is the real deal, selling his $50,000 hand-whittled wooden watches in his Etsy shop (yes, you read that correctly) at DanyevychWatch.