Custom Towson Watches

Bespoke masterpieces produced by our co-founders and master watchmakers, Hartwig Balke and George Thomas. Some built from scratch, and others built off of prior designs. Explore here.

One of Towson Watch Company’s most notorious horological projects was the restoration and recreation of the world's oldest mechanical watch - Philip Melanchthon's table clock. This project prompted a deep dive into the timepieces of the 16th century. Particularly, the spherical shape and ornate decorations of bisam-äpfel, originally used to contain musk and worn as pendants, caught our attention. These early pomander watches, later known as the 'Nuremberg Eggs,' were reproduced into Towson Watches by our founders. Drawing inspiration from the timeless elegance and innovation of the 16th century, these commemorative timepieces embody the rich heritage of horology while embracing modern craftsmanship.

The silver spherical watch, boasting a substantial diameter of 75mm, houses a remarkable split-second chronograph with minute repetition. Crafted from sterling silver, the case mirrors the intricate pierced and engraved design reminiscent of the Melanchthon watch meticulously restored by TWC. The miniature 18k gold watch we crafted housed a movement smaller than a cent coin, a rare find that had been in our possession for quite some time. It was a rim wind mechanism with an 11mm diameter and remarkably, required only minor repairs, despite dating back to 1865. Inspired by Melanchthon's historic timepiece, we opted to utilize this antique restored movement to create a smaller version of the spherical watch, but crafted in 18ct gold. The case was intricately pierced and engraved akin to its larger silver counterpart, showcased the artistry and attention to detail synonymous with Towson Watch Company.

Towson Watch Company, renowned for its expertise in mechanical watchmaking and restoration, collaborates with brands outside the horological industry to create bespoke timepieces. Co-founders Hartwig Balke and George Thomas, esteemed master watchmakers, leveraged their restoration prowess to launch their own line of timepieces in 1998, alongside restoration museum and auction projects.

In 2010, Towson embarked on a collaboration with Jaguar U.S.A., leveraging the popularity of its Mission Collection to craft specialty items imbued with patriotic significance, complementing the brand's automotive offerings. Car customers and Jaguar owners were given the opportunity to purchase these custom Towson Watches with their vehicles. The dial takes the classic design of the STS-99 Chronograph and is embellished with sterling silver and black roman numerals. The rotor on the 7750 and 7751 movements is skeletonized with a gold-plated Jaguar logo by Jochen Benzinger. A standard chronograph with date model and full-calendar edition was produced.

A commissioned timepiece for awarded members of the Music Teachers National Association. Handcrafted from scratch by George Thomas and Jochen Benzinger, featuring a 34mm 18k white gold case. The frosted sterling silver dial was made by Jochen Benzinger with his vintage rose engine. Towson Watch Company’s initials are stamped in cursive to complement the tiomepiece’s classic appeal. Adorning the dial is a rose-gold badge symbolizing the passion for music and teaching, reflecting the dedication and excellence of MTNA members.

Gerhard Mercator (1512-1594), Flemish cartographer, mathematician, and geographer, revolutionized mapmaking with his Mercator projection in 1569. This cylindrical map projection enabled accurate representation of rhumb lines, essential for nautical navigation. Mercator's work greatly influenced cartography and navigation, solidifying his legacy as a pioneering figure in geography.

With our legendary master watchmaker being sailing enthusiasts themselves, often performing astronavigation in the open seas, they were inspired by Mercator’s work. In celebration of their new Skipjack GMT watch designed for world travelers, they built this inaugural timepiece to demonstrate the conceptual inspiration for the line. The watch shared the same stainless steel case as the first series of Skipjack GMT, encapsulating a German silver coin with Mercator engraved on it.

The HALF-SKELLY in our TWC x Benzinger Collection is an artisanal masterpiece. It is elevated to new heights with this 18kt rose gold case, encapsulating the hand-guilloche skeletonized dial with TWC calligraphy woven into the working movement. Like the standard edition, the gold case has a retractable bezel, and thus, several styles are offered.

The REVERSE edition of the HALF-SKELLY timepiece by Towson Watch Company showcases a unique design feature, with the skeletonized movement by Jochen Benzinger displayed on the front of the watch. Through the sapphire crystal exhibition display on the back, the familiar HALF-SKELLY dial with time functions is visible. The screwed-down case-back bears the brand and customer information typically engraved on the back of the watch.

This special edition emphasizes the essence of a Towson Watch as a handmade, personalized item crafted exclusively for its owner. With the dial hidden on the back, only the owner can appreciate its functions and timekeeping, making it a truly exclusive and intimate accessory.

The POTOMAC reimagines the classic American pocket watch for the modern era. With its nostalgic design, reminiscent of simpler times, the timepiece boasts a bold and legible aesthetic. This custom edition is encased in 18k rose gold, seamlessly translating the practicality of its heritage into an elegant dress piece, while simultaneously honoring the essence of being an American watch brand in the contemporary landscape.

The "Impressionist" edition of the Potomac diverges from traditional American pocket watch design, embracing the evolution of watchmaking aesthetics. Reflecting the shift in design principles over time, this edition introduces abstract elements and vibrant colors, symbolizing the changing landscape where aesthetic considerations often rival functional aspects in luxury watch design.

The Chronograph Edition, the latest addition to the Towson Classic line, merges Jochen Benzinger's timeless silver guilloche style with a host of new complications housed within the Mission’s 7750 caliber. Prior to the launch of our official Towson Classic Chronograph, this inaugural edition with a hand-engraved black dial exemplified the versatility of Benzinger's renowned aesthetic and marked an exciting evolution of the line.

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