In recent years, the American watchmaking industry has seen a resurgence of new and exciting brands. While America was once a dominant player in the industry, a steady decline since World War II has left the US far behind Switzerland in terms of both quality and number of watch brands. However, the winds could be turning, as several new and noteworthy brands have emerged.
With around 50 American watch brands available (a list can be found at the end of the post), it can be difficult to know which ones are worth investing in. To help narrow down the selection, this article will share the top 10 best American watch brands, focusing on the great ones that are worth your attention.
- The American watchmaking industry has seen a resurgence of new and exciting brands in recent years.
- While America was once a dominant player in the industry, a steady decline since World War II has left the US far behind Switzerland in terms of both quality and number of watch brands.
- A list of the top 10 best American watch brands will be shared in this article, focusing on the great ones that are worth investing in.
Shinola is a lifestyle brand that offers a diverse range of products, including watches, jewelry, leather goods, and bicycles. The company was founded in Detroit, Michigan, in 2011 by Tom Kartsotis and is now owned by Bedrock Brands. Shinola offers six series of analog timepieces for men and five series for women. While parts are sourced overseas, design and assembly are done in the US with the help of a partnership with Swiss supplier Ronda AG.
Shinola timepieces are available at a price range of $500 to $1300 and all come with a limited lifetime guarantee. The Rambler is the most advanced and expensive Shinola watch, with both chronograph and tachymeter functions. The brand’s commitment to quality and craftsmanship has made it a popular choice among watch enthusiasts. Shinola’s unique product mix and dedication to manufacturing in the US have helped it stand out in the crowded luxury goods market.
Timex Group USA Inc. is an American watchmaking company that has been around since 1854. Its headquarters are located in Middlebury, Connecticut, and it has been owned by Dutch owners since 2008. Timex offers analog and digital watches at a very affordable price point, with ten collections in the product line. The Timex Ironman, a cheap, functional, and rugged watch, is popular among US soldiers and is considered a great tactical watch. Timex offers plenty of cool and practical timepieces for both men and women.
Luminox was established in 1989 by Barry Cohen and Richard Timbo with the aim of producing high-quality sports watches that feature exceptional tritium luminescence technology. Although every timepiece is made in Switzerland, the company is headquartered in San Rafael, California. Luminox has become the preferred choice of many elite military forces worldwide, including the US Navy SEALs, by creating sturdy, water-resistant, and dependable watches that remain readable in complete darkness for many years. There are four Luminox timepiece series: Sea, Air, Land, and Space, each with a wide variety of models. A popular Luminox Dive Chronograph is shown below:
Cameron Weiss is the founder of the Weiss Watch Company, established in Los Angeles in 2013. Weiss aimed to revive the American watchmaking industry, which was on the verge of extinction. Despite sourcing some parts from Switzerland, every timepiece is designed and handcrafted in Los Angeles, with the goal of eventually using 100% American parts. The movements are even made in-house, ensuring the highest level of quality. Prices for Weiss watches begin at $950.
Kobold is an American watch and knife company founded by Michael Kobold in Pittsburgh. What started as a hobby and project at university in 1998, quickly grew into a real business. Since then, Kobold has been focused on making high-performance analog timepieces for polar explorers, divers, astronauts, and other adventure enthusiasts. In 2006, Kobold began assembling their watches in the US, and today, an increasing percentage of the manufacturing is done in-house. However, with prices starting at $2000, these watches may not be affordable for everyone. Additionally, Kobold also produces knives.
Hager is an American watch brand founded in 2009 by watch collector Pierre “Pete” Brown. The brand’s goal is to offer high-quality watches at affordable prices powered by automatic movements. Hager sources components from Japan, Switzerland, and China to assemble timepieces in the US. The brand is dedicated to providing quality and performance, with a focus on materials that make a difference between a watch you wear for now and one you own forever.
Hager offers four collections, including Aquamariner, Commando Professional, GMT Traveler, and Flieger. Each collection is available in different colors and features automatic movements, sapphire crystal, and water resistance of 100m+. The prices range from $450 to $700, providing great value for money. The Hager Aquamariner is a popular choice among watch enthusiasts.
RGM Watch Company was founded in 1992 by Roland G. Murphy, a Swiss-trained watchmaker. The company produces handcrafted wristwatches with analog displays and in-house mechanical movements. RGM has developed three movements of its own. However, these watches come with a hefty price tag, with prices starting at $2500 and going up to $95k for the stainless steel edition of the RGM Pennsylvania Tourbillon model. Despite their high cost, RGM watches are known for their high quality and craftsmanship.
Oak & Oscar
Oak & Oscar is a micro brand that was founded in 2015 by Chase Fancher. While the components and materials are sourced overseas, the watches are designed and assembled in the US. The company has released two limited edition models so far, The Sandford and The Burnham. Both models are vintage-looking wristwatches with automatic movements and leather straps. The Burnham, released in 2015, is sold out, but The Sandford is still available for purchase at a price of $1850.
Leo Padron founded Padron Watch Company LLC in 2011 with the aim of creating durable and visually appealing timepieces. The watches are designed and assembled domestically in Minneapolis, while the parts and materials are sourced globally, like most American brands.
The Padron Watch Company offers five models in its line-up, namely Hennepin, Hennepin Noir, Selby, Selby Noir, and Vuelta, all of which feature 316L stainless steel casings, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and a modern and clean design.
If you are interested in purchasing a Padron timepiece, be prepared to invest between $500 and $800 of your hard-earned money.
Niall is an American luxury watch brand founded in 2012 by Michael Wilson in Kansas City, Missouri. The brand’s goal was to produce high-quality watches that would rival Swiss-made timepieces. To achieve this, Niall recruited Swiss watchmaker Dominik Maerki to help with the production of their watches. The brand has released two series of men’s wristwatches, the classic GMT, and the bold One Series. Niall’s watches are manufactured in the USA, with only a few components purchased overseas, such as Swiss movements. The watches are of high quality, but they come with a high price tag of around $4k.
List of American Watch Brands
Here is a list of US-based watch brands that are widely known:
- Brathwait (also counted as a Norwegian brand)
- Oak & Oscar
- Weiss Watch Company
- Detroit watch company
- Padron watch co
- Smith & Bradley
- Keaton Myrick
- Throne Watches
- Wilson Watch Works
- Hampden Watches
- Android USA
- Chris Aire
- Curtis & Co
- C.T. Scuderia
- David Yurman
- Deep Blue
- Harry Winston
- Ice Link
- Jacob & Co
- Jorg Gray
- Maitres du Temps
- James Caird Timepieces
- Michael Kors
If there are any other US-based watch brands that are not listed here, please let the author know so that they can be added to the list.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some notable American watch brands?
There are many notable American watch brands, including Hamilton, Bulova, Timex, and Shinola. These brands have been around for decades and have a reputation for quality and durability.
Which American watch brands offer affordable options for men?
If you’re looking for affordable American-made watches for men, there are several brands to consider. Timex, for example, offers a range of watches at reasonable prices, as does Bulova. Another option is Vincero, which offers stylish watches at affordable prices.
What are some British watch brands that are comparable to American watch brands?
If you’re looking for British watch brands that are comparable to American watch brands, there are several to consider. Bremont, for example, is a British brand that is known for its high-quality, durable watches. Another option is Christopher Ward, which offers a range of stylish and affordable watches.
Are there any military watches made in the USA?
Yes, there are several American watch brands that make military watches. One notable brand is Marathon, which has been making watches for the US military for over 80 years. Luminox is another brand that makes military watches, as does Bertucci.
What sets Weiss Watch Company apart from other American watch brands?
Weiss Watch Company is a unique American watch brand that stands out for several reasons. For one, all of their watches are made by hand in Los Angeles, California. Additionally, Weiss uses only American-made parts and materials, which sets them apart from other American watch brands.
What are some unique features of Vortic and RGM watches?
Vortic watches are unique in that they use antique American-made pocket watch movements in their watches. This gives their watches a vintage feel and sets them apart from other American watch brands. RGM watches, on the other hand, are known for their high level of customization. Customers can choose from a range of customization options, including dial design, hands, and case material.