Author:
Andres Tennus

Unique oakwood watch now available in the University of Tartu gift shop

After the tragic fire of 1965 in the main building of the University of Tartu, oak parquet flooring was laid in the assembly hall. When the flooring was removed during renovations in October 2022, Kristjan Vassil, then vice rector for research, asked to set aside a few dozen wooden panels for upcycling. From these, a limited number of unique watches were made. 

The timepiece was made by the University of Tartu and Wooch OÜ, a Tartu company that has grown out of a student enterprise. Once the watchmakers had approved the material and the funding had been found, the parties selected the dial, hands, strap buckles and leather together. The design and details of the elements were then carefully considered. Particular effort was put into the appearance of the watch case to ensure that each package was unique and clean-lined.  

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TÜ aula kell

This meticulous work resulted in a timepiece with a Nordic design, perfect for festive occasions and everyday use. Hand-assembled with care, the watch is a harmonious combination of solid stainless steel, leather, and wood with a unique story and organic and hypoallergenic oil-wax finish. The wooden bezel surrounding the dial and most of the watch case is made of the oak parquet of the assembly hall so that when one opens the case, they literally take the watch out of the floor. The high-quality Japanese quartz mechanism and the scratch-resistant sapphire glass ensure the reliability of the watch. 

Those who own the oak-parquet watch will carry a piece of history with them. Over half a century, tens of thousands of students have received their diplomas, hundreds of professors have been inaugurated, a dozen rectors have been elected, and many other grand university events have been celebrated on this precious floor. The parquet has borne the footsteps of the royal couple of Sweden, the Dalai Lama, Umberto Eco, the current King Charles III of the United Kingdom, the current King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, presidents, prime ministers and many other important guests. The exceptional oakwood material has captured the times of several generations: the time of sorrow and joy, the time of wisdom and hope. The time of the university.

Unique oakwood watch now available in the University of Tartu gift shop
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