Nestled within each Analog Watch Company timepiece package, you’ll find a quote from Frank Lloyd Wright: “Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature, it will never fail you.” This quote is at the core of everything Analog Watch Co. has stood for since its inception in 2013.
Founder Lorenzo Buffa initially designed his beautiful, minimalist wooden watches for his senior thesis project during college, where he was studying design. Drawing inspiration from his love of nature and his childhood in Pennsylvania, he designed his first collection entirely in wood. Now expanding into marble and leather, he says no two watches are exactly the same because they are made from raw natural materials, which vary in shade, texture and pattern.
One year after graduating from college, he decided to take his designs to market with a Kickstarter campaign that raised $75,000. A short six months later, the company opened their first wholesale account with MoMA Design Stores.
Since then, the company has launched two other kinds of watches: its marble watches, which feature an extruding hexagonal or round slab of marble as the centerpiece–similar to the extruding wood face–and classic watches, which have a more standard centerpiece in either wood, marble, or gold finishes.
“On a conceptual level, the idea is to elevate the timepiece as a wearable work of art or a sculpture for the wrist,” says Buffa on the design of his watches.
A portion of the sale for each watch is donated to various nature or environmental non-profits. For instance, a portion of the wooden watch proceeds go toward planting trees in struggling villages abroad via Trees for the Future; the marble watch sales benefit Earthworks, which supports conservation of the world’s minerals; and the classic watches aid The Schuykill Center, which gives free educational day trips to homeless and transitioning youth and families.
“If we were big enough and we had resources, we might expand into other categories,” says Buffa on the brand’s environmental focus. “I’d love to do a really colorful collection one day and have the models be drag queens, and then have the portion of the sales go toward some queer youth programming. But right now that doesn’t really fit in with what the brand’s messaging is.”
Buffa has ideas and goals for his design studio’s future, including giving back to the world at large, but for now, he wants to keep to the current focus on nature.
“I hope that we can continue to enhance our mission and our ethos to inspire people, specifically through remaining close to nature,” says Buffa. “The world’s fast-paced, there’s a lot of bad news, there’s a lot of inequality, so on a conceptual level, I’d like to continue to inspire people by keeping them close to nature.”