Monday, May 23, 2016

The Best Men's American Watches for Under...Part 2

Part 1 of the best men's American watches for under was a smashing success.  I want to say thank you to all who came and read the post before I start with part 2.

So, Thank you very much!

American watchmaking was extremely popular in the late 1800's and early 1900's.  But the Swiss quickly adopted a lot of the American manufacturing techniques, and before long, were producing watches as good as American made watches.  And, on top of that, in the 1960's Japan created the first quartz movement, and all but kill what little remained of the American watchmaking industry.  After that, one by one, the American watchmakers either closed their doors, or were purchased by foreign investors, and moved over seas, or simply swallowed for the technology the company had.

It has not been until recently, I would say, something like the last 20 years, that we have seen a resurgence of American watchmakers.  And, although there are not a lot of companies yet, they are strong companies with great products and unique ideas as to what watches should be today.

In part one, I covered Smith and Bradley, Shinola, Vortic, and Weiss watches.  All great companies in my mind.  And all with a slightly different approach to watchmaking.  And today, for part 2, I will try to give you 4 new American watchmakers that I would suggest you all take a look at, if you are in the market for a high end watch, but would prefer to find something American made.

The Best Men's American Watches for Under...Part 2

The best men's American watch for under 5000 dollars

Phantom Chronograph Night Stalker
Model: KD1605041
Case: 41mm, Stainless steel
Band: Canvas
Movement: ETA automatic 7750
Functions: HH, MM, SS, Date, Day, Chronograph
Battery; N/A
Water resistance: 300M/990ft

Michael Kobold started making watches in his apartment in Pittsburgh in 1998, basically as a class project.  It is amazing what drive and love for what you do can accomplish.  Kobold is now on the wrists of NASA, and Seals, and CIA.  And even Jack Bauer from Fox's 24.  They are know for their durability, and near indestructible construction, and this little project has become a company, and one that is striving to be even more in the future.

The Phantom Chronograph Night Stalker is all of that, durable, beautiful, precision and utilitarian, all in one.  It it a lot of what I would hope to find from a company like this one.  Quality timepiece that is much more than just flash.

The Night Stalker has a 41mm stainless steel case, with a crown guard built in.  Its crown is located at the 3 o'clock position, and the auxiliary, chronograph buttons are located at the 2 & 4 o'clock positions.  The uni-directional bezel is stainless steel as well and marked in a 5 minute interval countdown.  And the dial is protected by a sapphire lens.  The dial face itself is black, with indexes marking the hours, and coated with a luminous material that has a blue glow to it.  The Day/Date window is located at the 3 o'clock position, and there are 3 sub dials, for the chronograph functions.  The hands of the watch are black and tipped in white and the luminous material.  The band of the watch is durable canvas, and has a buckle style clasp.

The movement is a Valjoux automatic movement, #7750.  It has been in production for over 40 years now, and is also know as the Tag Heuer Calibre 16.  It is a chronograph movement with day & date.  It has 25 jewels and runs at 28,800 bph, and has a 42 hour power reserve.  It is used is so many higher end watches, I cannot even begin to label them all.  It is a highly popular chronograph movement.  Because it is a really reliable and versatile movement.

The Phantom Chronograph Night Stalker can be had through the Kobold website for 4,150 dollars, and to me, may be one of the best buys of this list.  You will get one of the most versatile and durable watches around for that price, and it is great looking on top of all that.  I would highly recommend you take a look at what Kobold has to offer if you are in the market for a military style watch.

The best men's American watch for under 10,000 dollars

Tread 2 Murder
Model: Tread2Murder
Case: 44mm x 42mm, Stainless steel
Movement: Electro/Mechanical
Functions: HH, MM, SS, Chronograph
Water resistance: 100M/330ft

I have not had Devon watches on the best men's watches under blog, before this.  Mostly, because they are so different than normal watch companies, I believe them to be a bit of a niche market.  But they fit the best men's American list quite well.  And at just a pinch under 10,000 dollars, I like the tread 2 in this price point.

Devon Watches are belt watches.  Meaning, instead of hands spinning around a dial, numbers are printed on a belt, and the belt spins around, showing the time.  All I can say about Devon watches, is, check them out.  You more than likely have never seen a watch like this before.  They combine electronic and mechanical parts to produce something completely unique and amazingly artistic.

The Tread 2 is a nice place to start with Devon Works.  I believe it is one of the less expensive models they offer, and it still gives you a true Devon experience.  The case of the watch measures about 44mm x 42mm, and is made of stainless steel that had been toned to black.  There is a crown located on the left hand side of the watch (about 2 o'clock position) that is also black.  The vertical band gives you your minutes and the horizontal band give you your hours.  There is also a way to show seconds and use the watch as a chronograph through the unique crown.  The band of the watch is rubber, and it has a buckle style clasp.

The watch sells for a a hair under 10,000 dollars, and might be one of the most unique watches available for under 10,000 dollars.  It will definitely get looks and plenty of questions.

The best men's American watch for under 20,000 dollars

Pennsylvania Series
Model: PS-801-EE
Case: 43.3mm, Stainless steel
Band: Leather
Movement: RGM mechanical, 801
Functions: HH, MM, SS
Battery: N/A
Water resistance: 50M/165ft

RGM has made the lists here before.  Actually, a Pennsylvania series watch made part 2 of the best men's mechanical hand wound watches for under list.  It was a little more high end than this one, sporting gold instead of stainless steel, but the same basic bones are present in both renditions of the watch.  I really love the look of the RGM watches, I had hoped to find a place for the Vintage series of watches, and will probably do a special piece on RGM just so I can cover it.  It's one of my favorite looking watches out there.

The Pennsylvania series we will be talking about today has a 43.3mm stainless steel case.  The stainless steel crown is located at the 3 o'clock position.  It has a smooth bezel, and sapphire lenses on both the front and back of the watch.  The face of the watch has a white outer ring, and is skeleton in the middle of the watch.  The hours are marked by Roman numerals, in black, and there is a small seconds dial at the 6 o'clock position.  The hands are blued steel with a keystone shape along the length of the hands, and the watch comes with a leather band, with a buckle style clasp.

The movement for the Pennsylvania series of watches is the RGM mechanical 801.  It has 19 jewels and runs at 18,000 bph.  It is similar to a previous American movement.  The old Keystone Watch Company's "Edward Howard" Line of watches.

The watch starts, price wise at 11,900 dollars and goes up from there.  It is a beautiful watch, and one I would highly recommend, if you are in the market for a watch at this price.  It has a very classic, and elegant look to it.  Much like most of the RGM line of watches.

The best men's American watch for under 25,000 dollars

Keaton Myrick
Movement: Keaton Myrick calibre 29.30
Water resistance:

Seriously, I can give you no definitive specs on his watches.  Each watch is made to order, more or less, and you actually have to get in on a waiting list to have one made.  The price generally starts around 21,000 dollars.  But you are getting basically a one of a kind watch.  I say more or less and basically, mostly because his watches do have a general look.  At the time of this post, I believe his case is a 42mm stainless steel case, but that might not be the case by the time you have a watch made.  I cannot be sure.

Keaton Myrick started his watch career with another American watch company MKII, he then he graduated from Litilz Technicum school, and went to work for Rolex for a time before coming back to the states to start his own business.  His watches are beautiful, hand made, and about as nice as they come.  

All I can say for sure is the Keaton Myrick movement is a hand wound, hand made movement, running at 18,000 bph, you can customize it to some extent, you would have to contact him to see your options.  

I apologize for the lack of information about the watch itself, but it is the nature of this beast.

Wrap Up

These watches are, for the most part, unique from many of the watches I have had on the best men's watches under blog.  We are talking custom watches, and belt driven watches and, well, you get the point.  These are some of the coolest watches I have ever talked about on this blog.  And they are all American made watches.  That really says something about what is happening in the American watchmaking industry.  I see a bright future, not only for these watchmakers, but all the American watchmakers.  They are doing it right.  They are saying, maybe we can't compete with Asian pricing, but we don't have to.

Thank you for reading the best men's watches under blog.


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