William Wood announces a new wristwatch as an extension to its firefighter-inspired collection. Instead of firefighting, the Fire Exit watch focuses on global emergency signs in public buildings. These signs comply with the ISO 3864 safety standard to ensure international familiarity. Specifically, the signal-green shade graces the emergency exit signs that William Wood channels in its latest release. Also, the stickman figure within the sign gets to try out new contortions based on the mood of each day via the central disc. While this watch is more playful than the more stoic firefighting collection, there is a genuine respect for the importance of fire exit signs and the lives they protect.

I am sure that nearly anyone could recall a story of having to locate a safety sign to exit a building. You may ignore the signs for the most part, but when you need them, they can be a shining beacon to safety. I recall having to exit a government building when heavy rain set off the burglar alarms on the roof. At the time, there was no understanding of the emergency, but we followed the clear signs to exit the building. Unfortunately, the designated assembly point was within a London park, where the heavy rain got heavier and nearby trees were struck by lightning. In hindsight, I would’ve taken my chances with the burglars, but who could’ve known? What didn’t fail us was the well-known signs that guide the public out of harm’s way, and William Wood pays homage to this often-overlooked convenience.

William Wood Fire Exit

I was lucky to go hands-on with the new timepiece from William Wood. At first, it’s a lot to take in, especially as the Fire Exit is a new execution for the British brand. The striking green dial immediately grabs me, and it is the exact Pantone color as a fire exit sign. This green shade flows to the unidirectional bezel with a green-tinted transparent glass shrouding. This tint turns the bezel’s white dive scale numerals into a pastel tone. A similar effect is on the central day disc that uses unique symbols for each day. At a glance, these look like Japanese kanji symbols (to me, at least). Looking closely, you may recognize the familiar safety man in various states throughout the week. You have the exit sign pose for Monday, including the briefcase, signaling that he is late for work.

William Wood Fire Exit watch dial close-up

On Tuesdays, our stickman is still hard at work. For Wednesday, he is holding the handrail on public transportation. On Thursdays, the stickman is getting his exercise in with a speedball. Then it’s TGIF for the end of the working week. As for the weekend, Saturday is all about partying, with Sunday being the resting day. To guide you along, each symbol is accompanied by the day of the week’s first letter, just in case you’re unsure. These daily actions are relatable to most of us, and like the Rolex Day-Date emoji watch, they turn an established indication into something joyous. Alongside the day is the circular date window positioned between 4 and 5 o’clock. Like the green glass on the bezel, the central display overlaps with the same tinted glass. With the sapphire crystal protecting this display, you also have a slight blue hue from the AR coating.

William Wood Fire Exit watch

A new design concept

William Wood has assured us that the new Fire Exit watch is unique in its design. It shares very few components with previous models in the family. This fresh creation includes the 41mm 316L stainless steel case with brushed gunmetal-gray plating. The 49.5mm lug-to-lug and 13.5mm thickness make the piece at home on various wrist sizes. It also offers a new screw-down crown with a green crown tube to match the dial’s appearance. Award-winning designer Max Resnick put these design concepts forward for William Wood’s first foray into outsourcing designs. Resnick tirelessly incorporated many nods to fire exit signs, such as the arrow indices at 3, 6, and 9 filled with C1 Super-LumiNova. The sign inspires this particular arrow shape, and the ISO 3864-3 safety standard represents the movement of people.

William Wood Fire Exit watch case back

Flipping the watch over reveals a screw-in case back with a doorway opening to witness the rotor. To spice it up, there is the stickman in various stages, which animate as the rotor spins, a bit like thumbing through a flip book. Above the opening is “Fire exit” spelled in C1 lume behind protective glass. The upcycled fire hose and rubber hybrid strap are the closest connection to the current William Wood collection. The British racing green color comes from repurposed Lancashire, UK Fire & Rescue Service fire hoses. These 20mm straps can easily handle water, as can the case with its 100m depth rating.

William Wood Fire Exit watch pocket shot

Final thoughts and pricing

I sincerely enjoyed my time with the William Wood Fire Exit watch. It’s not every day that you come across a watch with such a distinctive theme. And somehow, all the design elements blend harmoniously. The colors are intense, but the dark gray case offsets the vivid display. I’m also quite a fan of the central day wheel that sits symmetrically on the dial. To bring this display to life is the Sellita SW220 day/date movement with 41 hours of power reserve.

The William Wood Fire Exit watch is limited to 300 pieces and is available today for £1,495. You can read more about the Fire Exit watch here. This is an interesting theme and execution, and I’m keen to hear your thoughts, so let us know by commenting below.

Watch specifications

Fire Exit Watch
Green, applied indices with Super-LumiNova C1
Case Material
316L stainless steel, brushed finish with dark gunmetal-gray plating
Case Dimensions
41mm (diameter) × 49.5mm (lug-to-lug) × 13.5mm (thickness)
Sapphire with antireflective coating
Case Back
Stainless steel with gunmetal-gray plating, doorway exhibition, "Fire exit" printed in lume, screw-in
Sellita SW220: automatic with manual winding, 28,800vph frequency, 41-hour power reserve, 26 jewels
Water Resistance
10 ATM (100m)
Rubber (20mm width) with upcycled British racing green fire hose from the UK Fire & Rescue Service and gunmetal-gray buckle with luminous arrow
Time (hours, minutes, seconds), day, and date
Three years (international)
Special Note(s)
Limited to 300 pieces. Comes in a British racing green genuine Italian leather presentation box inspired by a fire exit sign.