Hands-On Blok 33 Vegan Children’s Watch – Helps Kids Learn To Tell Time and Love Watches

The Skinny

  • 6 colors
  • ETA quartz movement 
  • 33mm
  • Recycled polypropylene/vegan leather band
  • $179

Planting the Seed

There comes a time in a watch-enthusiast parent’s life when the big question looms large… Specifically, what watch can I buy my precious offspring that will allow me to project my love of watches onto him or her in the vane hope they, too, will ‘catch the bug’; leading to increased bonding, happy shared memories and ultimately, a larger watch budget. If I sound cynical, it is because I have been there, desperately trying to stoke the fires of watch enthusiasm in my young children only to have those first flames of interest snuff out in direct competition with smartphones, Xboxes and YouTube. I tell myself… “it just wasn’t the right watch…” 

Enter Blok

So what makes a good children’s watch? Blok Watches, a new independent brand designing Swiss-made watches for children, think they know and have launched their first collection of 6 watches. Three years in the making, these watches take a more cerebral approach to children’s watch design than some of the competition. Their stated aim is to bring passion to the world of children’s watches and avoid the disposable, throw-away culture of cheap timepieces.

The Blok 33 range
Blok’s initial 6-colorway collection

Bright colors are here of course, these watches are for kids after all and kids love color. My daughter takes her 5 (yes, 5) favorite colors very seriously, regularly reassessing if teal is still the master of the color universe (it is) and whether it still wins out over purple and hot pink (it does). 

However, a successful child’s watch needs to be more than just some bright colors applied to an otherwise boring design. It might sound overly simplistic but for a watch to resonate with a child it has to be useful and this is where Blok’s more thoughtful design pays dividends. 

The blok 33 is colorful and playful
Smiles all round

A Fun Design that also Educates

First of all, the information design of the dial is fantastic. I have always wondered why many children’s watches don’t have minutes shown explicitly. Not all kids find it easy to remember the two hours position is at the same as 10 minutes – why would they? And why is 11 o’clock is the same as 55 minutes? It makes no sense to young minds, so forcing children to remember the minute positions is just creating an unnecessary barrier to loving analog watches. A barrier that the Blok dial sensibly avoids.

Blok 33 dial design
A clear and thoughtful design

The Blok’s dial finds space to include hour numerals and minute numerals so that knowing how many minutes the big hand is really pointing to is obvious. A watch that makes telling the time easy instead of hard is a great way to appeal to a child – it seems obvious doesn’t it?

Thought has even been applied to the hour markers, indicating the extent to which the hour hand will indicate the current hour with a colored box around the basic numeral. It’s all good stuff and I can vouch that my 8-year old daughter who could never remember how to read the minutes from my watches, figured telling time with the Blok in about 2.5 seconds!

Blok 33 closeup

As well as making telling the time easy, the watch has to be fun and engaging. Again I don’t just mean ‘fun’ colors. I mean this watch is fun to play with, to fiddle with, to provide a place where a lifelong interest born of wonderment can exist and form that future fascination with timepieces. 

Horological Fun Starts Here

The Blok has a rotating bezel with a soft but positive click. The bezel is clearly divided up into blocks of 5, 10, 15 and 30 minutes allowing a child to quickly and easily time activities by rotating the desired block on the bezel to the minute hand. It’s just a count down bezel but executed in a way that will be easily understood by a young child. Again, my daughter figured it out in a few seconds and IMMEDIATELY figured it would be useful next time Mom issued a video game edict.

Blok definitely seem to have found a way to tap into a child’s fascination. My daughter (the watch’s owner and principal tester for this review) was constantly looking at the watch, looking away, looking back at the watch, playing with the bezel, posing with the watch in the mirror TikTok style – All the things older watch fanatics cannot help doing – except maybe the TikTok part.

Bio Credentials 

The case is plastic but Blok will call it a Swiss plant-based biopolymer derived from the caster plant. For plastic, it has a quality feel with a shiny, almost wet finish. I’m not sure how long that shiny finish will stay like that though. The 17mm velcro strap has a Danish woven fabric upper made from recycled polypropylene on top of an artificial (‘vegan’) leather lining sourced from Japan. All of the packaging, what there is since it is quite minimal, is recycled with the main protection made from recycled shredded denim.

There is no mention if the vegan leather is water resistant or not. This is a water-resistant watch with a screw down crown (which excellent by the way, with lots of usable thread) with a 100m rating, so I hope it is.

The packaging is fully recycled
The packaging is made from fully recycled materials


If the case looks a little squat, I think that is just we are used to the proportions of adult watches. As soon as one shrinks the case but retains thick sapphire glass and a chunky bezel, things can get a little odd size-wise. However, the watch looks perfectly proportioned once on a child’s wrist. 

There are no spring bars to get lost or break here, the lugs sweep around and down instead to create the space for the pass-through strap. An short NATO strap should work here as well, as long as it is 17mm width.

No spring bars needed on the Blok 33
No springbars to worry about

The signed and oversized crown is easy for small fingers to use and although its a screw down for safety and water resistance, it is still easy compared to many screw crowns on adult watches.


At $179, the Blok 33 is not a cheap nor disposable watch, in fact it sets out to be the opposite. The Swiss build quality and movement should ensure that it lasts long enough to justify its price. Whether the Blok will survive the rough and tumble of school, soccer practice and the swimming pool remains to be seen. However, based in our principal testers immediate love for the watch and subsequent inseparability, I can, with confidence declare the Blok 33 a hit with at least one new 8-year old, watch enthusiast.

Final Words from the Principle Tester, aged 8

“I like how it has a timer on the edge. I will use it to time when someone says ‘you have 5 minutes left'”

“I like the color of the watch. Teal is my number one favorite color”

“I like how it velcroes [sic]”

“It’s easy for kids to tell the time with this if they are learning like me.”

“I like that it is made in Swederland [sic]”

Blok 33 watch on the wrist
Love at first sight