Believe it or not, America was once a major player in watch manufacturing. In their day, brands like Gruen and Waltham showed the rest of the world what serialized watch production was all about. American brands manufactured entire movements from the ground up, and innovated and competed on the global playing field. Then a mix of the quartz crisis and mismanagement saw the end of American watch manufacturing. In the years since, the enthusiasm for watches has returned, spurning the creation of the US microbrand scene, as well as some larger commercial enterprises.
Manufacturing in the US, however, has remained a challenge with only a small handful of brands making strides. Grassroots in many respects, these efforts are valiant and exciting, but are often met with challenges. The biggest being a lack of watch-specific infrastructure, followed quickly by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s 2016 ruling that for a watch to be designated as “Made in America” the entirety of the watch must be manufactured here, from the case down to the springs. While a qualifying standard is needed, this is the most extreme standard in the world, and unfortunately does not correspond with what the industry is currently capable of doing.
But soon, that might change. Enter Fine Timepiece Solutions (FTS).