An interview with our president, Spencer Shattuck. He talks about his unique relationship with TWC's original founders and how he plans on growing the legacy of their life's work.
My name is Spencer Shattuck. I am 23 years old from Baltimore, MD. I have been a watch collector and enthusiast since an early age, and in the Spring of 2021, was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to continue the great legacy of TWC. I have been the sole owner and President since then.
1. How did you first get into making watches?
Well, my role at TWC doesn’t involve much watchmaking, except for removing straps and casebacks on occasion. As much as I appreciate and love the craft, I have too much respect for it to involve myself in our watchmaking process. I leave it to our master watchmakers, Hartwig Balke and George Thomas, and their apprentices who have trained under them for years. To design a TWC timepiece and then actually build one, an immense amount of training and expertise is required. I am here to generate more awareness and appreciation for what these artisans have dedicated their life’s work to.
Despite my minimal role in the watchmaking itself, I do have a storied history with it. Back when I was just 12 years old, I was fascinated with horology. I was actually able to spend a week with Hartwig and George at the TWC workshop learning about their approach and process to write a project about watchmaking for school. Into my highschool years, I drifted away from watchmaking itself, and became very passionate about the overall industry. It’s been over ten years since my week with the TWC founders, and now I can proudly call myself the president of this amazing company that was responsible for my initial introduction to watchmaking.
2. Do you have a “normal job“ or is this your full-time passion?
A few months prior to my graduation at Johns Hopkins University during the Spring of 2021, I purchased TWC from Under Armour’s founder, Kevin Plank. Ever since that moment, I’ve committed myself to this company 100%. It is what I do every day and night. I’ve always been an entrepreneurial person with dreams of growing a brand. I’ve been lucky enough to find myself in position to do just that at such a young age. A dream come true that I plan on taking full advantage of.
3. What do you like best about owning your own micro brand?
For years, I wanted to start my own watch company. I wanted to design my own watches, grow a brand and produce pieces unlike anything else. When the opportunity to acquire TWC came to me, it only took me a few days to realize that I didn’t need to start my own microbrand. Right in front of me, wasn’t just an established company that makes incredible timepieces, but quite literally, the original American microbrand. TWC vests a history of 25 years, boasting remarkable innovations and designs that are treasured by niche horological collectors. What I enjoy most about owning THIS microbrand, is the fact that much of this history has yet to be discovered by the masses. It is a hidden gem that is only bound to present itself in a dramatic way. The foundation has been solidified for decades. Now it’s just time for me to illuminate the collecting value and quality of TWC timepieces to the world.
4. Which of your watches and/or straps is your favorite? Are you also a watch enthusiast of other brands?
My favorite watch in the TWC collections is always changing. It’s amazing how the custom variants we provide for each model, including the various straps and hands, change the overall appeal of the watch. I can wear a Mission Chronograph every day of the week with a different strap and it will never look the same. Nonetheless, currently my favorite watch of ours is the Choptank. When wearing it, it truly does feel like an instrument of horological art. A pendant on the wrist. Every aspect of it is perfectly designed, and the unique elements between the case and dial romantically flow with one another.
5. What advice would you offer someone that was interested in creating their own brand of watches?
Every watch brand must legitimize itself through its innovation and ability to be different. For TWC, we carry this natural “difference” through our long history, founders, and just the simple fact that there aren’t many luxury watchmakers in the USA. However, we also separate ourselves by not being afraid to make what we want to make. Many brands are fearful of breaking the status-quo, designing or even marketing what could be considered unordinary. This halts innovation. A brand must be true to itself, while taking constructive criticism, advice and trends into consideration.
6. What do you think really sets your watches apart from others?
When handling a TWC timepiece, you feel the handmade quality of it. One can almost sense traces of its construction, knowing that this was specifically made for one individual. The hours of work that went into its making can actually be felt in a tangible manner. A TWC timepiece offers the best of the best in watchmaking at an accessible price point. Our founders always said, “TWC is an affordable Patek.” This is because as far as our cases, hands and dials go, they are quite literally produced in collaboration with the same family-owned Swiss workshops that these premier Swiss companies use. And then for our movements, we reveal the additional work we put into their decoration with an exhibitionist caseback for almost every model. We don’t cut any corners, and you understand that when handling a TWC timepiece.