Last updated November 28, 2016
Watches are fascinating because they combine the usefulness of time-telling, the wonder of precision engineering and the opportunity to make a fashion statement. They have become an obsession for many. That’s why it’s important to look at what “Made in America” really means when it comes to watches.
In doing our research we found that there aren’t really any companies making a 100% American watch, with every tiny part made in the USA. But we found a few companies that are trying to get there.RGM produces a line of watches that are the closest to full-on Made-in-America that you can get. According to the company, 90% of the American-Made Series is built here. These are some truly beautiful time pieces; high end watches featuring mechanical movements and stunning craftsmanship. We were lucky enough to tour the RGM factory. See our report here.
Niall says they are “all-in” when it comes to American-made. They’ve advanced to the point where every part except the Swiss movement is USA-made. Men’s and, more recently, women’s watches are offered.The Weiss Watch Company is also working toward an all-American Watch. The current watches are manufactured in Los Angeles with Swiss-made movements. The “skeleton” back gives you a look at the inner workings of the watch.Shinola assembles its watches in the USA using a Swiss movement and other foreign components. Men’s and women’s styles are offered. Props to Shinola, not just for designing a really nice looking series of watches, but for bringing work to Detroit where 100% of the watch assembly takes place.Shinola builds Filson’s watches, but they are completely different in style, more rugged and outdoorsy.Devon Watches are like no other timepieces you’ve seen. No hands, no dial, but reliable time is kept with a series of moving belts. The watches are assembled in California using mostly American-made parts.Keaton Myrick only builds 10-12 watches per year, so you know they are meticulously crafted – and expensive. However, these timepieces have a unique beauty. Unlike many US manufacturers, Keaton makes his own movement and, with the exception of the jewels and the main spring, everything is made here in the U.S.
Martenero assembles its watches in the USA with a mix of domestic and foreign content. What we really like about their watches is the design -you can have a fairly unique timepiece for a moderate price.
Vortic is a company with a unique idea for building American watches: taking vintage pocket watch movements – all made in the USA – and integrate them into stylish stainless steel cases 3D-printed in Pittsburgh, PA. The watches have Corning Gorilla Glass crystals and American leather bands.Minuteman Watches assembles in the USA, sourcing its movement and some parts from overseas. What makes the Minuteman watches stand out, in our opinion, is that a percentage of the profits go to help our troops. If you purchase from Minuteman, not only are you treating yourself to a handsome, quality watch but you are doing something socially responsible at the same time.Padron is new to our list featuring a series of uniquely styled watches designed and assembled by Leo Pardon in his Minneapolis workshop. Like many on the list the components are sourced from overseas but the design and final assembly are all done here. Padron watches feature automatic movements with clear case-backs.The Detroit Watch Company was founded by Patrick & Amy Ayoub. These two designers wanted a timepiece they could call their own and developed a line of watches featuring Swiss and Japanese automatic movements assembled in Detroit. When browsing the site, take a moment to read the descriptions of the watches – you might learn something new about the history of Detroit.
Smith and Bradley watches are assembled in the USA, feature Swiss movements. They aim to create the ultimate everyday watch collection for gentlemen.
Kobold’s Spirit of America watch has a case and domed crystal sapphire that are 100% U.S.-made. Other watches are made in Nepal.Oak and Oscar’s handsome Burnham watch is assembled in the USA.
Throne Watches of Brooklyn started out creating American-made bands and putting them on vintage watches. They now have their own watch line, assembled in the USA.
Wilson Watch Works hand-builds its timepieces from Swiss and German components. Production is limited and currently available watches are sold on eBay. They sell imported watches too, so make sure the one you buy say “personally hand assembled.”The name Dueber has been a part of the American watchmaking scene since 1864. They specialize in pocket watches and the mechanical models are all assembled in the USA.Hampden Watches are primarily created for promotional giveaways, rewards, commemorations, etc. The Union Line is assembled in the USA of Swiss parts.Allurez Watches are made in the United States using Swiss components. The company offers a fairly wide selection of men’s, women’s and unisex watches, many at moderate prices. Not all the watches on the site are American-assembled – just the Allurez brand watches shown in the link.
There might be a few other US-made watches and we will continue to search them out for you. If you know a company, we would appreciate hearing from you.
One thing I would like to mention is that it is really satisfying, when talking to the various watch-making firms, that they are all upfront and willing to discuss the American vs. foreign content of their products, as well as their commitment to source more components locally!