The Martin Collection

Hartwig Balke, one of the founders of Towson Watch Company

A distinctive blend of military-style tool-watches for pilots, officers, and explorers.
Drawing inspiration from navigational instruments found in the Martin M-130 “Flying Boat” that crossed the Pacific for the first time in 1935. Our founder and master watchmaker, Hartwig Balke, transforms these symbols of American Aviation into professional-grade wristwatches for daily-use and lifetime collecting.
The “plane that shrunk the world” was built in Baltimore, MD., not far away from where the Towson Watchmakers build the commemorative Martin M-130 Chronograph today. (Visit the Glenn L. Martin Aviation Museum and see the Martin M-130 Chronograph on display.)
The Martin Collection collectively features high-contrast palettes and easy-to-read layouts. Powered by Swiss-Made movements that have each been remastered by Hartwig Balke in Towson, Maryland. The utilitarian design language is met with meticulous attention to detail and enhanced with the classical techniques deployed through our unique approach to watchmaking.
The line provides a unique perspective on the prowess of our Chesapeake Region...with each reference model celebrating specific groups of people who have shaped culture and industry in America by fostering local innovation and progress. The precision of each instrument, their purposeful designs, and the meticulous attention to detail deployed through the Martin Collection speaks to the enduring commitment to progress in the Chesapeake Region. 

With its high-contrast palette and legible layout, the Martin M-130 Chronograph offers a classic design that is rooted in the utilitarian language found within American aviation. The watch hands are thoughtfully colored for visual differentiation between the chronograph and time functions, just like the vintage navigational instruments found within the "Flying Boat."
The pilot chronograph category has departed from its roots in vintage aircraft, often featuring monotone palettes and poorly distinguished functions on the wrist. Hartwig Balke, our co-founder and master watchmaker, noticed this disparity and attacked it head on with his Martin M-130. Pulling the navigational instruments straight out of the cockpit of the Martin M-130 and remaking them into professional-grade pilot wristwatches. 
Of course, the "American Pilot" design has extended beyond the category of pilot chronograph watches. The palette and design principles were deemed useful for the remaking of another classic vintage navigational instrument... The GMT "Wrist Compass"

For ages...wrist-compasses were developed for the military, but they didn't tell the time. Hartwig Balke changed this with the, fusing yet another vintage instrument with today's horological culture.
Having followed the Martin M-130, the delivers the same military-style to a GMT wristwatch. The palette based on navigational instruments from the 1930’s was effectively translated to emphasize the capability of this timepiece to serve as a compass.

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