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Quality and Craftsmanship Engrained in every Tense Watch

Quality and Craftsmanship Engrained in every Tense Watch

Tense Watch’s founder Ken Lau started his career in the 1950s designing clocks, but his real passion has always been watches. Lau has always been interested in experimenting with novel materials. Some of his first designs used jade and other precious stones. But he wanted to create timepieces that represented the spirit of the Canadian West Coast, and so in 1971 he founded Tense and started making some of the world’s first wooden watches.

Tense Watches - A family affair
"Our vision is one of sustainable harvesting that leaves no lasting footprint other than an aesthetic one."
Tense Watches - A family affair
Tense Watches - A family affair

Tense Watches - A family affair

Tense is now a proud family business. Lau's daughters Anna and Frances joined the company in the early 2000's to help take the business into the 21st century. Their skills in design and marketing are proving vital in helping to propel the business to a wider global audience. Tense now sells their watches worldwide, with distribution in the United States, Asia and Europe. According to Tense marketing coordinator Taryn Leibholz, “Las Vegas has actually become one of our most important markets. We see a lot of interest in Canadian made products there.”

Perhaps the most interesting aspect to the Tense Watches story though is the fact that all their wooden watch cases and bands are made from 100% recycled materials. By using scrap wood from the furniture and cabinetry industries, Tense is able to create their beautiful wooden watches without extracting any wood from living trees. By using materials that would otherwise have been discarded, they’re able to stay true to their vision of sustainable harvesting that leaves no footprint other than an aesthetic one.

An unexpected benefit of this focus on sustainability, is that no two Tense watches are exactly alike. As wood grain differs from piece to piece, every Tense watch will have the unique grain swirls, and subtle imperfections that make wood such a compelling material.

"We handcraft our wooden watches from cast-off wood that is deemed useless or disposable, and never extract wood directly from living trees."

Tense is also committed to keeping their production in Vancouver as according to Liebholz “maintaining local production is one of the core values of the brand.” Similar to what we’ve heard from our other partners, this choice comes down to a desire to control quality, something Tense says can only be done when production can be closely monitored. While their local team has grown to over a dozen employees, Lau himself still spends considerable time in the company’s workshop, leveraging his experience accumulated over more than 40 years to ensure every Tense watch is a beautiful, high-quality and sustainably produced timepiece that will last for years to come.

Tense Watches - A family affair

Filmed and edited by Syd Woodward and Hemmie Lindholm

Leather Hampton YVR Edition

$215.00

This unisex watch with a Walnut wood case and leather strap shows hour, minute, and second markers on a round dial. The Leather Hampton is made from genuine Italian leather and 100% recycled or reclaimed wood. All tense watch pieces are hypoallergenic, adjustable in size, and made in Canada with Miyota Watch Movements from Japan.

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This unisex watch with a Walnut wood case and leather strap shows hour, minute, and second markers on a round dial. The Leather Hampton is made from genuine Italian leather read more..

This unisex watch with a Walnut wood case and leather read more..

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Tense is also committed to keeping their production in Vancouver as according to Liebholz “maintaining local production is one of the core values of the brand.” Similar to what we’ve heard from our other partners, this choice comes down to a desire to control quality, something Tense says can only be done when production can be closely monitored. While their local team has grown to over a dozen employees, Lau himself still spends considerable time in the company’s workshop, leveraging his experience accumulated over more than 40 years to ensure every Tense watch is a beautiful, high-quality and sustainably produced timepiece that will last for years to come.

The Hampton YVR Edition

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THE DAYTON BOOTS STORY

THE DAYTON BOOTS STORY

Not many boot makers can say they got their start in the back of a bar, but Vancouver’s own Dayton Boots can legitimately lay that claim to fame.

Founded in 1946 in the back room of the Lumberman’s Social Club, where Dayton founder and then bar manager Charlie Wolford would repair logging boots, Dayton has been making boots ever since. According to general manager Hall Risk that is "the only way we can". Dayton moved into their current retail and production space on East Hastings in 1948, making them one of Vancouver’s oldest businesses still operating in their original location. We genuinely can’t think of any local businesses still in their original location that have been there longer, so they might even have a record of some kind.

Dayton Booots - A breed apart
"We are preserving a craft that has been lost over for the last 50 years."
Dayton Booots - A breed apart
Dayton Booots - A breed apart

Dayton Booots - A breed apart

Dayton is one of a rare breed of worldwide bootmakers who still use the old methods. Methods like Goodyear welting, the oldest, most labor intensive, and most durable way of attaching the uppers to the soles of a pair of boots. This means Dayton’s are easier to repair or resole than your typical mass produced boots and is one of the reasons there are still Daytons kicking out there that are 20, 25 or even 30 years old. To put it another way, there are probably Daytons out there, still being worn, that are older than the internet. Let that just sink in for a minute.

"Boots should be made the way we make them, and the only way we can do that is by making them here."

Dayton, which once had a reputation of being the favorite boot of outlaw motorcyclists, has found more success with style icons and celebrities lately, as their product range covers everything from military style boots, to biker boots to their most popular boot, the classic, stylish Service boot. (Full disclosure, this author owns a pair and is more than a little obsessed with them.)

For Dayton, and general manager Hall Risk, being a local business is all about maintaining quality and preserving traditions. As many boot makers have outsourced production overseas and seen quality decrease in the pursuit of profits, Dayton has made the decision to keep all production local. According to Risk "boots should be made the way we make them, and the only way we can accomplish that, is to make them here". Risk also believes that making their boots here in Vancouver allows them to "preserve a craft that has been lost over the last 50 years.”

Dayton Booots - A breed apart

Filmed and edited by Syd Woodward and Hemmie Lindholm

Service Boot

$640.00

$834.00

The Dayton Service boot is made on our 11377 last based on an old Canadian Military design.  Essentially made for the "Everyman" and designed for hard wear and comfortable long use, we offer this in widths/volumes: E, EE, EEE.

Due to your Dayton's being fully customized and made to order, estimated delivery times are 4-6 weeks

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The Dayton Service boot is made on our 11377 last based on an old Canadian Military design.  Essentially made for the "Everyman" and designed for hard wear and comfortable long read more..

The Dayton Service boot is made on our 11377 last read more..

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Dayton, which once had a reputation of being the favorite boot of outlaw motorcyclists, has found more success with style icons and celebrities lately, as their product range covers everything from military style boots, to biker boots to their most popular boot, the classic, stylish Service boot. (Full disclosure, this author owns a pair and is more than a little obsessed with them.)

For Dayton, and general manager Hall Risk, being a local business is all about maintaining quality and preserving traditions. As many boot makers have outsourced production overseas and seen quality decrease in the pursuit of profits, Dayton has made the decision to keep all production local. According to Risk "boots should be made the way we make them, and the only way we can accomplish that, is to make them here". Risk also believes that making their boots here in Vancouver allows them to "preserve a craft that has been lost over the last 50 years.”

OK Oil

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Chocolate For the greater Good

Chocolate For the greater Good

Zimt means Cinnamon in German, the main language spoken at home during founder Emma Smith’s childhood in Vancouver, even with the name's German roots, Zimt Chocolates is a company that epitomizes so much of what makes Vancouver great.

Emma Smith founded Zimt in 2011 when she returned to Vancouver after a year in Germany. There she reconnected with her heritage and rediscovered her love of chocolate. Zimt is as much an outlet for Smith’s desire to do good in the world as it is a Chocolate company. Zimt’s commitment to do good is more than just talk. They donate 1% of all sales - and that is sales, not profits - to charities that, according to Smith, "supports those in the most dire circumstances.”


" People love local, which is nice. I’m happy we can offer that. "

In many ways Zimt has been a labour of love since the very beginning. The love and support of Smith’s family played a huge role in helping her get Zimt off the ground. “My Mom and Oma (German for grandmother) helped so much early on. They provided a ton of emotional support when I really needed it and actually helped pack bars of chocolate in the early days.”

Smith’s love of animals also played a huge role in Zimt’s creation as all Zimt chocolate is and has always been 100% vegan. Smith, who says one of her favorite aspects of living in Vancouver is “all the amazing vegan food options,” has always been an animal lover, but wanted to build a business that would allow her to build a life in the community where she grew up, but also allow her to live by her values where animal rights and welfare are concerned.

" The chocolate is good, but we are here to do better. "

Not only does Zimt embrace ethical business practises, they also embrace being a local business. Apart from the sugar and cacao, the latter of which is 100% fair trade and sourced from Ecuador, pretty much every other aspect of Zimt’s business is made in Vancouver. They even use locally produced packaging, a rarity in any industry. Smith says her decision to do as much as possible in Vancouver is because “I’m thankful that we live in a part of the world where there is a bit of a leaning towards more progressive ways of thinking. I don’t think Zimt could do as well in many other parts of the world.”

Zimt, who’s chocolate can now be found on store shelves coast to coast, has big things coming for 2018, like some exciting new flavours we got to taste during our visit there but can’t yet reveal, and a greater focus on showcasing the charitable aspects to the business. You can follow Zimt at @Zimtchocolates on instagram so stay tuned for exciting updates in the year to come.

Filmed and edited by Syd Woodward and Hemmie Lindholm

Chocolate Lovers Variety Pack

$40.00

This pack includes three of Zimt's most popular bar flavors; Chocolate Nib'd, Coconut Crisp and Maple Smoked Salt And Rosemary, as well as a Cinnamon Spice Drinking Chocolate.

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This pack includes three of Zimt's most popular bar flavors; Chocolate Nib'd, Coconut Crisp and Maple Smoked Salt And Rosemary, as well as a Cinnamon Spice Drinking Chocolate.

This pack includes three of Zimt's most popular bar flavors; read more..

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Not only does Zimt embrace ethical business practises, they also embrace being a local business. Apart from the sugar and cacao, the latter of which is 100% fair trade and sourced from Ecuador, pretty much every other aspect of Zimt’s business is made in Vancouver. They even use locally produced packaging, a rarity in any industry. Smith says her decision to do as much as possible in Vancouver is because “I’m thankful that we live in a part of the world where there is a bit of a leaning towards more progressive ways of thinking. I don’t think Zimt could do as well in many other parts of the world.”

Zimt, who’s chocolate can now be found on store shelves coast to coast, has big things coming for 2018, like some exciting new flavours we got to taste during our visit there but can’t yet reveal, and a greater focus on showcasing the charitable aspects to the business. You can follow Zimt at @Zimtchocolates on instagram so stay tuned for exciting updates in the year to come.