In the world of horology, the United States boasts a storied watchmaking history that traces its roots back to the 19th century. During that era, American watch brands like Waltham, Hamilton, and Elgin rivaled the best European manufacturers, creating timepieces that blended precision with craftsmanship.
However, the post-World War II period saw a decline in the US watch industry. Despite this downturn, recent years have witnessed a remarkable resurgence in American watchmaking, with both new and established brands offering a diverse range of styles, designs, and features. Whether you’re in the market for a classic, sporty, luxury, or even a diamond-studded watch, you can find an American brand that perfectly complements your taste and budget. Here, we introduce you to some of the most renowned watch brands in the USA.
Timex – Timeless Simplicity
One of the most iconic American watch brands is Timex, founded in 1854. Known for its production of simple yet affordable timepieces, Timex has a history deeply rooted in Waterbury, Connecticut. Interestingly, while the brand’s roots are firmly American, it currently calls the Netherlands its home base. Some of Timex’s notable models include the Timex Ironman, the Timex Expedition, and the Timex Weekender. Timex even unveiled the American Documents collection, a line of watches meticulously assembled in America and powered by Swiss-made movements.
Bulova – A Legacy of Innovation
Bulova, established in 1875 by Joseph Bulova in the heart of New York City, is another well-known American watch brand. Renowned for its groundbreaking innovation and precision, Bulova made history by introducing the first fully electronic watch, the Accutron, and broadcasting the first radio commercial. Bulova’s watches also have a strong connection to NASA, having been worn by astronauts during the Apollo missions. Some of their remarkable models include the Bulova Precisionist, the Bulova Marine Star, and the Bulova Curv.
Shinola – Craftsmanship Meets Revival
In contrast to the long-established brands, Shinola is a relatively new player in the American watchmaking scene, having emerged in 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The brand’s mission is to rekindle the city’s manufacturing heritage and create job opportunities for local workers. Shinola produces high-quality watches, hand-assembled with Swiss parts and American-made leather straps. Beyond watches, they also offer products like bicycles, journals, and audio equipment. Some of their best-sellers include the Shinola Runwell, the Shinola Canfield, and the Shinola Vinton.
Weiss – The Art of American Craftsmanship
Weiss, a young American watch brand founded in 2013 by Cameron Weiss in Los Angeles, California, stands out for its dedication to designing and manufacturing its own movements in-house, primarily using American-sourced materials. Weiss also specializes in restoring vintage American pocket watches, converting them into wristwatches. Notable models from Weiss include the Weiss Standard Issue Field Watch, the Weiss American Issue Field Watch, and the Weiss Gauge Series.
RGM – A Heritage of Prestige
Founded in 1992 by Roland G. Murphy in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, RGM is one of the most prestigious American watch brands. Inspired by the rich tradition of American watchmaking, RGM incorporates elements like coin-edged cases, enamel dials, and guilloche patterns into their timepieces. What sets them apart is their ability to create their own movements and complications, including tourbillons and perpetual calendars. Notable models include the RGM Model 222-RR Railroad Watch, the RGM Model 801 Classic Enamel Watch, and the RGM Model 801-COE Corps of Engineers Watch.
These are just a few of the illustrious American watch brands you can explore. Numerous other American watchmakers offer quality and style at various price points. Whether you’re inclined to support local craftsmanship or indulge in a fine timepiece, there’s an American watch that perfectly complements your personality and lifestyle. The legacy of American watchmaking is alive and well, offering you a world of choices in horological excellence.