Best American Watch Brands 

 July 21, 2019

When it came to be the best in the field of watches, the
Swiss always brought their A-game and won it. However, in recent years, they
have been slumping behind, and other countries have been trying to take their
place. Asia is the biggest market for Swiss watches has incurred fewer
sales since the 2016-17.

Since the birth and rise of smartwatches have taken place,
mechanical and quartz watch brands alike are facing a hell of a lot of change
in the market. The United States of America is the most predictable and quite
market of watch lovers, and buyers is changing with time too. Americans now
prefer to wear homegrown brands.

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American watchmaking has so far remained dormant since the
1940s when prominent watchmakers were forced to turn their factories to wartime
production. The Swiss who were neutral during the Second World War capitalized,
and American watch brands never recovered from this. American buyers got
perfectly comfy with their Rolexes and their Seikos.

In 2011, Shinola woke some of those buyers up with watches
that used Swiss quartz movements but were put together in a Detroit factory. A
small army of brands then followed suit. The most significant trend, though,
has been great for consumers. The result for buyers at the tail end of 2018 is
more exceptional watches at every price range. Coming into 2019, these are a
few great American brands and watches to keep an eye on.

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1. Autodromo

Sensing from the name, Autodromo watches indeed possess an
evident influence from cars, particularly those in the so-called “golden age of
motoring”. Most of their pieces are designed in-house with vintage cues and
minimalist themes being evident throughout their diverse model line. Their
watches have become so much in sync with cars, that Ford commissioned them to
design a wristwatch to sell along with their Ford GT Supercar.

Their titanium and steel cases come with sharp angles and
muted tone dials with bright indices and hands. A bold combo that achieves an
exceptional look.

2. Martenero

Their Mantra has been “Tradition Refreshed”, and they have
delivered on it by delivering out pieces that incorporate the modern aesthetic
into the age-old watchmaking tradition. The high point of this brand is that
they provide this at a reasonable price. When Martenero had just begun their
journey, they had come up with a Build-Your-Own experience on their site for
their first Ace and Founder models. A consumer opting for this could select
their dials, hands and strap combinations of their liking.

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3. Shinola Watches

Shinola is one of those few companies that not only sell
watches but also a range of jewellery, bags and bicycles. In an abandoned
building in rock-bottom, Detroit is where a Tom Kartsotis saw an opportunity of
creating a watchmaking facility which is now a state-of-the-art place in the
US.

Their watches are no 100% made in the US; the number of
American watch brands that can claim this can probably be counted on one hand.
But it does show high commitment to quality, and hence Shinola will continue
releasing robust and trendy timepieces for decades to come.

4. Brew Watch Company

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Even though they got their start on Kickstarter, Brew watches
have now become established in the micro-brand community of watches made in the
USA. The company’s founder and designer Jonathan Ferrer touts his inspiration
from industrial espresso machines. One look at their watches and you’ll know
why.

The fanatics will notice individual graduations for the first
35 seconds of Chrono runtime- ensuring precise timekeeping for ideal extraction
of an espresso shot.

5. Oak and Oscar

Oak and Oscar is a Chicago based company that was found when
Chase Fancher found himself in a bit of a rut in his life. Unsatisfied with his
current employment, Fancher set out to pursue his passion for watches and
product design. He admitted once that he never intended to produce “Made in
America” timepieces accurately.

Oak and Oscar’s first two models, the Burnham and Sandford,
sold out. The Jackson Chronograph, which is their current product, is also
widely successful.

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6. Hamilton Watch Co.

Even though the original US-based manufacturer went out of
business in the late 1960s, the Hamilton brand was rebirthed in Switzerland at
the beginning of the 21st century. While the contemporary collection of
timepieces now boast the Swiss Made pedigree, their heritage of American
watches still reigns as the inspiration for their designs.

Today Hamilton still enjoys its status by appearing on the
hands of lead actors playing characters in the ‘Interstellar’ and the
‘Martian’. They have also expanded into extreme sports by becoming the Official
Timekeeper of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

7. Weiss Watch Company

The Weiss Watch Company was found in 2013 in Los Angeles by
Cameron Weiss. It is again one of the companies that have encountered the lack
of US-based suppliers for many of the specific components that go into making
the watch parts. Luckily, tides have recently started to shift, and home-grown
is becoming more desirable. This newly created niche opens a void to be filled
and paves the way for future newcomers to build entire US-made watch companies
on.

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8. Devon Watches

Devon watches one of the few companies that are entirely
homegrown in the United States. It began in Pasadena, CA and has managed to
penetrate the often-snobbish watch industry of the country. Their electro-mechanical
pieces are like no watch that has ever been seen before. Their founder Scott
Devon aimed at achieving this.

Devon has recently introduced a Star Wars version of their
Tread 1 line. This insane combination of new-age horology with fantasy is
certainly something to behold, but not easily wear, with its 61mm case
diameter.

9. Vortic Watch Co.

Of all the watches mentioned in this article, this is
probably the closest that you will find to be “Made in the USA”. The US makers
restore these watches, and they maintain the original dial, hands and their
movements. The cases are of titanium that is 3D printed from New Jersey and
later assembled in their CO headquarters. The additional components are brought
in from all over the US.

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10. RGM Watch Company

RGM is short for Roland G. Murphy, who is an American
watchmaker. Trained in Switzerland, he founded RGM in 1992 with a full breadth
of watchmaking and watch restoration experience. They are also recognized as
the first American watch company to design and manufacture their movements
since Hamilton Watch Co. closed its doors in 1969.

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