Reflecting on the Origins of the CHOPTANK with Hartwig Balke and Spencer Shattuck

As we celebrate the release of the newest edition of the CHOPTANK, let’s delve into the model's rich history and the inspirations behind its creation. This rare footage features Towson Watch Company’s Co-Founder, Hartwig Balke, sharing a first-hand account of the first edition’s inception and development.

Hartwig Balke’s Vision

Hartwig Balke drew inspiration from Maryland’s maritime heritage upon moving from Germany. He often sailed in the Choptank River with his co-founder, George Thomas, and became captivated by the uniquely-shaped beacons that guide ships to safe passage through its shallow waters at night. These iconic structures, with their distinct presence and symbolism, sparked Hartwig’s creativity and led to the first sketches of what would become the CHOPTANK Towson Watch.

Spencer Shattuck’s Narrative

In the video above, Spencer Shattuck, the President of Towson Watch Company, offers his interpretation of Hartwig’s story. He elaborates on the CHOPTANK’s significance within the TWC collections, emphasizing its role as a bridge between function-first and fashion-forward design. For Shattuck, the CHOPTANK represents Towson’s dedication to preserving the art of traditional watchmaking while embracing unfamiliar forms and aesthetic interests.

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 who were apprentices under Hartwig Balke over the past four years. The professional-grade requirements, manufacturing process, and design theory of the original CHOPTANK have remained the same in this second edition.

The new look reflects the fresh perspectives of Towson’s new designers and watchmakers. They have deeply studied Hartwig’s unique style of watchmaking and approach to design, applying his principles to their own vision for the model’s evolution.

The CHOPTANK Ref. E250-2 retains the essence of its predecessor while introducing a refreshed aesthetic that captivates today’s watch enthusiasts. This harmony of tradition and innovation exemplifies Towson Watch Company's dedication to the diverse design continuums within the TWC Collections, evolving models that honor their legacy while embracing the future.

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