Is American Watch Making Coming Back?
For a while during American history watch making had a strong foothold in America. I am of course talking about pocket watches. Waltham, Illinois, Elgin, Hamilton and a slew of others actually produced from raw materials some of the most beautiful pocket watches made, anywhere. With the great depression of the 30’s and the invention of the quartz wrist watch by Seiko in the 60’s, the American mechanical watch making industry was pretty much over by the 80’s. All of the companies either closed permanently or were absorbed into other companies. Some of the names still remain like Hamilton or Benrus but neither are made in the U.S.A.
Roland G. Murphy in Pennsylvania has been producing RGM watches that do have some completely in house produced movements that are amazingly beautiful.
Shinola Watches are assembled in Detroit and many parts of the watch are produced domestically but the movements are imported. The company started with the “Where American is Made” slogan but later changed it to “Built in Detroit” since they import the movements. The watches have a great look and the infusion of jobs into Detroit has been very well received.
New to the scene and actually producing movements is Cameron Weiss who in his California workshop is actually producing the mechanical movement. The watches are simple yet classic. Hopefully this inspires other watch enthusiasts’ to take up the challenge and possibly put America back on the map of watch making!