Monday, April 18, 2016

The Best Men's American Watches Under...Part 1

Quite honestly, this may very well be the hardest set of lists I will have to make.  The problem with American watches, is the lack of American watch companies.  That's not exactly true, the American watch industry has been making a resurgence over the past 10 years, but, it is still what I would consider a fledgling industry, and more often than not, the watch might be assembled in America, but all the parts are produced elsewhere.

With that being said, I will try not to hold that fact against these companies.  I commend the entrepreneurs for the effort they are putting into this industry.  I believe it is highly important for the American economy to find ways to renew the industrial strength that we have had in the the past.

I am not going to preach economy and government here on the best men's watches under blog, but I do want my readers to understand exactly what it is I am looking at when I write this list.

The Best Men's American Watches Under...Part 1

The best men's American watch for under 250 dollars

Smith & Bradley
Springfield Field Watch
Model: N/A
Case: 44mm, Stainless steel
Band: 20mm Nato
Movement: Swiss Quartz (Ronda)
Functions: HH, MM, SS, Date
Water resistance: 100M/330ft

Smith and Bradley Watch Co was founded by Jerommie Smith and Ryan Bradley.  Two entrepenouers who started their watch life by buying and selling and repairing watches from all over the world.  After a time they decided that they would try their hand at watches of their own.  Focusing on form and function, and tending toward the more tactical side of watches, they founded Smith & Bradley in Springfield Illinois,

They have, in the past, started watch collections on Kickstarter.  In fact, I believe the Springfield Field watch was one of those watches, Their watches look American to me, a lot of thought and design has gone into their watches, giving them a very polished, final look.

The Springfield Field watch is a 44mm, stainless steel, field watch.  It is available in bare stainless, or with a PVD coated case.  It's a daily wear watch, in a price point that makes it a viable daily wear watch for a large portion of the American men looking for a durable watch to wear through daily life.  It has a large crown, located at the 3 o'clock position, and a smooth bezel.  The lens is sapphire, and the watch face is available in either black or white.  It has an outer ring of Arabic numerals, representing the hours, in a 12 hour format, and an inner ring of Arabic numerals, representing a 24 hour.  The hands are black, with lume imbued in them, and there is a date window, also located at the 3 o'cock position.  The band is a Nato nylon strap with a buckle style clasp.

The Watch has a Ronda Quartz movement.  Ronda makes high quality movements for several watch makers on the market.  I would consider the movement a good choice for this watch.

Smith and Bradley sells their watches on their own website.  The price for this watch starts at 249 dollars.  I specifically made the under 250 dollar price point, just so I could include this watch, and this company.  They have some fine products, and looking back, I have a feeling I wish I would have paid more attention to the American watch world, when making some of my other lists.  With Smith and Bradley, and quite frankly, with all the watch companies I plan to include in this list.

The best men's American watch for under 500 dollars

Runwell 36mm Cream
Model:  100000263-sdt-000010005
Case: 36mm Stainless steel
Band: 18mm Nylon
Movement: Argonite 1069 Quartz
Functions: HH, MM, SS
Water resistance: 50M/165ft

Shinola, made in Detroit.  It has been difficult for me not to include them on my lists before now.  If you are not aware, I own a Runwell.  Not this one, I will be writing a page about my watches shortly and will include it there.  But it is a runwell 47mm, white face, with a black leather band.  I love the watch.  Not only do I own a Runwell, but I live in Michigan, about 15 miles out of Detroit, and love that Shinola decided to make Detroit its home of operations.

The Shinola story is something like this.  In 2011, Shinola opened shop as an American Luxury lifestyle brand.  Specializing in leather goods, bicycles, and watches.  They released their first watch in a limited production of 2500 watches, in 2013, and sold out in about two weeks.  Since then, they have expanded their watch line, and are continuing their expansion, as I write this.

The Runwell 37mm is basically a smaller version of the watch I have.  It is a 37mm, stainless steel cased watch.  It has a crown located at the 3 o'clock position.  The bezel is smooth, with a rounded outer edge, and it sports a sapphire lens.  The dial face is off white, with Arabic numerals marking the hours, in black.  There are index marks for both the hours and minute marking.  The hands are black with lume imbued in the middle of both the hour and minute hands.  And there is a small seconds located at the 6 o'clock position.  The band is nylon ad has a buckle style clasp.

The movement is a quartz movement, with a Ronda base.  Ronda is, as I have said previously, a good movement maker, that is used by many watch makers.  In fact, Smith and Bradley use them, in the review just above.

I love my Runwell.  I think it is a great looking, kinda retro watch that keeps great time.  Mine came with a nice wooden box, and a lifetime warranty.  The watch can be purchased on the Shinola website for 500 dollars even.  There are a couple of other versions that can be had for the 500 dollar price point.  I suggest you go check out your options.

The best men's American watch for under 1000 dollars

Weiss Watch Co
Standard Issue Field Watch
Case: 42 mm/Stainless steel
Band Width: 20 mm, Canvase
Movement: Weiss Caliber 1001 Mechanical
Features: HH, MM, SS
Battery: N/A
Water resistance: 100M/330 ft

The Standard Issue Field watch has been on my lists before.  I believe it might be one of the only American made watches that have made it on my lists in the past.  It was on my list for the 5 best men's watches under 1000 dollars.  And it was so deserving of the list.  Personally I love this company.  They may very well be the most American company you can buy today,  They are actually one of the only American watch makers that make their own movement.  I love this, I commend this company for their hard work and the success they have achieved so far.

The watch sports a 42mm stainless steel case, with the crown located at the 3 o'clock position.  It has a thin, smooth bezel and has a sapphire lens, on both the front and the back of the watch.  The dial of the watch is white and big, due to the thin bezel.  There are Arabic numerals marking the hours, large and promenent, and in a smaller text on an outer ring, they indicate the minutes, at the five minute marks with Arabic numerals as well.  The hands are black and imbued with Lume, and there is a small seconds at the 9 o'clock position.  The band of the watch is canvas, and durable, with a buckle style clasp.

The movement is a Weiss mechanical movement caliber 1001.  It is based on the ETA 6497.  It has 17 jewels and runs at 18,000 bph.  It has a 46 hour power reserve.  It is a hand wound type of movement.  I love this movement.  I love the work Weiss is putting into their products, and the vintage feel this watch exudes.

They sell their watches on their own website.  This watch is available for 950 dollars on their site.  It is one of the best examples I have seen for American watches, for under 1000 dollars.  I strongly suggest you check out what they have to offer, and you possibly could find something you like more than the Standard Issue Field Watch.

The best men's American watch for under 2000 dollars

Vortic Watches
Model: N/A
Case: 47mm, Bronze
Band: Leather
Movement: Illinois Watch Co
Functions: HH, MM, SS
Battery: N/A
Water resistance: N/A

Vortic is a very interesting company.  There were a couple of other options I could have slotted here in the under 2000 dollar price point, but I wanted people to be aware of this company.  They do something completely unique.  They take pocket watches and turn them into wrist watches.  The Springfield I have in this list is one of the pre-fabricated models they carry, but they have build your own feature, for around they same pricing.  the build yourself one uses Hamilton movements, this one uses a Illinois Watch Co movement, from around the year 1922.  Totally cool.

The Springfield has a 47mm Bronze case that is nickle plated.  The crown is at the 12 o'clock position, just as you would expect from a pocket watch.  The crown is gold.  The dial is also from the Illinois Watch Co.  I am assuming they refurbish/repaint them.  It is white and uses Arabic numerals, in a scrolling font, to mark the hours.  The hands are black, thin, and extremely intricate.  And it uses a small seconds sub dial located at the 6 o'clock position.

The movement is a Illinois Watch Co. hand wound movement.  It has 19 jewels.  The serial number is 4090760.  There was a total production volume of 98,720.

This watch retails on the Vortic website for 1445 dollars.  Well below the 2000 dollar price point.  And quite honestly, they are a company I expect to purchase from, sometime in the future.  Their products are some of the coolest watches around.  I love their ideals, when it comes to repurposing old watches into something usable in modern times.  I love the look of old pocket watches, but I realize, like most who have owned one, they lack the convenience of a wrist watch.  It is the primary reason they went out of favor.  People are all about convenience.  But I strongly suggest you check out their website, because again, it is really the only place you can buy a Vortic watch

Wrap Up

I absolutely loved making this list of the best men's American watches.  And I am completely stoked about writing a part 2 for this series.  I am ashamed of the fact that I have left the American watch companies, almost completely from my lists so far, and plan to really consider these companies in the future as I write more posts for the best men's watches under blog.

Thank you for reading.


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