Tag Archives: watches

Minuteman Watches: Call To Arms.

Much of the joy of writing this blog comes from all of the wonderful products we discover and the people behind them. Occasionally we find ourselves getting sad news, like an American manufacturer closing down or struggling.

We received such a notice from the owner of Minuteman Watches, who has found himself in the “struggling” category but will be able to recover with a little more support from the “Buy American” crowd.

Like many people in the American-Made field, Thomas Carey creates his very good-looking watches as a part-time labor of love, while maintaining a full-time job. He has always donated a portion of his profits to veteran groups. To date those funds have supported: The Gary Sinise Foundation, Special Operations Warrior Foundation, Mercury One, and Fisher House.

I realize that watches are a very personal choice where style sometimes beats functionality and low price often beats quality and workmanship. The purpose of this blog is for us to bring things to your attention that are made/assembled in America and put American people to work. So if you are in the market for a watch, you owe it to yourself to at least check out the offerings from Minuteman. In buying from them, you know that you are supporting  a good small business and some important charities.Most of the watches offered by Minuteman feature: double-domed sapphire crystal, screw-down crown, water resistant to 200 meters and a Miyota 9015 automatic mechanical movement.Not many people will ever see the back of your watch but you will know what is there: this is cool graphic of an original Minuteman.You will also find on the site a very nice selection of American-made knives. The Red, White and Blue model shown above features:1/8 inch thick 154CM stainless steel blade, a red white and blue Kirinite handle and a neck sheath made of Kydex.

Regards,

Paul

Minuteman Wants Your Input on New Watches

Minuteman Watches assembles its products 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 have gone to Veterans since the company was founded.Right now, they are thinking about producing a line of 4-5 cushion type cases. Here are the designs they are currently considering.Want to help out? Email them at minutemanwatch@frontier.com and let them know which ones you like most.

Regards, Kathy

18 Made-in-USA Watch Brands: Where is Your Watch Made?

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.rgmRGM  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.
NiallNiall 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.
WEissWeiss_American_Made_White_dial_Gold_Field_WatchThe 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.ShinlaShinola 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.FilsonWatchShinola builds Filson’s watches, but they are completely different in style, more rugged and outdoorsy.Devon1Devon 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.IMG_5433Keaton 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.
dfdfMartenero 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.

VorticVortic 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.MinutemanMinuteman 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.wrist2_3Padron 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.m1_blue_lakeThe 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.

SmithBradleySmith and Bradley watches are assembled in the USA,  feature Swiss movements. They aim to create the ultimate everyday watch collection for gentlemen.
KoboldKobold’s Spirit of America watch has a case and domed crystal sapphire that are 100% U.S.-made. Other watches are made in Nepal.OakOak and Oscar’s handsome Burnham watch is assembled in the USA.

THroneThrone 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.

Pilot WatchWilson 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.”dbrm25aThe 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.ffffHampden Watches are primarily created for promotional giveaways, rewards, commemorations, etc. The Union Line is  assembled in the USA of Swiss parts.WatchesAllurez 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!
Regards,
Paul

Brooks Brothers

Touring the RGM Watch Factory: Made in USA

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On September 27, we were lucky enough to get a spot on the second-ever tour of the RGM Watch Company in Lancaster County, PA.  The company occupies an old bank building, complete with an enormous safe.
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Founder Roland G. Murphy (in blue) welcomed the group.  RGM produces the most “Made in America” line of watches available today, which means they themselves manufacture the “movement,” or innards of the watch, while other American-made watch companies import their movements, then  assemble the watches here. RGM’s American watches can be seen here.
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Roland’s daughters were leading the tours and they told us how they remember their father tinkering with watches at night before he even had a workroom to himself.  We were also treated to a look at part of Roland’s personal collection of watches.
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Helen, a watchmaker with 30 years of experience, let us look over her shoulder as she did her work.

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We saw the wonderful way in which RGM uses technology both old…
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…and new, side-by-side, in creating their timepieces.

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Roland’s son, also named Roland, was using a technique called guilloche, which involved hand-cranking this machine to cut patterns into the watch face. Many manufacturers stamp their designs onto the face but at RGM, they use the age-old technology because it gives a sharper edge and better reflects light.

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Adam showed us some of the aspects of polishing and finishing.
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And then we got a look at the American-made line, up close and personal. The “Skeleton” watches were amazing – they’re the ones with a clear case so you can see the workings inside. One of the men on the tour, who has purchased multiple RGM watches, told a story of being in Switzerland and having a man from the Swiss watch industry look at his watch with confusion.
“I’m not familiar with this. What is it?” he asked.
“Oh, it’s just something made by a little American watch company in the middle of Amish country,” the RGM owner replied.
“No!” was the Swiss man’s reaction as he examined the quality.
We wish RGM good fortune and hope they keep surprising everyone. Thanks for the tour!

Paul and Kathy

While you’re here, check out our guide,  “18 watches made or assembled in the USA.”