Well, the unavoidable news this week is that Donald Trump is the President-elect of the United States – a surprise victory won on the back of a promise to ‘Make America Great Again’. Don’t worry – we won’t get all political on you. But we did feel this edition of the Wind Down was the perfect opportunity for a look at all that’s great about American watchmaking, past and present. And if you need a stiff drink to go with it, don’t let us stop you.
In the nineteenth century, American watchmaking was on a par with the best the Swiss had on offer, with companies like Waltham, Hamilton, Elgin and Ball making high-quality, accurate timepieces on an industrial scale. While several of these great names – such as Ball and Hamilton – still exist, these days they’re made in Switzerland. Which isn’t to say that American watchmaking is purely a thing of the past. Brands like Kobold, RGM and Weiss are continuing this grand tradition, albeit on a much smaller scale. Perhaps a boost here could help make American watchmaking even greater?
But it’s not easy. A while back the American Federal Trade Commission cracked down on deceptive marketing practices regarding ‘American Made’ claims. Certainly a Trump government could change what constitutes American-made – currently a much stricter standard than Swiss-made – which would help them remain competitive.
Then there are the Presidential watches themselves. In his now canonical piece for Hodinkee, Eric Wind exhaustively runs through the timepieces worn in the Oval Office. Well worth a read.
What will Trump himself wear? Well, Deployant suggests that we may well see him wear the Rolex President. We’d expect nothing less.
The week in numbers:
16: Winners announced at the GPHG last night
28: Diamonds on the elegant JLC Reverso One Duetto Moon
6: Cracking watches Zach Weiss picked as his faves from the Wind-Up Watch Fair
250,000: Swiss Francs that Blancpain will donate to maritime conservation projects from the sales of the brilliant blue Ocean Commitment II. Bravo!