William Wood Valiant
The watch I’m reviewing today holds a special place in my collection. It comes with a history, the history of William Wood, who served as a firefighter for 25 years. The William Wood Valiant collection was created by Jonny Garrett, his grandson, as a legacy of his acts of bravery and as a token of respect to the British Fire Fighters.
The specsLet’s have a look at the specs:
- Swiss Sellita SW200 or Japanese NH35 Automatic movement
- Case diameter 41mm
- Case thickness 16mm
- Lug width 20mm
- Water Resistant 100 metres / 10 ATM
- 316L Stainless Steel case and metal band
- Double domed sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflective coating and blue tint
- Rotating bezel with Super-LumiNova 12 dot
- Super-LumiNova hands, indices and bezel 12 dot
- Domed dial with date window and sweeping second hand
- Crown insert made from original 1920’s British brass firefighters helmet
- Deployment clasp buckle on metal band engraved with William Wood logo
- Presentation box includes red travel roll which can hold up to 3 watches, instructions manual and warrant
- 3 year international warranty from the date watch received
- 30 day free returns period
After reading the specs, I must admit that I was really looking forward to seeing this watch in person. The case is made of brushed stainless steel and measures only 41mm width, a size that should fit most wrists (mine is +/- 19.5cm). It won’t wear too large thanks to the 20mm lug width, but the large crown at 3 o’clock will still get it a nice wrist presence. On the black version of the Valiant, the bezel is also made of stainless steel and has a black aluminium inlay. There’s no back-play with it, it’s even a bit hard to action, but I’d rather have it like that than the other way around.
Today most watches have signed crowns, but the Valiant’s is a very special one! This screw-down crown has a brass insert made from a 1920s British Fire Fighter helmet. Isn’t it awesome ?
Last but not least, the double dome sapphire glass! It’s AR coated and shows a beautiful blue tint. I really love the style it gives the Valiant, hats off to Jonny!
There are a lot of references to the Fire Fighter world on that dial. The most obvious one is the applied stainless steel helmet logo that plays wonderfuly with the light. If you’ve looked closer, you must have noticed the checkered pattern printed around the perimeter of the dial. It’s the same as the one you would find on british Firefighters vehicles. The double-line index at 12 o’clock represents the markings from the UK Fire & Rescue crew manager. The second hand has been designed to look like the chime from an old fire engine bell. The sandwich-type indices are filled in with Super-Luminova, like the minute and hour hands. All these details are coming nicely together to form a well-balanced dial!
You can choose whether you’d like a Seiko NH35 or a Sellita SW200 (or ETA 2824-2). The price will of course change accordingly, the Swiss option being more expensive than its Japanese alternative. The movement can be seen thanks to the see-through caseback, offering a nice view of the gilt version in this case!
There are multiple strap options with the Valiant, but the one that really stands out is the rubber. It’s made from cast off Angus Duraline British fire hose rubber, sewn onto a rubber strap. Not only is it a really creative and eye-catching design, but it’s also very comfortable. You can see the yellow, red and military rubbers on the pictures.
The William Wood Valiant price starts at 695£ with the NH35, or 995£ with the SW200. Following a few comments I’ve read about those prices, I wanted to share my opinion. First of all I believe a watch is worth what you are willing to pay for it. If you start comparing it to other watches with similar components, you will most likely find cheaper alternatives, but let’s be honest, watches are way more than just an aggregation of components! This one comes with creativity, history, and it’s very well executed! It makes its price way more realistic than other “catalog” watches that are seriously lacking a genuine identity! Still not convinced ? You can get 10% discount with the code AWDO10 🙂
The Valiant collection is available here https://williamwoodwatches.com/collections/valiantcollection