Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Put A Cork In It!!

Vegetarian? Not only do you not want to eat cows, you also don’t want to use items made from cows? You’re also an environmentalist and believe in renewable resources? But you don’t like to wear watches on steel bracelets, and you also have certain allergies? Well, we have a solution for you. You can now wear your watch on a strap made from all natural renewable sources, as well as being completely hypo-allergenic.

(c) Espiral do Tempo/Miguel Seabra - strap fitted to JLC Master Compresson Extreme 
“The cork industry is generally regarded as environmentally friendly. The sustainability of production and the easy recycling of cork products and by-products are two of its most distinctive aspects. Cork Oak forests also prevent desertification and are a particular habitat in the Iberian Peninsula and the refuge of various endangered species” – Wikipedia

If you’re like me, and only know cork from wines, well, you'll find that they’re also very commonly used as flooring, acoustic and thermal insulation, holding together woodwind instruments just to name a few.

(c) Espiral do Tempo/Miguel Seabra
Cork as a material is extremely durable (otherwise you wouldn't use it as flooring). The cellular structure of cork comprises of hollow, 14 sided cells joined together in a honeycomb like arrangement. These cells have extremely strong yet flexible cell walls. Moreover, cork has suberin in its chemical composition. This is a waxy substance that functions to prevent water from penetrating the cork tissue. Cork also repels insects and mould; it resists rotting, and also fire.

(c) Espiral do Tempo/Miguel Seabra
So what’s the sudden interest in corks? No I wasn't looking at the cork whilst enjoying a glass of cab sauv and decided that it would make for a great strap. Have a look at the post here (use Google translate as it’s in Portuguese) and thought it simply looked brilliant! And cork as a material is relatively inexpensive, meaning you'll get a fantastic looking (to me anyway) strap for not a lot of dough. You can pick one up with a buckle for under 30 Euro, in sizes ranging from 18mm to 24mm at the lugs.

 Nike LeBron X - in cork!

With a gratuitous shot of LeBron's AP Royal Oak Offshore limited edition
And who knows, cork might be making its foray into mainstream material usage… you can also get LeBron’s shoes in cork, and I've seen bags made from cork… Maybe we'll see a completely corked watch? You read it here first! I mean, why not, there are already watches made with a cork dial…

Image from American Apparel
Trust me, the idea is NOT as strange as concrete watches...

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