There are all sorts of wedding bands available to women: ornate, delicate, filigreed. Look upon the ring fingers of most married men, however, and you'll likely see the exact same thing. A big, thick, boring slab of metal.
Jeff McWhinney, a machinist and designer from California with a background in bicycle and skateboard design, thought it could be done differently. McWhinney wondered why women always wear their wedding bands while men often don't, and so he created a line of wedding bands specifically geared to active men, with a unique clamping design that not only looks cool, but can help prevent accidents as well.
"Its always been a pet peeve of mine that the woman always gets the cool, valuable ring, while the guy gets the afterthought, boring metal band," he tells Co.Design. "But guys don't want a blingy diamond on their ring. It's just not our thing. What we do want is something that is functional, well-made, and kinda trick so we can show it off to our buddies."
The "kinda trick" gimmick of McWhinney's rings is a locking mechanism that allows the band to slip over a finger, almost like a clasp. Not only does it look cool, but it also solves a common difficulty of male wedding band design. Many men are forced to buy bigger rings than they actually want because it's the only way to slip them over their knuckles easily. McWhinney's bands, because of the clamp, are easier to put on and take off.
"Why do women wear their wedding rings, but men don't?" asks McWhinney. "It's not just because men want to be slutty, although that happens. It's usually because it doesn't fit well, it's uncomfortable, or it interferes with work or play."
And that last issue is a biggie. For athletes and workmen, a wedding ring isn't just a symbol, it's a potential liability. At the very least, a wedding band can be uncomfortable for people who lift weights or are extraordinarily active. At worst, though, it can lead to horrifying accidents (with horrifying medical terms such as deglove) and there are way more wedding bands caught in industrial machinery than the likes of Kay Jewelers would want you to know. A ring that's easier to pop on and off and that can pop free quickly via a hinge makes a lot of sense.
McWhinney's wedding bands come in numerous different designs ranging in cost from $825 to $3,750. You can order one for yourself here.