The William Wood Chivalrous Collection “Peacock Edition” watch is all about heritage. This uncomplicated two-hander is a simple old-world throwback, executed with a quartz movement, steel case, deployment clasp, and heady nod to the brand-runner’s grandfather’s career and memory. The piece comes off as a respectable endeavor, fine piece, and worthy nod to the memory of British Firefighter William Wood.
I had the privilege of wearing the Peacock Edition for a few weeks, and dove deep into the heritage, design quirks, and that nifty coin displayed in an new take on the exhibition caseback.
The Peacock Edition is delivered in a sparkly green box, and packed inside a nice-ish laquered wooden box. Inside padding is a thin plastic vinyl, with the William Wood logo. I’ve seen this box before – standard square box, with pushbutton latch. It’s OK, but nothing really notable. Kind of cheap construction, functional, but not something that would attract much attention. It’s definitely better than a cardboard box (but actually, I sometimes like the minimal flat pack), but it’s not a piece that you’d expect to show off the watch forever. A delivery mechanism, nothing more.
The watch looks and feels great on first pass. My first impression is that gold coin protected under glass on the caseback is cool! Shiny and interesting looking – it’s certainly a distinctive element, and adds a definite quality, solid character to the piece. My only small gripe is that the coin is covered by a piece of glass. Sure, it will protect the coin, keep it nice and shiny, etc. But I think for a heritage watch, it might be interesting to let that coin age and weather over the years.
Also standout are the green hands – just two of them. They’re an interesting touch in a world of kickstarted watches with thin silver hands. These green hands look interesting again, and actually go well with the white face.
Also of note, while the leather strap feels a bit thing and “mass market”, I do appreciate that it comes with a custom engraved deployment clasp – definitely a good decision, and something I wish came on more watches nowadays.
Fit and Finish
Fit and finish is just fine on the watch – no obvious flaws or issues. It’s a stainless steel case, with a crystal on the front and back. Construction is sturdy, and has a good weight to it. That said, for a stainless steel case, it’s well made, but not the highest level of polish. Good, but not quite the hand-made feeling of higher end luxury pieces. The face is bright and crisp, with applied silver indexes, and a big bold “LONDON” displayed prominently.
The one big item that could be improved in the fit and finish department is certainly the leather strap – it’s thin and a little too soft, in the wrong way. It bends easily, and feels like it’s going to start breaking down or getting really soft fairly quickly. For a deployment clasp’d strap, this is an area where a thicker, stiffer strap can be use, and pre-curved with that buckle. That said, it’s easy to change it, thanks to quick release springbars.
On the Wrist
It feels to me like larger watches have been gaining in popularity over the years, and the William Wood Peacock Edition is no exception – the case is 41mm, which is larger – but not too huge. On my relatively small wrists, it’s still perfectly wearable, and the slim-ish thickness makes for a comfy all dear wear. The weight is substantial, and I can feel it on my wrist when moving around quickly – but it’s not a huge clunker at all.
This is the first time I’ve really thought about this, but given the size and weight of the case, the weight of the deployment clasp, I really think the leather strap should be a bit thicker. Sure, it might take a bit longer to break in, but once molded to the wearer’s wrist, a thicker strap will carry the weight of the piece better.
Readability wise, the face is perfectly readable at a quick glance, owing to its large and contrasting green hands. It’s a simple white face, with minimal markings, and is perfectly functional and classy.
As a daily wearing watch, I did feel like the white face, larger diameter, and green hands stood out, and made a statement about what I was wearing – a good choice for adding a bit of style and class to your wardrobe, but maybe not the best if you’re going for understated and functional.
Certainly the most distinctive feature of the watch is one most people will never see – the encapsulated commemorative coin. I love that little detail, and it turns what would be a fairly standard quartz watch into even more of a conversation piece. Additionally, the green shiny hands are a fun touch.
The one big improvement here would be in sourcing a thicker leather strap. The one that came on the watch is downright puny – thin to the point where the watch weight pulls at the strap unduly. Get that right, and this would be a nice daily wearing watch for the office, with a suit, and at formal gatherings.
Should You Buy It?
If you’re looking for a classic looking watch with Swiss quartz accuracy, a few interesting quirks to show off, and a nice pricepoint, then go for it. For the money, this is actually a pretty nice piece, with a cool bit of heritage. This is not, however, an heirloom luxury watch, nor is it a weekend beater.
If the quality of the strap is improved a bit, I’d say this is a fine formal piece, and a fun way to support a bit of family heritage.
- Brand & Model: William Wood Chivalrous Collection “Peacock Edition”
- Price: GBP£299.99
- Who we think it might be for: If you’re looking for a classic looking watch with Swiss quartz accuracy, a few interesting quirks to show off, and a nice pricepoint, then go for it. For the money, this is actually a pretty nice piece, with a cool bit of heritage. This is not, however, an heirloom luxury watch, nor is it a weekend beater.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Source a better quality leather strap.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: That cool coin on the back.
- Movement: Swiss-made Ronda quartz (up to 10 year battery life)
- Case: 100% Stainless steel (grade 316L)
- Water Resistant: 5ATM / 50 Meters
- Glass: Domed sapphire crystal scratch-resistant glass finished with a 3 layered anti-reflective coating and blue tint
- Caseback: Unique brass coin caseback sealed with a sapphire crystal glass and anti-reflective coating
- Coin: Brass William Wood coin embossed with our signature Firefighter helmet
- Limited Edition: Engraved production numbers on all limited edition pieces. Only 250 pieces avaialable in all 5 colours
- Hands: Dauphine Hands
- Indices: Applied
- Crown: Chiselled crown with logo engraving
- Dial: Sunray dial
- Buckle: Butterfly Buckle
- Straps: Genuine Italian leather crocodile effect straps fitted with orange velvet leather backs and quick-release bars
- Presentation Box: Oak brown piano lacquered presentation box / British racing green outer box / chocolate brown super fibre cloth / Certificate of Authenticity / International Warranty Card (12 Months) / Thank You Card
- Warranty: 1 Year (12 Months) Warranty from the date of your purchase