Wow, when we heard about this watchmaker we were truly amazed by their business model. Making timepieces out of confiscated firearms from across the globe is a unique practice that’s sure to give each wristwatch a unique story—from the get-go. If you think the watch you own now is tough, just wait until you get your hands on one made from an AK that was once owned by a drug lord (some hyperbole, maybe, but it’s a true possibility). International criminals beware: TRIWA has your weapons of war and can tell you what time it is. All levity aside, TRIWA has a deal with the non-profit “IM Swedish Development Partner” to take metal bars made from previously crime-involved guns and turn them into watches. The metals may have a proper chemical name on the periodic table of the elements but TRIWA refers to their metals as Humanium (“Hu” for short). IM, the original partner of TRIWA is hoping more companies will follow suit in building with Humanium steel. Although TRIWA is a Swedish company that uses this material, recycling guns that have been turned-in by private citizens, confiscated, or decommissioned as evidence in criminal investigations all have to go somewhere—no matter the area code. Could this be the future of watches and other steel products? TRIWA (“Transforming the Industry of Watches”) is hoping so.
Origins and International Appeal
TRIWA reports on their own website that they began in 2007—founded by a group of “four friends”. Based out of Stockholm, they wanted to bring their vision to folks in their native Sweden—starting out small but thinking big. Fast forward eleven years (2018) and their international Kickstarter fund garnered the attention of news outlets such as Forbes, GQ, Business Insider, and the New York Post. Why wouldn’t it? With gun violence and war-time tragedies affecting lives around the world, their business model is not only unique but very relevant to current events. Now making orders globally, with stock in 2500 different retailers in 25 countries, their Humanium-built watches are being made to raise awareness of these tragedies and find new ways to reinvent-the-wheel with watchmaking.
Thirty members (instead of the original four) currently design watches as well as new products. Their roster now includes sunglasses, bracelets, and straps. Each of these is meant to showcase a clean minimalist design from the company. Looking over their catalog they deliver—with prices starting as low as $160.00 to boot.
TRIWA’s first international watches were made with guns from El Salvador. As of 2018 El Salvador was #1 in homicides, most of which were carried out with guns. Finding those weapons a new home might not curb such gun violence entirley but it’s interesting to see a company promoting humanity through recycling. It’s also just objectively pretty cool that there are watches made out of firearms (we’re certainly taking notice).
According to a New York Times article from last year titled “Where Guns Go to Be Reincarnated”, there’s a huge steel-melting facility in St. Paul (Minnesota) that has been smelting firearms in the tons—for years. A lot of folks who use this recycled metal are gun manufacturers. However, with brands like TRIWA popping up to repurpose these metals in creative ways, it could be we see more manufacturers and designers around the world picking up this business model. To give credit where credit is due—TRIWA is the first to make international waves. This could be a new opportunity for American-based watchmakers to follow suit.
Times Ticking has been in operation for more than 30 years, since 1982. We have performed watch repair for customers both locally and internationally. If it Ticks! We KNOW it! Our team of watch repair technicians have a combined experience in watchmaking of over 120 years.