Uncommonly known to the public, America was considered a world leader in watch manufacturing prior to World War II. America produced timepieces that were just as functional and well crafted as their Swiss and British equivalents. However, America yielded higher quantities for about half the cost. While it has been a few decades since the United States has created anything worth swooning over, the following five American watchmakers are working around the clock to get back on the map. Read below for the top 5 American Watch Brands to know.
RGM was established in 1992 by Roland G. Murphy a U.S. watchmaker. Located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the RGM Watch Company was the first to produce in-house, American made timepieces for almost four decades. This breakthrough success allowed the company to create several new models of the Caliber 801. Each new watch has one thing in common, the wonderfully deft guilloche work which highly influences RGMs top status as a watchmaker within the states as well as among its Swiss competitors. Perhaps the best piece RGM has produced is its Pennsylvania Tourbillon. The Pennsylvania Tourbillon ($95,000) was the first serially produced tourbillon manufactured in North American. Its beautiful design showcases RGMs signature guilloche and high class style.
#4 Devon Works
Recognized for their record breaking Devon GTX supercar, Devon Works looks towards the future and has branched out to reinvent the classic watch. Tread 1 is Devon Work’s first timepiece that features ultra-thin rubber belts printed with numbers as its method of time telling. The Tread 1 was a major success placing Devon Works as a top brand in the exclusive world of American made timepieces. Devon Works was even nominated for an award at the prestigious Grand Prix D’Horlogerie de Genève. Devon Works prides itself on the non-traditional manner of which its designs are made; some of their suppliers come from the U.S. aerospace industry. The Devon Works Star Wars Watch ($28,500) is a key timepiece in their collection. This Darth Vader inspired timepiece was a collaboration with the Star Wars franchise to honor the launch of the recent The Force Awakens Film. The watch features flanks modelled after TIE fighter wings and showcases the imperial logo within the crown, all encompassed on the brand’s Tread 1 base. The Devon Works Star Wars Watch has been regarded as one of the best co-branded timepieces in history.
#3 Oak & Oscar
Oak & Oscar is a micro-brand founded by Chase Fancher. Fancher quit his day job in pursuit of making a well fit, comfortable, and high quality timepiece. Oak & Oscar worked with companies like Lum-Tec on assembling/testing, Soprod on movement, Woodnsteel on stitching, and Defy MFG co. on leather storage. Needless to say, Oak & Oscar makes expertly crafted timepieces. The Burnham ($1,650) is Oak & Oscar’s signature and currently only timepiece which was inspired by Daniel Burnham, the famous architect recognized for laying down the streets of Chicago. While the Burnham is simple in style, it is jam packed with finely tuned details to appreciate such as a date aperture at 6 o’clock and strikethroughs on the numeral seven.
#2 Weiss Watch Company
Located in Los Angeles, California, Weiss Watch Company was established in 2013 by Cameron Weiss. Although, the Weiss Watch Company is a newer company, there is still room for this timepiece crafter to enter America’s watch industry as it is still rising. Cameron Weiss’s young age allows him to be in touch with the now and focus with agility in restoring America's watchmaking to its former glory. The Weiss Watch company is extremely impressive as it produces all of its casing, parts, spring bar tools, dials, and even packaging in-house. The Standard Issue Field Watch ($950) is the Weiss Watch Company’s most classic timepiece. The black dial is timeless and you can swap out the band for a day look with the military grade olive cordura band or for a night look with a leather strap and suit pairing.
The Kobold brand encourages those to ‘embrace adventure’ and its signature timepiece clearly reflects this message with its durability under extreme weather conditions. The Founder of Kobold, Michael Kobold, is an adventurer himself and has even scaled Mt.Everest. Michael Kobold founded Kobold in 1998 and was one of the first American watchmakers to assemble within the U.S. The Spirit of America was the company’s first fully U.S. assembled watch in 2006. However, many regard The Langley ($1,750) to be a favored Kobold timepiece. Inspired by aviation pioneer Samuel Pierpont Langley, The Langley GMT timepiece is the first of Kobold’s civilian watches to showcase a quartz movement. Plus, it comes equipped with the brand’s TripSafe mechanism which protects against even the strongest of shocks. Not to mention, The Langley timepiece is stylish enough to pair with blazers yet modern enough to pair with a field jacket and tee.