One to Watch: David Yurman Wave
Tony Sculimbrene 10.09.17
Over the years, production and custom knives have gotten more and more embellished. Then the EDC crowd started turning to flashlights, and they too became bedecked with ornamentation. After that, the EDC crowd started getting obsessed with pocket tchotchkes–fidget spinners, one-piece multitools, bottle openers, and the like. The further the trend went, the more ornate these things got. A MokuTi bottle opener from a well-known custom knife maker could sell for more than $500. In short, we have reached a new zenith of crazy. People teasingly call these items “pocket frosting” or “man jewelry.”
And here is a new level of man jewelry: a folder costing nearly $2,000 from jewelry-maker David Yurman. Yes, you read that correctly — a maker of all sorts of trinkets for ladies and a dabbler in twisted-metal wrist bands for dudes is getting into the folder business. They have made decked-out versions of Swiss Army Knives for a while (What? You haven’t followed the market for $600 Ramblers?), but recently they have released a pair of modern folders. These folders appear to be very similar to the William Henry Lancet.
The “Wave” appears to be the more-accessible version, opting for carved sterling silver instead of the more exotic (and more expensive) meteorite. The Wave comes with a lanyard already attached, opens with a thumb stud, and locks open with a button lock. But those are the “boring” parts of the knife.
The real pocket-frosting parts are the blade, a 45 layer Damascus number, and the handle, which is titanium adorned with carved sterling silver. These two items aren’t just expensive, they have a theme… the Damascus pattern has a distinctive black-and-silver wave pattern and that aesthetic is carried over to the handle where the metal is carved in, yes, a wave pattern.
In all, a knife from David Yurman is probably more interesting as a sign of how large the knife market has gotten than any set of features or designs. The Wave knife appears to have all of the design hallmarks of a William Henry: nice ergos, lots of embellishment, and more exotic materials. The 3.25 inch blade is a good size and the button lock, if this is a William Henry build for David Yurman, should be functional and easy to operate. Still, whatever the practicalities are, this knife is interesting because it is the the latest evolution in the man jewelry trend: tools made by jewelry companies.
The real question is whether this is more jewelry than knife. Given the price, it’s unlikely that review samples will be out there, but the bones seem fine. I am always skeptical when non-knife brands sell knives, but if done right and paired with the right OEM, these blades can turn out quite nice (see, for example the Shinola/Benchmade collabs like the wood-scaled Valet). The real issue here is the price — for $1,895 you can get a LOT of blade from a custom maker.