In anticipation of this Father’s Day, and following up quickly on the success of its Yankees Watch, Original Grain (OG) bracketed Memorial Day weekend with the release of new timepieces honoring two summer preoccupations for many American men: beer and baseball.
The Brewmaster line is a nod to craft brewing culture, materials, and traditions, incorporating reclaimed wood from beer barrels sourced in Bavaria into two stainless steel designs. This signature mix of wood for style and steel for structure reflects the brand’s identification with both craftsmanship and durability.
Its new Wrigley Field Chrono, on the other hand, emphasizes Original Grain’s sharpening focus on storytelling, collectibles, and strong brand partnerships. Much like its limited-edition Yankees Watch, the Wrigley Field Chrono’s wooden details are hewn from actual seats recovered from the longtime home of the Chicago Cubs baseball team.
It’s issued in a limited run of 2016 pieces, commemorating the team’s World Series victory last year (the first since 1908). As with the Yankees watch, the product is officially licensed by Major League Baseball.
The two baseball pieces are now grouped into a collection—the MLB Reclaimed Series. OG cofounder Andrew Beltran confirms that this means the Wrigley timepiece is not the last major sports—or brand—partnership in the works.
He says the Yankees watch, born as a one-off, artisan effort to create a special gift for a major investor, has brought more attention and opportunities to the company than ever before. It’s in the process of analyzing market opportunities ahead of the December holidays.
With higher price points (at $1,495 for the Wrigley watch and $1,850 for the Yankees piece) than most of Original Grain’s offerings (typically ranging from $200 to $350), these watches appeal to the power nostalgia holds over sports fans. In addition to being striking wearables, they’re packaged with display accessories for home or work.
“We have lots of talent in the building,” Beltran says. The company applies their craft expertise to create gift sets that tell compelling stories, not just the time.
Of potential interest to retailers: Original Grain, currently distributed by over 300 stores, including the Belk chain, is actively seeking more brick-and-mortar placements. Though the business began with a Kickstarter campaign, it’s confident that when customers get closer to their products, the craft and detail work will shine even more brightly.
(Top: Wrigley Field Chrono with included leather band)Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine