This past weekend I was at a martial arts training session. With twenty of us in the room, we rotated through partners for the hand drills. One woman neglected to take her wedding ring off, and left me this little gift on my forearm:
Sure, it's just a tiny scratch, but it could've been a lot worse if we were going faster or harder.
I get that people don't want to remove rings that are difficult to take off, but it's kind of inconsiderate. And it's not just martial artists that need to regularly remove rings: Gym goers, folks who use hand tools, tradespeople whose fingers might get snagged are all better off with the jewelry off.
Someone who recognizes this, and is doing something about it, is designer Jeff McWhinney. An athlete, bicycle component designer and former Senior Research Machinist for 3M, McWhinney has turned to designing easily-removable "active wedding rings."
Each design features unique, hinged opening mechanisms. This avoids the need for buying an over-sized band to gain knuckle clearance and can be a vital performance and safety feature in many professions or sports—places where all jewelry must be removed prior to activity. It also allows easy removal for washing hands, showering or even sleeping. These special features contribute to functional, modern art pieces that you will enjoy wearing daily.
These are precision pieces that come in multiple sizes, and different sizes do not share parts. So each one is machined out of a billet using a 4-axis CNC mill and, "12 to 16 different tools to reach their final form." Material options include titanium, stainless steel, platinum, gold and the exotic Mokume-gane, a/k/a "wood grain metal."
Check it out in action:
This alternate design opens all the way:
You can seee McWhinney's full line-up of ring designs here.