Nestled in the foothills of Kentucky lies the world’s no. 1 bourbon brand. Nestled in the deep, dark woods of Oregon lies the first watch brand to master the art of making quality wood and steel watches sourced from sustainable exotic woods.
Jim Beam and Original Grain (for it is they) got together and decided to create a special edition Original Grain watch, made from genuine Jim Beam white oak barrels, limited to only 500 pieces. And let me tell you, the boys at Original Grain have spared no effort in making this a truly premium offering.
When you consider brothers Andrew and Ryan Beltran Kickstarted Original Grain from scratch only three years ago, it’s remarkable to see how far they have come, for Watchuseek was covering it from the get go.
The watch comes beautifully packaged. Starting with the stout Original Grain cardbox box, you slip the lid off and before you is a wooden treasure chest, full of goodies. You pause only to admire the detailing of the stamping on the box cover. Unlatch the box and before you is a carefully considered layout of quality watch kit, and not forgetting, a quality (empty) bourbon flask, again, engraved with the Original Grain logo device for this special edition.
The JIM BEAM BLACK and ORIGINAL GRAIN design collaboration was inspired by features found in bourbon barrels. And, as mentioned, the wood you see in the 500 limited edition timepieces have each been hand-crafted from reclaimed Jim Beam® Bourbon Barrel Wood. So you are wearing on your wrist a watch whose material once held Jim Beam bourbon. Of course the dial of each watch, like the white oak barrel wood itself, is different from the last.
The 47mm watch is a traditional three-hander with numerals at 3, 6. 9 and 12, and a date window at 3-clock. Personally, I would like to see OG watches have a slightly larger date window, but I guess they don’t want to detract from the wood effect. Both the OG logo and the Jim Beam seal are featured on the wooden dial.
Each watch, made of 316L stainless steel, is individually numbered from 1 to 500 and runs on a Miyota 8215 Miyota movement with 21 jewels and a 40-hour power reserve. The watch can be wound like a traditional mechanical and then the rotor helps to build the power reserve as you wear it each day.
The side profile of the watch is barrel shaped complete with the small detail marks that resemble the steel bands that hold whiskey barrels together.
The steel and wood bracelet, which comes with a secure double locking fold-over clasp, features the same inlaid barrel wood; a hallmark of earlier Original Grains.
If you want to swap the bracelet for the Italian leather strap, the tools are provided, and that includes a tool to remove excess links from the bracelet.
The caseback reveals the individual number on the watch. One additional trick OG could have considered would have been to brand the movement rotor so that it is viewable through the window.
Everything has been thought through. And that includes giving something back. For each watch purchased, Original Grain donates to Trees for the Future, an organization that plants trees in Africa and elsewhere, so as to give communities food and livestock, grazing sources and marketable fuel. The Original Grain Jim Beam Black Gentleman’s Kit costs $499, and has the look and feel of a package worth considerably more. This Original Grain kit has given me a genuine grin.
Right now they are giving away one of the kits, and you can check here for further details.