10 of the best American watch brands from least to most expensive

10 of the best American watch brands from least to most expensive

Zach Blass

When you think of watchmaking, Switzerland is naturally the first place that comes to mind. While the Swiss certainly are a dominant force in watchmaking, German, Japanese, and other locales are getting the due they deserve with a more educated marketplace. Historically speaking, the United States was once a titan in the watchmaking industry, and later practically vanished when the quartz crisis hit. In recent years, however, we have seen a resurgence of American watchmaking – whether strictly founded in or even manufactured entirely in the USA. Here are ten of the best American watch brands that deliver watches at varying price points.



best american watch brands

Waldan is an American watch brand with an incredible backstory, founded in 1979 in New York City by Oscar Waldan, a holocaust survivor who learned the art of watchmaking while imprisoned in the Buchenwald Concentration Camp during WWII. His creations were sold through esteemed retailers such as Tiffany & Co., Tourneau, and Wempe,  and Waldan is notably said to be part of the reason why Rolex adopted the Zenith El Primero movement in its Daytona, the El Primero being a favoured base calibre for Oscar’s own watches. Today the brand is run by his son Andrew, and Waldan Watches continues to sell higher-end watches along with curated vintage pieces they restore. It also offers an intriguing entry-level product that utilises an American-made Ameriquartz movement in a handsome and well-finished, vintage-inspired case of the Waldan Heritage.

Zach’s pick – Waldan Heritage “Professional” ref. 0196D Racing Green. Price: US$299


featured image Brew Metric Retro Dial

Founded by Jonathan Ferrer, a notable member of the watch community and just an all-round nice guy, Brew has become such a fan-favourite brand that it has even got on the radar and wrists of people like Kevin O’Leary and Idris Elba. Ferrer’s keen eye for design and inspiration from industrial espresso machines have yielded retro aesthetics that are packaged in a budget-friendly manner that suits all wrists. Take the Brew Metric Retro Dial, a mechaquartz-driven stainless steel watch that, with its dial aesthetic, colour accents, and case and bracelet shape, creates the perfect amount of nostalgia. The Metric is also notably 36mm in diameter, 10.75mm thick, and 41.5mm lug-to-lug across the wrist – very, very wrist-friendly.

Zach’s pick – Brew Metric Retro Dial. Price: US$450


best american watch brands

Another integrated-bracelet watch below US$1,000, the Group B Series 2 Automatic Safari is the currently available offering that catches my eye the most from Autodromo. The brand is known for its love and passion for motor racing, garnering a cult-following for quality racing-inspired watches and accessories. With watches and cars going hand-in-hand like peanut butter and jelly, it comes as no surprise that Autodromo has been welcomed by both the most niche watch geeks and the broader watch-buying marketplace.

Zach’s pick – Autodromo Group B Series 2 Automatic ‘Safari’. Price: US$975


Monta noble blue

For those looking for more price-approachable alternatives to popular watches like the Rolex Datejust or Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra, American brand Monta and its Swiss-made Noble is a rock-solid offering to consider. Taking a step back, Monta was founded by Michael DiMartini who not only serves as the CEO of Monta but Everest bands as well – which would explain Monta’s attention to detail when it comes to bracelets. At US$1,795, having a micro-adjustment system in the clasp that functions like a Rolex Glidelock or Tudor T-Fit is something the brand had before it became more commonplace with other micros. The Noble utilises this micro-adjustment clasp, which offers three points of quick micro-adjustment, and there are even two half links provided that allow you to really fine-tune the fit. With its screw-down crown secured 150-metre water-resistant steel case, 38.5mm in diameter, 9.7mm thick, and 47mm lug-to-lug, it carries a size most will happily get behind. The Sellita-based automatic within, while not the most glamorous, backs up the value-adds of the externals with a robust engine.

Zach’s pick – Monta Noble Time & Date. Price: US$1,795


Weiss38mmAutomaticIssueFieldWatchLatteDial jpg

Weiss Watch Company was founded by its namesake Cameron Weiss – a WOSTEP-certified and Swiss-trained American watchmaker who would hone his craft for ten years with venerated brands such as Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet before launching his own brand in San Francisco in 2013. Known for “adventure watches”, a go-to model is Weiss’ 38mm Automatic Standard Issue Field Watch with Date. My particular favourite that is currently available in Weiss’ online shop is the Latte variant, with a creamy dial aesthetic that even has a perfectly colour-matched date window. The stainless steel case comfortably clocks in at 38mm in diameter, 9.9mm thick (including the sapphire crystal), and 46.2mm lug-to-lug – Goldilocks dimensions for most. Exhibited within is a Soprod-based automatic movement that offers 42 hours of power reserve.

Zach’s pick – Weiss 38mm Automatic Standard Issue Field Watch with Date. Price: US$2,200

Oak & Oscar

Oak and Oscar Atwood Chrono 09

Founded by Chase Fracher, Chicago-based Oak & Oscar refuses to be categorised as a microbrand – instead positioning itself as an American-based independent watchmaker. Parts are sourced from around the globe, and larger batches of production are assembled in Switzerland. Small-batch production runs are assembled in Chicago, where all the watches are regulated, tested, and shipped from. In my view, Oak & Oscar has done a great job of producing designs that speak to familiar frameworks while having distinct brand design codes that make its creations refreshing and stand out. It notably outfitted the United States Curling Team with a limited edition watch for each of its members, but out of Oak & Oscars many designs, my personal favourite is also its most recent – The Atwood White Panda. It is as this point we step into a mechanical complication, without stepping too much higher in price. For US$2,650, you can purchase a handsome, manually-wound 39mm stainless steel flyback chronograph.

Zach’s pick – Oak & Oscar The Atwood White Panda. Price: US$2,650


RGM watch 801

You cannot discuss American watchmaking without including RGM – it’s actually a horological felony that carries a seven-year prison sentence. Jokes aside, RGM, the initials of Roland G. Murphy, was founded in 1992 in Lancaster, PA – the original home of Hamilton watchmaking and various other American brands. Lancaster was effectively once the Geneva of the United States. With decades of training under his belt, RGM was founded as was one of the few, if any, American watchmakers that truly preserved the art of watchmaking, and used traditional crafts and hand-guided tools. The watch I am bringing into focus is RGM’s 801 series, named after its in-house 801 movement that is 90% made in the USA and bears a high level of finish and decoration. The 801 can be configured with a wide range of dials, from enamel to guilloché, or even both. The movement can also be modified with a variety of finishes, and even upgrades such as hacking seconds.

Zach’s pick – RGM 801-CE, 801-EE, 801-E Models. Price: starting at US$12,400


best american watch brands

I’ll be honest, this is a watch I absolutely adored at the beginning of my journey down the rabbit hole. I would later understand watches like the Tread 1 above were way too big for my 6.5-inch wrist, but it is already enough of a challenge to stand out as an American brand, so I can’t knock it for that. And I have to credit Devon with its distinct and patented system of time belts that indicate the time. This, akin to Urwerk, is the kind of watch either Tony Stark would wear or invent himself.

Zach’s pick – Devon Tread 1 E. Price: US$18,450

Keaton P. Myrick

Keaton Myrick 1 In 30 Series

I recently discovered Keaton Myrick thanks to our Deputy Editor Borna, and it was clear his work needed to be included in this buying guide. To be clear, a general rule for these guides is that we update them periodically to include watches you can actually buy now. Myrick creates watches in very limited numbers, due to the fact they are hand-made and manufactured in Oregon. His latest creation, the 1 in 30 Series, has just been announced. Featuring a 40.5mm stainless steel case, 9.65mm thick and 49.4mm lug-to-lug, it houses a host of traditional watchmaking methods and top-notch finishes and decorations.

Keaton Myrick Movement

Myrick explains: “I have been producing this caliber for 12 years now, and along the way I have been making constant refinements. This most recent iteration uses an entirely new case and dial design alongside numerous refinements to the mechanism. I am very proud to say that the mechanism, case, dial and hands are all designed, prototyped, manufactured, and finished by me in my Oregon workshop. The guilloché on the dial is also developed and executed by me on my rose or straight-line engines.”

Keaton Myrick dial

As a bit of background, Myrick is a WOSTEP-certified watchmaker who, upon his graduation, spent six years restoring rare and important timepieces while also building the foundation of his own workshop. At present, Myrick produces 10 to 12 watches per year – handmade solely by him to his high standards. You can find the full specifications of his latest series watch here.

Zach’s pick – Keaton Myrick 1 in 30 Series. Price: starting at US$52,500

J.N. Shapiro


Often associated with being the most prestigious American independent watchmaker, J.N. Shapiro has made his name through the mastery of the art of guilloché. Incorporating both traditional decorations, along with patterns developed in-house, J.N. Shapiro has long mesmerised watch geeks with his dials. Recently, the brand entered the mainstream stage when musician Jon Batiste wore a Resurgence on the 2024 Oscars red carpet. The Resurgence notably features the brand’s first California-made movement. The entire watch is not only American-made, but California-made – manufactured and assembled entirely in Shapiro’s California workshop. An absolutely massive achievement.

Zach’s pick – J.N. Shapiro Resurgence. Price: starting at US$70,000 (in stainless steel or zirconium)