A German Backbone - Achieving the TWC Quality Standard

For twenty years, Towson Watch Company was the only authorized watchmaker to repair and service Ickler-made watches. In many ways, the two firms are one, sharing the same values based in tradition and technique. Ickler is our watch-component maker, we are their watchmaker here in America.

When our workshops were opened in 2000, a specialized relationship with Ickler GmbH was formed. Our guys would do the engineering and design in Towson while the smithing would take place across the pond. The idea was to bring together both forms of expertise to create high-grade collectable watches in America with affordable intrinsic value. Watches built for the feel of luxury with exclusivity and quality beneath the tool-oriented identity.

Handcrafted steel cases made by TWC in collaboration with Ickler GmbH

For a substantial period of his professional life, co-founder Hartwig Balke worked for companies focused on oil-rig blowout prevention and dust filtration systems. In 1989, he moved to the United States to open a subsidiary of a German hoist manufacturer. Establishing the need to be near an active seaport, the move landed him in Baltimore. 

His move to the United States allowed him to delve deeper into his passion for horology. He had an abundance of machines that could be used for watchmaking and manufacturing relationships back home in Germany. After several years of a successful specialized business in the oil industry, the same principle became the basis for the founding of Towson Watch Company. Our longtime partners in Germany have helped us standardize our unique process and pursue a design language that defines the TWC brand.

Prototype of the first diver in the TWC Collections. Yet to be released.

Every part of a Towson-Ickler steel case is developed in Towson and manufactured in Germany. Collaboration and communication occurs at each step. This includes - design, construction, prototyping, parts, production, surface finishing/treatment, laser engraving, assembly, and quality control. Ickler’s experienced craftsmen use the latest high-tech CNC machinery, guaranteeing ultimate precision. When it comes to polishing the surfaces, assembling parts, completing watches, and thorough quality control, the watchmakers in Towson set the highest priority in human touch and intuition. 

Martin M-130 components in watchmaker's tray prior to final assembly in Towson, MD USA.

Due to the global digital society we live in today, it doesn’t matter to us where either of these processes take place. All stages of the craft involve the same minds located in different workshops. The methodologies involved in our approach have been developed together over the past twenty years.  It works similarly to the Swiss industry, where firms come together to help each other offer the best product. It is an exclusive relationship that Towson is incredibly fortunate to have as an American watchmaker. 

Hartwig Balke in the TWC workshop.
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