Aside from the big names in horology coming from Switzerland and Japan, American watch brands have now made a definite mark within the time industry. While not as renowned as Seiko or Rolex, the best ones are undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with.
Winding back to its history, American watch brands have not flourished more so than their European counterparts post-World War II. The years that follow have exuded a quietness on the craft making of timepieces from this particular region.
It wasn’t until 2011 when Shinola established itself as an up-and-coming brand with their Detroit-made and Swiss movement-manufactured watches that new American-born horology firms started to appear.
From classy to affordable, fast, automotive-inspired timekeepers to those perfect to take on your daily basis, there are a variety of timepieces to choose from these American watch brands. Read on to find out which names are worth taking note of.
7 Best American Watch Brands to Watch Out in 2023
Below, I have summarized these 7 American watch brands that will surely satisfy you with their amazing build and design. They each have their own distinctive style and offers, so don’t worry, you will definitely find a name that represents your wants and needs in a timepiece.
First on the best American watch brand list is Shinola. While its parts – particularly its movement, are sourced from Switzerland, the timepieces are assembled and crafted in their home base, Detroit, America.
The Shinola Runwell automatic, first released in 2013 is what finally propelled the reputation of the brand. Powered by a Sellita SW200-1 automatic, 50m water resistance, and a modestly sized case diameter, this signature model is one worth adding to your collection.
Next, Nodus. This American watch brand is developed by longtime pals, Wesley Kwok and Cullen Chen supported by their lifetime savings.
Currently headquartered in Los Angeles, Nodus is designed to cater to what fellow young horology enthusiasts need, a capable watch with an affordable price tag.
It succeeds. The brand is going fairly strong today as the sapphire crystal, 200m water resistance, and a Seiko NH35 movement are featured together in its fascinating Retrospect dive watch.
Read more: Top 9 Collections from Swiss Watch Brands for Every Budget
Another luxury American watch brand is by the multifaceted man, Deni Mesanovic. Coming from an audio engineering background which he has also ventured into with designing and building microphones, his latest stint yet is crafting timepieces going by the name, Pelton.
One of his famous works is the Sector watch with each component crafted on his own; each order has to wait a few weeks before the timepiece is sent out. A fun fact, the dial of a Pelton timekeeper takes roughly 6 hours to assemble.
Next on the best American watch brand list is Autodromo. Its designer, Bradley Price has given his magic touch to spread a common design language for the timepieces, infused with the American spirit.
Offering a wide variety of racing and automotive watches, one line stood out in particular. The Autodromo Intereuropa Manual Wind is sure to attract watch enthusiasts. It’s designed with hues and colors associated with Italian cars of the 40s – 60s.
The creamy white, black and rustic brown creates a vintage yet dashing look for any wearer. Furthermore, its size of 39mm wide creates a dapper, thin appearance on the wrist.
Monta is also another one of the best American watch brands. It is now renowned as a watchmaker that successfully attains the aura of Swiss timekeepers while offering them at an affordable price.
The Atlas is one of its most acclaimed releases. Backed with Sellita 330 Swiss movement and a GMT watch complication, it’s both functional and beautifully presented.
Next, Hamilton timepieces. Although at present, they are not an American watch brand, as these timekeepers are now made in Switzerland, they do carry the American spirit within.
This is because the brand has its roots within the American watch manufacturing history. It was founded in 1892 in Pennsylvania, the United States after succeeding three watchmaking firms in the area, including the famed Lancaster Watch Company.
One of the best representatives of a Hamilton watch would be the Hamilton American Classic Intra-Matic Chronograph H. It’s a sixties-inspired dress timekeeper that features a manual wound movement and iconic panda dial.
RGM Watch Company
The RGM is also another luxury American watch brand. The initials stand for its founder, Ronald G. Murphy, an American watchmaker intensively trained in Switzerland and highly experienced in watchmaking who then decided to establish his own firm.
As such, his knowledge and skills are very much implemented into the growth of RGM. In fact, the first US-made serial production tourbillon comes from this very brand.
This luxury American watch brand has also developed and equipped its own movements into its timepieces.
The Pennsylvania Tourbillon is an exclusive example from the RGM watch company, its handmade cage will please any watch enthusiasts.
That’s it for our review of the best American watch brands to take note of. While not as exclusive as those made in Japan or Switzerland, timepieces from these names will surely be a wonderful addition to a horology collection.
Stay tuned to our Gnomon blog for more recommendations, tips, and insights into the world of horology.