Our response to a commonly misunderstood critique.
From our German master watchmakers to our customers worldwide, the TWC community proudly embraces the brand’s American heritage. Then again, there isn’t another American-owned company making mechanical watches that can claim a two-decade-long history or say they have built watches for NASA astronauts. Sure, there was Bulova who made timepieces for astronauts back in 1969, but they haven’t been American-owned since 2008. To say the TWC brand is distinguished in this sense is an understatement. It’s truly one of America’s only independent watchmakers that still exists today.
Our approach to the craft hasn’t changed since the brand’s founding, and just the fact that TWC has its own growing team of in-house watchmakers is something that the Chesapeake region and the American watchmaking industry as a whole can be very proud of. It’s an accomplishment that has not only persisted for decades, but a thriving operation that continues to foster further in-house innovation and production here at TWC and fellow local firms in the space.
To celebrate this American heritage, we do our best to perform as many parts of the watchmaking process in-house as possible, but we do believe in seeking expertise from elsewhere in order to achieve our premium standard for quality, accuracy and craftsmanship. Unfortunately, independent brands here in the United States and elsewhere often receive an impactful but misunderstood critique in this regard. It can basically be summed up into the following judgment…
“so you don’t make your own movements”
Watchmakers commonly respond to this critique with, “they are modified and decorated in-house” or “we are just using a base-caliber.” These responses tend to be overlooked and draw even more criticism because they are used so often - sometimes as a genuine statement with backed reasoning but unfortunately other times as an excuse for cutting corners. Brands will even go to the extent of “making their own movement” by reproducing an existing design in a different location or factory. This “branding scheme” of course leads to less regulated and specialized production, thus jeopardizing overall quality, accuracy and reliability. The fact of the matter is, there can be a very good rationale and justification for why a watchmaker isn’t using their own movement. Here at TWC, we like to approach this critique with the following response:
“Yes, we use Swiss ETA base-calibers... but is ETA doing this for us?”
With the Half-Skelly, we have taken the Potomac’s Unitas 6498 movement and converted it into a piece of horological art that will blow away any enthusiast, collector, or horologist. Every single component within the base-caliber has been taken apart, skeletonized, engraved, plated, and re-structured to accommodate the unique transparent dial design. The final product is something that shares just about zero aesthetic resemblance to its original base-caliber but retains the same accuracy-grade and reliability.
Using the Unitas 6498 for the Half-Skelly allowed us to make the best possible watch our creative team prototyped. Ultimately, the Swiss are still the best movement makers in the world, so incorporating a proven Swiss movement into our timepiece allows us to reach a standard of detail, quality, reliability, accuracy and distinctiveness that is exclusively characteristic of TWC. No corner is cut. Each element has been made using the best of the best.