An American Watch, from Switzerland

Posted on 12 May 2014 by Matt Himmelstein

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I really don’t like it when I make my mind up about something, only to slowly have to evolve my opinion based on addition information.  I do it, but only begrudgingly.  Such is the case with the latest watch project to come up on Kickstarter, the 1776 from Washington Mount Vernon.  I was set to be really blase about the project, only to come around and like it.

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I will start with my current opinion, that it is actually a nicely valued simple dress watch.  The watch is being constructed in Switzerland using an ETA 2892 and is available for $575 on either a leather strap or polished stainless bracelet.  The creator wants to eventually bring manufacturing home to the US, and he did not want more text on the face, so there is no “Swiss” designation on the watch, but it should qualify as Swiss made.  The movement itself is thin, so that allows the overall watch to come it at a svelte 7.5mm, which should pair nicely with the 39mm case diameter.  So for under $600, you get a thin Swiss made automatic with an ETA movement, sapphire crystals front and back, and some nice engraving on the rotor, including a serial number.

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The styling itself is fairly basic, with five color choices for the face, white, black, red, blue, and green, an angled polished bezel, a mix of raised arrowhead and bar indices, a date window, and tapered pencil shaped hands, all on your choice of a black or brown leather strap or a stainless bracelet.  But this is a dress watch, and an understated one, so the simple design works.  I think this would really make a good watch for someone entering a corporate environment, where a suit and tie are required and the beat up G-Shock or oversized Nixon is not going to mark you as a serious employee.

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So now that I have hopefully enticed you to check out the project, you can skip my rant for the creator of the project… or read on.  Peter, and I feel I know you because you spend the first 1/2 of your project talking about yourself, lay off the life story and cut to the watch.  You have a nice project.  It is not groundbreaking, but it is worthy of consideration.  But I don’t care that you are a recent MBA graduate or worked for JP Morgan.  If anything, these facts make me not want to like the project.  Your watch is not an “An Instant American Classic,” and it is not going to rival ‘Rolex, Omega, and Breitling.”  You spend more time talking about the box and the certificate that come with the watch than the watch itself.  And lastly, do not tell me that you are an American Company and rail against companies from outside the US, only to sell me a watch made outside the US.  washingtonmountvernon

Watch Overview

  • Brand & Model: Washington Mount Vernon 1776
  • Price: $575
  • Who we think it might be for: An entry level banker.  Maybe someone working at JP Morgan.
  • Would I buy or recommend it just on the photos?:  Yes.
  • If I could make one design suggestion, it would be:  Offer a brushed stainless option.
  • What spoke to me the most about this watch:  The Swiss pedigree and the thin case a this price.


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  • Neal Goodacre

    Very nice watch for the price. I agree there is too much personal info involved here. That’s a bit annoying. He needs to stick with promoting the product and the fact that this is an American company. Would be nice to see more watches manufactured in the US but it will be a long time before anyone can rival the Swiss giants.

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