Created in tribute to one of the greatest race cars in the world – the Ford GT40 – the Original Grain Grainmaster Collection harnesses the warmth and patterned aesthetic of an unusual material, at least in luxury watchmaking: real wood.
This fusion of wood and steel has been the company’s trademark since 2013, when it was founded by brothers Ryan and Andrew Beltran in the Pacific Northwest—the sort of place where one can truly be inspired by the ruggedness and beauty of nature. Previous Original Grain timepieces have used sustainable or reclaimed sources of wood from, say, German beer barrels, or benches from the old Yankee Stadium, or military ammo crates—wood with a story. Meaning no two watches are ever the same. Limited-edition runs are what Original Grain does best. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.
Now, the racing-inspired Grainmaster Collection marks the company’s entry into high-end chronographs, with a series designed by Scott Young, formerly of Movado. The Ford GT40 is the centerpiece of the Grainmaster’s signature aesthetic: one of the world’s most beloved and glamorous sports cars, the car that gave America its first Le Mans victory in 1966, finishing in the rain a 1-2-3 knockout finish.
It’s an apt race car from which to draw inspiration; the watch embraces the GT40’s legendary curves and geometric grace with a front view that channels the car’s iconic front façade. (It’s also not the first collection to be inspired by the Ford legend — Autodromo released the officially licensed Ford GT Endurance Chronograph in 2018.)
The smooth and ergonomic form of the watch echoes the GT40’s bold rear fenders, while hints of the car’s rear intake can be seen in the Grainmaster’s dial inlay, revealing different materials and unique grain patterns on each watch.
The combination of woods used here are just as luxurious: there is burlwood, sapele, walnut, and mahogany—the same materials commonly found on high-end luxury cars.
Subtle wood finishing can be found on the tachymeter, below the bezel, and on the sides of the case, as well as the unique triangular inlays on the bracelet. These wood inlay techniques are entirely new for Original Grain, and never before seen in the watchmaking world.
Two movement options are available with this collection: a six-hand chronograph powered by a quartz movement, with the option of a perforated Horween leather strap in true racing fashion.
There is also a three-hand automatic powered by a Swiss ETA 2824 movement, complete with an exhibition caseback that reveals the mechanics—just like on all the high-end sports cars. Super-LumiNova on the indices and a cushion-case shape add functionality with a vintage feel.
“When first designing this collection, my initial goal was identifying what makes a product iconic. It was finding inspiration in the design language of iconic racecars that lead to the designs’ silhouette, surfacing, and materials,” said Young. “This design features dynamic wood inlays throughout the watch, with many playing a key role in the overall construction. The Grainmaster is at the forefront of many iconic collections to come from Original Grain.”