The 6 Local Watchmakers You, You, You Oughta Know

Retro? Minimal? Racing-inspired? All in here.

September 20, 2017 9:00 am

A beautiful watch is so much more than an instrument.

It’s a work of art. An extension of your personality. Something for your progeny to fight over.

And we’ve got the skinny on six local watchmakers that — ahem — tick all those boxes.

From the vintage racing-inspired to the ultra-minimal to a spot that names its watches for iconic NYC streets, you’ll find something for everyone among the selections.

Launched in 2012 by auto enthusiast Bradley Price, Autodromo makes ever-handsome watches and accessories inspired by the golden age of motoring. The New York-based company launched with the original Monoposto Automatic (literally: “single seat”) in homage to old-school Grand Prix racing, when the only intel a driver had were a few oversized dials and his own knowledge of his car, the track and the elements. And while we can’t yet tell you exactly what we know, we can tell you to expect very big things from Price on the horizon.

What began as an upstart brand focused on quality, clean design and ruggedness at an affordable price has now transformed into a New York staple. Not the easiest feat in an industry where your competition has been around for centuries. But co-founder and designer John Tarantino has managed to create a collection of timepieces that are contemporary yet timeless.

Throne Watches
A couple of fellas tinkering with watches on the kitchen table of a tiny East Village apartment had an excellent idea: make killer watch bands and pair ‘em with vintage watches. Et voila, Throne Watches was born. Now they also create timepieces of their own that incorporate influences from northeast punk and hip-hop. The watches are high design but utilitarian, and all come emblazoned with lucky number 13.

Carpenter Watches
Founder and designer Neil Carpenter was just six when he discovered his family’s collection of antique pocket watches. The rest was history. As his career in industrial design developed, he returned to his roots to launch Brooklyn’s Carpenter Watches. The design is influenced by vintage WW1 watches, with handsome and hearty leather straps to match. Each piece is limited-edition, and they tend to sell out lightning fast.

Leonard & Church
Should you be in need of a premium-made timepiece that’ll fetch eyes without breaking the bank, L&C  is your huckleberry. Based on that blessed direct-to-consumer model, the founders are able to offer quality craftsmanship at very democratic prices while working with some of the world’s top manufacturers. And — fun stuff — they name their tickers after New York streets, like the Varick, Bleecker and Sullivan.

Brooklyn Watches
The grizzled veterans of the NYC watch game among this bunch, Brooklyn Watches was founded by a group of borough-based timepiece enthusiasts with the “discriminating man in mind.” Appropriately located in the historic Brookly Army Terminal, their collection is vast, and their designs genuine.

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