As of late, we have taken to putting a set of questions to the brands we have been working with. While it was originally intended to sort of help flesh out the background information for our review, they have been turning into a great resource, that helps us – and now you – get some insight into the people behind the watches we are reviewing. With that, let’s kick off our inaugaral edition of our new series, Interviews with a Watch Maker. Today, we’re talking with Cal Giordano of Timemachinist Watches.
WristWatchReview (WWR): What is your history with wristwatches?
Cal Giordano: My family’s history with watches starts in Waterbury, Connecticut with my Grandfather and Uncle working for Timex. Since I always thought of them both as the ultimate craftsman, I assumed that watchmaking must be the ultimate craft. I still do. My introduction to horology also included growing up in a home with over 100 running clocks, and buying a Timex LCD Marathon with my first paycheck from my first job.
WWR: That’s great that there is a family history with watches. For you, though, we have to ask – why is now the right time to become a watchmaker?
Cal Giordano: Now, or anytime, is the right time to become a watchmaker. Watchmaking is an art and you cannot stop an artist no matter what time it is.
WWR: Before you became a watchmaker, what was your intended career path in life? How did you come to watch making?
Cal Giordano: I have had a long career in the commercial marine industry. I am also a product designer in the motorcycle industry, and I am a practicing artist with a BA from the University of Alaska. I came to watch making by combining several careers worth of professional experience with a product I am passionate about personally.
WWR: Why this watch? (editor’s note: The Timemachinist Naval Destroyer)
Cal Giordano: I made the Timemachinist Unlimited series for myself. I already owned some of the toughest watches in the world and I wanted more. My only concern when designing it was to think about what I wanted. Since Timemachinist is fully funded I am not influenced or constrained by anyone or anything. The Unlimited series is ninth generation Timemachinist, and took six years to develop.
WWR: What’s been the biggest manufacturing or engineering challenge you have faced so far?
Cal Giordano: Price – manufacturing in the USA is really expensive – but it is important to me, as a patriot, that Timemachinist is American-made.
WWR: Where do you think the industry is moving?
Cal Giordano: It would seem the watch industry is moving to Asia. There is no denying Asian advancements in wrist watch technology and contributions to the art of horology.
WWR: Where do you fit within that future?
Cal Giordano: Timemachinist will continue to house modern Asian movements inside an indestructible American chassis. Timemachinist watches will embrace all technology the future has to offer.
WWR: How do online communities play a part in that?
Cal Giordano: Online watch communities play the part of bringing enthusiasts together from all over the world. This gives people the opportunity to share information and form their own opinions. Watches like the Timemachinist Unlimited series are very specialized and benefit from dedicated forums and the potential customers that read them.
WWR: What are you doing to develop a strong community feedback loop? How does that community feedback change the watch business?
Cal Giordano: Timemachinist Watches has a Facebook page and a dedicated website. I like posting prototypes on Facebook for feedback.
WWR: How do you define your ideal consumer? Who is it, in your mind, that wears your brand’s watch?
Cal Giordano: The ideal Timemachinist customer is someone who has thought about it, looked at other watches, and decided that the Timemachinist watch would best suit their tastes and lifestyle. In my mind, the person that wears a Timemachinist is someone that understands engineering, appreciates design, and insists upon performance.
WWR: What is it that defines your watch? What characteristics are identifiably “Timemachinist”?
Cal Giordano: The crownless design. With the power provided by batteries and accuracy controlled by quartz, a traditional crown for time setting is not required. By eliminating the crown on the Destroyer/Unlimited models, a major weak point, and somewhat decorative component, was eliminated from the outside of the case. We have to remember that not long ago people would have thought it crazy to take the crank starter off a car or not to have to hand crank a telephone.
WWR: Along that same line of questioning: what are your guiding principles when making design choices?
Cal Giordano: My guiding principles of watch design are:
- Nothing fake
- Form follows function
- Performance over pedigree
- Make no compromises
- Spare no expense.
WWR: How do you think about design and its role in your life?
Cal Giordano: For me, design has been a big part of my life’s work. I have created everything from art to arms, from watches to weapons. You are what you do and I design things. For me, combining design experience from several disciplines has helped me professionally as a business person and personally as an artist.
WWR: What would the crowning lifetime achievement be for you and your brand as a company?
Cal Giordano: The crowning lifetime achievement for me and my brand as a company would be for someone to accomplish a monumental achievement for mankind while wearing a watch I created.