There’s a whole “latte” love that went into the latest collection from JORD, a groundbreaking designer of premium accessories. Based in St. Louis, the company, which is best known for its stylish wooden watches, took a favorite beverage and turned it into a chic timepiece by partnering with Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Co. for the Barista Collection.
“Our brand was primarily known for and focused on [making] watches from wood,” says Salman Shah, JORD’s founder and lead watch designer. “The brand has a global name now, so we’re looking to get into alternative materials that are natural.”
The idea was sparked during a coffee date with Shah’s friend Frank McGinty, director of sales and marketing at Kaldi’s. But Shah admits the initial notion for turning everyone’s beloved brew into an accessory at first sounded outlandish – even to its creator.
“Really, over just talks and coffee, I had this crazy idea that I wanted to try to put coffee inside of a timepiece,” Shah remembers. “It was a rigorous process, and something that I know had never been done before. That’s what our brand likes to do – create products of natural materials that are unique.”
If it weren’t for his hometown, Shah says he might not have seen the same level of success in turning the dream into a concrete concept.
“This is a close-knit city,” the St. Louis native says. “Especially with everything going on in the global environment, [the city’s] become closer. Kaldi’s is a local company. I personally drink and love their coffee. Once we started talking about the idea, I felt like it was the perfect fit. They were all so willing and interested in trying to produce a product like this.
“In the [research and development] process, it was a lot of back-and-forth, a lot of testing, getting a lot of materials from them, asking questions and things like that. The St. Louis-born aspect really showed.”
Shah collaborated with JORD’s internal industrial designer through every step of the creation process to “see what we can do and develop what hasn’t been done before,” he says. The coffee bean required a new process to meld it into a timepiece, due to its size. JORD’s machines needed to be able to create the outer casing of the watch or rings around its bezel, without breaking the material. Their solution?
“We took some processes from other products that we have and meshed those technologies together,” Shah explains. “We have a process called RIST, which stands for ‘resin-infused stabilization technology.’ That technology forces the resin into the pores of [our] wood [watches]. With the beans, we begin with that process and cast them into a block that is then machined down into parts of the watch. It was worth the wait.”
The collection, named as a nod to the baristas who prep and serve cups of java joy, uses the signature espresso 700 blend from Kaldi’s, a medium-roast variety that combines flavors of chocolate and caramel, with fruity notes.
“We felt [the name] was something that would really stick with the coffee lovers of the world,” Shah says. “We put the goat on the front of the dial, the trademark for Kaldi’s Coffee. One of the things we did, if you notice on the dial, is different colors along the time. Those are the roasting cycle – how a bean, over time, changes colors. It’s truly something different.”
After developing the perfectly brewed accessory, what’s next for JORD? The premium designer of hand-crafted goods promises another novel timepiece that will focus on the dive industry, soon to be launched through a Kickstarter campaign. In the meantime, Shah continues to look for natural and reclaimed materials to use in accessories that will inspire the fashion world.
“When we launched into the wooden watch game, it was us and very few players,” he says. “All the products we design have that wow factor. That’s always the biggest thing: developing a product with quality. A collector’s piece.”
JORD, 844-888-5673, jord.co