Your Guide To American Made Watches

Staff Guide | Updated July 2016

This guide is sponsored by Esslinger has provided parts, tools and supplies to watchmakers since 1923 and plays a front lines role in the resurgence of American Watchmaking. Learn More.

Watches have long been a tradition of style, function and legacy. Not so long in our distant past, the United States led innovation and craftsmanship in watchmaking. By the turn of the century though, the days of a booming American watch industry felt like distant past. That was until a brand new wave of perfection obsessed watchmakers began to bring mastery and style together to rekindle the American tradition of telling time. This guide is a tribute to the unexpected comeback of American made watches and the brands that are bringing them home.

The first seven brands listed here represent American purist watchmakers who strive to make every component in their pieces here at home. Most of them still source movements from Europe but the pursuit of a 100% American Made watch is a part of their ethos.

In addition to these seven brands we’ve also included 5 of our favorite “American Built” watch brands. Each of these companies is based in the USA and sources a mix of USA and globally made components for their pieces.  

#1. Niall

Manufacturing | 100% of Non-Movement Components Built in America, Swiss Movements
Location | Kansas City, MO
Where to Buy | Online
Range | Starting at $3,750

Niall is a Kansas City based brand that brings quality and swagger together through their iconic luxury designs. Their brand communicates a relentless pursuit of perfection along with some good old fashioned patriotism. CEO Michael Wilson credits Niall’s success in onshoring manufacturing to a transparent approach to collaboration. Niall’s watches use American made cases, dials, hands, crowns, glass, gaskets, screws, straps and buckles. They’ll be as close as you’ll get to wearing a little bit of America on your wrist. 

#2. Keaton Myrick

Manufacturing | Handmade In The USA
Location | Portland, OR
Where to Buy | Get in Touch
Range | Based on Design (We’ve heard $18,000)

Portland based Keaton Myrick is an independent watchmaker who specializes in custom hand made timepieces. That means each of these future heirloom watches is hand-made, one at a time and one of a kind. Myrick makes his own hands, dials, bridges and even screws. His work has been widely recognized for bringing high touch craftsmanship back home to the USA. When it comes to restoration projects, Myrick is picky but if you’ve got something truly special he’s the man to talk to. 

#3. Vortic

Manufacturing | 100% Made in USA, Movements Use Original Vintage Pieces
Location | Fort Collins, CO
Where to Buy | In Person (CO, NYC), Online
Range | Starting At $895

Vortic puts a smart spin on the American watchmaking tradition by restoring vintage pieces with a made in America strap, case, spacer and crystals. Vortic’s founders were inspired by the idea that before watch manufacturing went overseas, there were millions of American Made watches crafted and handed down. They set out restore the dignity in these pieces with a modern American Made remake. If you’ve got an heirloom that’s due for a new life Vortic is on the job. They’ve also sourced some beautiful, one of kind, designs using vintage pieces sourced by their team so that you can wear a Vortic design even without an heirloom of your own. 

#4. Devon

Manufacturing | Designed and Manufactured in The USA
Location | Los Angeles, CA
Where to Buy | Certified Vendors Worldwide (List)
Range | Starting At 12,000

Devon is mad scientist meets luxury precision. Their American Made watches use Time Belts with hours displayed on the horizontal belt and minutes displayed on the vertical belt. The engineering masterpiece is made of 300 individual pieces. The whole thing is honestly hard to describe so you should just check them out. This American based design studio and timepiece creator isn’t just creating their own movements, they have invented a whole new movement style.   

#5. Weiss Watch Company

Manufacturing | Certified American Made, Swiss Movements
Location | Los Angeles, CA
Where to Buy | Online
Range | Starting At $950

Weiss Watch Company was founded in 2013 by California native Cameron Weiss. After time spent training under Swiss watch masters he returned to Los Angeles to design luxury timepieces by hand and revive watchmaking as an American craft. Weiss uses USA made cases, dials, spring bar tools, straps, and packaging in each piece. Cameron isn’t just a watchmaker, he and his team are evangelists of the ideas, heritage and craftsmanship that make watchmaking timeless.  

#6. RGM

Manufacturing | Parts, Cases and Movements Made in The USA
Location | Lancaster, PA
Where to Buy | Online
Range | Starting At $4,500

RGM has been setting the stage for the return of the American Made Watch since 1992. Roland G. Murphy founded the company out of a passion for the rich watchmaking heritage of the USA.  RGM’s watches have a simple but sophisticated appeal and they are aimed at taking on the best watchmakers in the world from movements to finish. If you’re on a search for a great American Made watch, you might think about starting right here in Lancaster, PA.  

#7. Kobold

Manufacturing | Assembled and Manufactured In The USA
Location | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Where to Buy | Online
Range | Starting At $1,950

Kobold gives us wanderlust. The brand is firmly founded on adventure and its U.S made watches are designed to take on the elements. In 2009 and 2010, founder Mike Kobold and his wife put the pieces to the test when they climbed mount Everest to raise money for the Navy Seals Fund. The 18 year old company began assembling and eventually manufacturing watches here in the US in 2006 and has build a solid stateside operation since. Kobold watches have a classic, rugged and durable look that make them a proud, standout American piece. 

#8. SMITH & Bradley

Manufacturing | Designed and Assembled in The USA
Location | Sidney, IL
Where to Buy | Online
Range | Starting At $250

After years of buying, selling, and repairing watches from all over the world, the founders of Smith & Bradley set out to create superior quality American built watches with the best possible components. Form and function is a huge concern for Smith & Bradley who design watches that are affordable enough to own, and rugged enough to wear. In an effort to give back to the community, Smith & Bradley contributes to various military and law enforcement charities and organizations and offers active or retired military a substantial discount on every product in the Smith & Bradley Tactical Collection. 

#9. Shinola

Manufacturing | Built in America, USA, Swiss, Asian Parts
Location | Detroit, MI
Where to Buy | Online and In Stores
Range | Starting At $550

Shinola has built an empire on trendy bicycles, denim, leather, baseball gloves and watches. Their watches have received the unabashed blessings of publications like GQ and Vogue and have developed a cult following well beyond Shinola’s hometown of Detroit. If you know the watchmaking industry you’ll know that they’ve received some recent attention for sourcing parts for their watches from Europe and Asia. It’s clear that Shinola’s designs are more American built than American manufactured, but they make this list for creating more than 500 USA based jobs and and creating some beautiful watches at an accessible price. Oh and you can add a few style points for President Obama’s endorsement

#10. Martenero

Manufacturing | Assembled and Manufactured In The USA
Location | New York, NY
Where to Buy | Online
Range | Starting At $485

Martenero is an independent watch designer based out of New York City and is the place to go for a custom mechanical watch. When you order one of their watches you’ll be given options to personalize your dial, hand, and strap colors. Martenero watches are designed for versatility, legibility, and classic style. Watch straps are handmade in the USA and while many components of the watch are sourced globally, every Martenero watch is custom designed in New York.  

#11. Throne

Manufacturing | USA Made Leather, Assembled in The USA
Location | Brooklyn, NY
Where to Buy | Online
Range | Starting At $250

The Brooklyn based workshop, Throne, got its start by breathing new life into vintage watch faces and pairing them with USA handmade leather straps. Repurposed watch faces are restored, given a handcrafted strap and ultimately sold with a guarantee. Vintage restoration wasn’t ever the full vision for the Throne founders though. In 2014, they launched their first fully American assembled watch. Today, every Throne watch is made by hand in their Brooklyn shop and the brand has developed a devoted following of customers looking to pair a story with their style. 

#12. Detroit Watch Company

Manufacturing | Designed and Assembled in The USA
Location | Detroit, MI
Where to Buy | Online
Range | Starting At $895

Detroit Watch Company is putting their Detroit work ethic and swagger front and center in their modern brand of American watches. Their collections, like the 1701 and the Pride of Detroit Aviator, are designed as a tribute to their city, and the assembly of each watch takes place in Detroit. Their movements come from several global suppliers depending on the project. The Detroit Watch company has a passion for the craft and is helping to make a name for watch design and manufacturing in the heart of the country.