It seems like a lifetime ago that, standing in the near-darkness of the kitchen of my family home, I last squinted my eyes to check the time as told by the clock that hung over the door to the hallway. This isn't to say that the clock ever went anywhere - it hung in that spot for at least a decade after its use took a steep incline due to the swift invasion of digital alarm clocks, and, later, iPod speakers with time display settings, only being removed from its perch during the chaos of the family move of 2015.
The clock, as close to an icon of traditional horology as one could get, with its smooth white face and cleanly-printed Roman numerals lining its edges, was as much a part of the bones of that house as our frequently-reupholstered (but never replaced) loveseat, or the burn-marks on the surface of my childhood homework desk (don't ask). The clock's purpose shifted from one of utility to sentimental decoration, sure, but no matter what way you slice it, those reliable hands and gentle tick provided the rhythm of home, of sanctuary, and, most importantly, the blissfully mellow years that came before my teens.
Clocks don't come into existence today with the same one-track practical destiny in store for them, as our kitchen clock did, and droves of others did for centuries before now. Putting it simply, clocks are no longer our go-to time-telling device. This isn't the death of the traditional Roman-style clock; it's the birth of a host of new possibilities for the horological art form. Providing ample evidence for this assertation is JOACHIM, a clock-making company on a mission to "Plant the Planet," offering next-level designs and quality while giving back to the planet that sustains it all.
For every single clock purchased on their website, JOACHIM plants 100 trees where they are most needed in the world, ensuring that their positive impact on the environment far outstrips the negative and setting the bar at a brand new height for all market competitors. Founded by designer Andre Joachim, the line is based in Europe, with all products being manufactured in Krakow, Poland.
"I believe it is possible to use business to give back without compromise on quality or design," Joachim explained on the company's website in 2016. "JOACHIM is about doing something simple and doing it well, more responsibly and consciously than ever before. We enable you to have something beautiful for today, and do something beautiful for tomorrow."
And beauty is certainly one of the first words that springs to mind on seeing these timepieces. The subtle element that is the natural wood hue of each clock makes way for the eye-catching designs available, the range of which is so varied that a JOACHIM clock could complete the look in any room of the house. The range includes simple, classic pieces such as the Simplist, Classic Roman, and Big Number styles, pieces that evoke specific art styles, such as the nautical Captain, the art deco-inspired Deco, and the Scandinavian-looking Nordia. But the line doesn't shy away from unusual, statement looks, either: the busy Worker Bee model is sure to get conversation flowing in any environment, and Powder Peak, a clock with mountainous edges cut into its very face, will add a touch of drama to its new home, instantly.
All clocks are on the larger side to ensure an impressive wall presence, but that doesn't mean an overbearing tick, tick, tick will has a chance of driving you up it - the mechanisms that JOACHIM uses are high quality, high torque Seiko quartz movements, specially selected for their perfect accuracy and totally silent operation.
Every clock from JOACHIM is made from CO2 laser-cut birch plywood timber, with each one reaching only 5-6mm in thickness, making the pieces surprisingly lightweight for their size and sturdiness. The materials are responsibly sourced from the Programme for the Endorsment of Forest Certification, the world's largest forest certification organization, which manages over 260 million hectares of certified forests, and the Forest Stewardship Council. Feeling confident about how a product finds its way to you is, after all, just as important as feeling confident in what it's going towards - and when the answers are "ethically" and "sustainability," respectively, it's easy to see why this is a time to shine for JOACHIM.