For a long time, I’ve called WH the anti-commodity brand. Maybe there is a better way to say it, but indulge me for a moment while I elaborate...
In the case of most branded goods out there, from Rolex to Gucci to Apple and beyond, a piece is designed and then the production system is set up to exactly replicate that piece every time. They are precise and identical. Nothing against these and other fine brands, they do great work. So do we, but our approach is vastly different.
We design a product, and then choose techniques and materials to ensure that every piece is not identical, but in fact substantially different from the next. Even within a limited edition, number 11 of 25 is going to be different from number 12 of 25 and so on. The rare organic materials we use, the hand forged metals, and the individual hand craft we bring to each step means that no two are alike. They’re damn fine, but not the same. Hence the ‘anti-commodity’ moniker. With most brands, your bag or garment or watch is identical to everyone else who owns the same piece. With WH, your piece is the ONLY one like it in the world.
It’s a different take on fine branded goods, and one that has evolved from my origins as a custom knife maker (back in the iron age) playing with materials and techniques to elevate knife making to an art. It’s part of the reason why we have retailers out there showcasing our work – it gives you, our customer, the chance to fine the ONE that speaks to you, and to know that no one else has a mirror version.
It’s not an easy approach, and we scrap a lot of cool material that simply does not measure up to our standards. It means, in any material we use, we are chasing the finest 3% of that material in the world to deliver to and beyond our and your expectations. It means that our hand-work (ranging from 80 to 800 steps per piece) has to be truly exceptional, because machines simply cannot do what we do in our studio. It’s a long learning curve, and one we are constantly evolving towards a higher bar we set ourselves internally as a company.
But it’s worth it. We build pieces that matter to people, that have legacy, that are truly unique, and that will continue to stand alone and serve long after we’re gone. And that, my friends, is pretty sweet.
“A logo does not measure value – value comes from what something means to you.”