Collector's Handbook: Second Edition Choptank

The Choptank is a popular Towson Watch that promises to attract both long-time enthusiasts and newcomers drawn by the fusion of classical forms and brand identity in independent watchmaking.

The CHOPTANK reflects the maritime heritage of the Chesapeake region, with its tonneau shape inspired by the iconic lighthouse beacons guiding ships in the Choptank River. Co-Founder Hartwig Balke envisioned this Towson Watch to merge traditional forms of classical watchmaking with aesthetic distinction. He aimed to translate the elegance of a typical rectangular watch into a bolder, more functional instrument comparable to the professional-grade timepieces he was renowned for making. The CHOPTANK would be visible from afar and carry significant utility, akin to the lighthouses that inspired its design.
The CHOPTANK is deliberately designed to showcase its owners' discerning taste and Towson Watch Company’s capabilities as a brand and manufacturer. It is a grand-complication instrument with calendar and chronograph functions cleanly and symmetrically presented on its dial. The timepiece embodies a classical approach to fine watchmaking based on precision engineering, hand craftsmanship, and meticulous attention to detail. From the tonneau-shaped case to the full-calendar chronograph movement, each component is artfully blended into a mechanical masterpiece that meets the highest standards in horology. 
This second edition highlights the TWC shield logo in a fourth galvanic blue sub-dial, emphasizing the history of master watchmakers at Towson Watch Company and the proud identity of the brand. Order exclusively on this website with your choice of leather strap and a lifetime warranty for service and repair.


The CHOPTANK is distinguished by its tonneau-shaped case, forged from pure stainless steel blocks by premier casemakers in Pforzheim, Germany. The high-polished bezel elegantly frames the multi-functional dial and contrasts with the satin-finished midsection, creating a striking visual balance. The mirror-finished chronograph pushers enhance its formal wrist presence, while scratch-resistant surfaces protect vulnerable areas.
A day-correcting pusher and quickset crown simplify the operation of the 7751 full-calendar chronograph movement. Designed for comfort, the lugs wrap around the wrist and aesthetically project the timepiece forward. The bezel, sealed with a domed sapphire crystal, is removable for lifetime re-polishing and servicing by Towson Watchmakers in-house.
Despite its formal attributes, smooth curves, and sharp lines, the CHOPTANK is built for daily wear and is water-resistant to 50 meters. The screw-down exhibition case-back reveals the hand-decorated movement and includes engraved customer information, such as the model reference number E250-2, region of manufacture USA, 5ATM depth rating, and brand name. The second edition retains the original specifications: 40x44mm diameter, 13.5mm height, 20mm lug width, and 52mm lug-to-lug distance.


The second edition of the Choptank reintroduces the vintage observatory dial concept in a contemporary light, emphasizing brand identity in classical watch design. This theme pays homage to a pivotal moment in independent watchmaking history when the craftsman’s mark became essential for recognition, certification, and credibility. The bold presentation of the TWC Shield Logo in its own sub-dial celebrates the appreciation collectors have for distinctive brand identity in fine watch design today.
This second edition features a fourth sub-dial at 3:00, prominently displaying Towson Watch Company’s shield logo. Although this sub-dial serves no mechanical function, the logo shares the same white coating as the hands of the full-calendar chronograph complication set. This design integrates the TWC Shield as a functional part of the instrument itself, enhancing symmetry and making it easier to identify the manufacturer while also aesthetically distinguishing it.
The enlarged TWC Shield on the new Choptank infuses the brand’s most original design—its logo—into the timepiece’s classical aesthetic. By introducing the concept of the observatory dial to trends and design preferences in the watch market today, the Choptank evolves and individualizes classical watchmaking.
Each sub-dial of the Choptank is engine-turned and galvanic blue, surrounded by platinum rings that provide structure to the complex array of functions. These hints of precious metal complement the diamond-shaped hour markers applied to the dial, also crafted from platinum. Consistent with the design, the hands are platinum and spade-shaped like the original Choptank, ensuring clear readability while enhancing the dial and case's artful craftsmanship.


The Choptank is powered by the Swiss-Made Valjoux 7751 caliber, featuring 25 jewels and a 48-hour power reserve. This automatic mechanism, regulated to chronometer-grade accuracy of +/- 5 seconds per day, is meticulously decorated in-house by Towson Watchmakers. The movement boasts blued-steel screws, perlage on the base-plate, platinum plating, 18k gold engraving, and Geneva stripes, all visible through the exhibition case-back. The skeletonized rotor enhances this view. A unique day-correcting function is operated from the left side of the case, inserted by TWC Co-Founder and Master Watchmaker Hartwig Balke. This movement remains consistent with the first edition, except for the skeletonized rotor and minor decorative enhancements. Towson Watch Company is among the few brands employing watchmakers still capable of building and servicing the 7751 caliber.


Customers have four leather strap options for their CHOPTANK Ref. E250-2: Grey-Gloss Genuine Alligator, Smooth Brown, Black Nappa Leather with Blue Stitching, and Green Latuga. Each strap is equipped with a stainless steel single-fold deployment clasp engraved with Towson Watch Company. The Grey-Gloss Genuine Alligator strap is particularly recommended, as it was specifically manufactured to complement this watch.

The Evolution to Ref. E250-2

The latest edition of the CHOPTANK, Ref. E250-2, was developed by Shattuck and Towson’s team of young watchmakers, apprentices of Hartwig Balke over the past four years. The professional-grade requirements, manufacturing process, and design theory of the original CHOPTANK remain consistent in this second edition.
The new design reflects fresh perspectives from Towson’s new designers and watchmakers, deeply rooted in Hartwig’s unique style and principles of watchmaking. The CHOPTANK Ref. E250-2 retains its predecessor's essence while introducing a refreshed aesthetic that captivates today’s watch enthusiasts. This harmony of tradition and innovation exemplifies Towson Watch Company's dedication to evolving models that honor their legacy while embracing the future.
These aesthetic modifications merge practicality with visual elegance. The legibility of the full-calendar complication set is improved, and the clean design emphasizes the handmade qualities inherent to the timepiece.

Brand Identity

Towson Watch Company’s logo, a shielded crest with the initials of the brand and its founders intertwined, visually narrates the brand’s story. George Thomas, one of the founders, famously stated that he "builds mysteries into his timepieces"—intricacies that are universally appealing yet only truly decipherable to the discerning eye of a connoisseur. This stronger brand identity on the dial deepens the intrigue of the “mysteries” built into the rest of the timepiece.

The Choptank's Design and Appeal

The complexities of Towson's shielded crest may only be fully understood by enthusiasts and collectors of the brand, yet its boldness and elegance invite all onlookers to delve deeper. In this second edition of the Choptank, the brand’s logo takes center stage—a testament to the importance of visibility and identity. The larger logo enhances the visibility of the watch’s handmade qualities and premium finishing, showcasing the craftsmanship inherent to both the watch and the brand.
The new Choptank, with its blend of historical homage and modern design aesthetics, is a versatile Towson Watch that promises to attract both long-time enthusiasts and newcomers drawn by the fusion of art and fashion in watchmaking.

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