Author Archives: montanawatch

Our Classic Models

At Montana Watch Company, we work very closely with each of our clients from the very beginning to create a one-of-a-kind timepiece that fulfills their vision.  The first step in this process is undoubtedly the choice of case shape.  As our company has grown, we have added more classic case shapes to choose from.  Currently we have eight classic models.  Below is more information on each piece.

The Bridger Field Watch

Originally, we only offered one classic model, the Bridger Field Watch.  The inspiration for our first model came from Jim Bridger who was a well known pioneer renowned for his strength and ruggedness.  The stories of his adventures into Montana portray him as the ultimate outdoorsman, and our Bridger Field Watch exemplifies these characteristics with its solid, simple style.  To view variations of the Bridger Field Watch, please follow this link to our website.

The Model 1925

The Model 1925 is our only tonneau shaped case, and exemplifies the grace and style of the time period.  The style replicates the barrel shape of watches that were common at the time, and embodies a sense of style unique to that point in history.  To view variations of the Model 1925, please follow this link to our website.

The Officer’s Watch

During the First World War, the Trench Officer’s Watch gained popularity beyond the military and several major watch manufacturing companies began to incorporate stylistic elements to the initial practical design.  With the screw-set lugs and curved back, we have carried on the tradition of adding elegance to the Officer’s Watch design.  To view variations of the Officer’s Watch, please follow this link to our website.

The Model 1920

The Model 1920 is our most recent addition to the classic models.  Inspired by the Roaring 20′s, this watch exemplifies the carefree attitude of the time.  Mobsters, rumrunners and flappers frequented speakeasies decked out in the latest fashions and all lived life to the fullest. To view variations of the Model 1920, please follow this link to our website.

The Model 1930

The earliest American watch cases were circular.  Later, as styles changed and machining techniques improved, the rectangular design was completely en vogue by 1930.  Our Model 1930 epitomizes the bold styling of this period of design.  To view variations of the Model 1930, please follow this link to our website.

Highline Aviator

The aviator watch was born from necessity during WWI.  It was simply a pocket watch fitted with wire lugs and strapped to the outside of a flight jacket.  Our Highline Aviator is a salute to those first brave men of flight. We recognize that this simplicity and practicality are a style that endures.  To view variations of the Highline Aviator, please follow this link to our website.

Sapphire

The Montana Yogo sapphire is a distinctive and natural treasure that is is prized for its unmatched beauty.  We have created this elegant timepiece for ladies with a uniqueness and style that lives up to the name Sapphire.  To view variations of the Sapphire model, please follow this link to our website.

Miles City Pocket Watch

For over fifty years, cowboys, ranchers and equestrians have traveled to Miles City, Montana for the world famous Miles City bucking horse sale.  The ruggedness and classic styling of the Miles City Edition is in perfect step with today’s pocket watch enthusiast.  To view variations of the Miles City Edition, please follow this link to our website.

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A night at the Liberty Hotel in Boston with Seth Minkin

Come join us tomorrow, November 15, for an evening of Art, Watches, Wine and Cheese at the Liberty Hotel in Boston.  We will be showcasing four of our custom watches that were inspired by Seth Minkin’s paintings.  It will be the first time that we have presented the original works of art and the watches that were created from them.

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Upcoming Events: Stop by if you are in the area

We are just winding up our travel season by coming to the following shows.  We would love it if you would stop by our booth and say hello in any of the following cities. If you would like more information on any of the shows or would like to attend contact us at Info@montanawatch.com

  • Richard Childress Congressional Sportsman Foundation Oct 12, 2011
  •  Art, Wine and Watches – Liberty Hotel, Boston – November 15th, 2011
  •  DSC  Dallas – January 5th – 8th, 2012
  •  SCI Houston – January 13th – 15th, 2012
  •  SCI Las Vegas – February 1st – 4th, 2012
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A unique collaboration honors a beloved pet…

Montana Watch Company created this beautiful custom engraved piece for our client Steve Barley, he was kind enough to share his thoughts with us…

Livingston Montana Watch Company American Manufactured Custom Timepieces

1925 Custom Engraved Timepiece Front Detail

MWC: How did you find out about the Montana Watch Company?

SB: Stopped by the booth at the Safari Club of Dallas show in 2008.

MWC: What interested you in our company?

SB:The one of a kind watch and the art work, but more importantly the look of a classic watch, the attention to detail.

MWC: Is buying American made important to you?

SB:Yes, however I realize the components are manufactured in Europe(Switzerland, Germany) and assembled in America, one watch at a time. Not an assembly line production.

MWC: Do you consider yourself a watch collector?

SB: No, I am not a watch collector, I have several watches, but I do not consider myself a collector.

MWC:What made you decide to order your watch?  Can you tell us about the process you went through in order to customize it exactly how you want it?

Bozeman Montana Watch Company Handmade Custom American Timepieces black labs

"Babe"

 

SB: I had a Labrador that I had personally trained and was my best friend. She went everywhere with me and was truly an incredible animal. I knew there would come a day when I had to say goodbye, however I wanted to remember her and the idea of a watch intrigued me. My wife for our 38th anniversary commissioned an artist to do a portrait of “Babe”…..he absolutely captured the expression I remember, her intensity the look I had seen so many times while we were hunting….that is the art that was used for my watch. I met Catherine at the Dallas Safari Club show and ordered a watch, unfortunately the market and economy tanked and I felt I needed to back off….so I canceled the order in 2008. In November of 2010, I had to say goodbye to “Babe”…..I ordered the watch at the Dallas Safari Club show in Jan. 2011.

Bob Bertram painting black lab livingston montana watch company custom made american timepieces

Babe Barley by Bob Bertram

The process of building the watch was very easy….I talked and e-mailed Catherine and Jeffrey. The artist, Bob Bertram (www.betramgallery.com)sent pictures that he had worked with on painting the portrait and Jeffrey and Catherine went to work with their artist  to replicate and create another piece of art. After several discussions and many e-mails with concept and proto-types we arrived at how the watch should look ….the finished product is an heirloom piece that will be passed on to my son.

MWC: Would you recommend us to family or friends?

SB:I would certainly recommend Jeffrey and the Montana Watch Company to do a special piece…..Catherine was very helpful and we enjoyed touring the company and observing Jeffrey at work when we were there in June……

MWC: Anything else you would like to share?

Bozeman Montana Watch Company Handmade Custom American Timepieces

1925 Custom Engraved Timepiece Back Detail

SB:I was fortunate to have the dog of a lifetime and Montana Watch Company created a piece that is very special to me. Most people admire the finished product , but have no idea of the memories it brings to me.

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About the Montana Watch Company

Jeffrey Nashan, Montana Watch Company owner and founder, began his career in horology as a watchmaker specializing in the restoration of vintage timepieces. He became particularly fascinated with the history of early American wrist and pocket watch manufacturing, from back in the day when American companies dominated the field. When Nashan’s interests went beyond simple restoration and into the areas of design and manufacture he founded The Montana Watch Company and began what has become a passion to create truly unique, heirloom timepieces inspired by the designs of the early American watchmakers.

Jeffrey nashan, Montana Watch Company, Bozeman watch company

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Farrell Belt & Buckle

When Jeffrey and I moved onto the Bridger mountains in Livingston we met a rancher, who over the years has become family to us.  He ran cattle on a 2.5 mile stretch of land that we drive through in order to get to our home.  Farrell, the rancher, let us use his horses, before we had our own, and Keegan learner how to ride at the age of 5 on his ranch.

Over the last few years Jeffrey started running his own cattle and now runs his with Farrell.  Jeffrey has completely embraced the rancher life and spends almost all of his spare time either with Farrell working on the ranch or making plans on how to manage cows, hay and bulls.

A couple of months ago Jeffrey decided to make a hand tooled belt with matching buckle for Farrell.  It was the perfect gift for him as his old belt was worn out and many of the holes in the belt had blended together.  He had his brand engraved into the buckle along with his initials.  I have never seen Farrell so touched as I had when Jeffrey gave him the belt.

 

We all love Farrell and the rest of his family.

 

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Seth Minkin’s Show at the Liberty in Boston

Last week, Jeffrey, Cole and I traveled to Boston to meet Seth, see his work in person and attend his art show at the Liberty.  Liberty Hotel

When we arrived Seth was still setting up so we dove in and starting helping setting up his paintings. 

Throughout the night Seth shared his brand new watch which was our interpretation of the Goldfish painting that was in above photograph.Another one of Seth’s brand new paintings.  If you would like to see the progression of the Mercedes you can become a fan of his on FB and see it from sketch to finish.

 

It was great to meet Seth and see his work in person.  We will be a part of his next show at the Liberty in November.

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Seth Minkin: Parts of a Whole.

Jeffrey, Cole and I will be attending Seth’s opening this coming Tuesday evening.  This will be the first time that we have seen his large pieces.  If you are in the Boston area, stop by and enjoy Seth’s work.  Jeffrey will also be giving Seth his own watch that he commissioned Jeffrey to create for him.  It is one of our favorite watches that he has made.  It is an interpretation of Seth’s goldfish painting.

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The Making of the Model 1920: A video

For the first time ever we are sharing a video of how we make our watch cases.  In this instance we are working on the brand new Model 1920.  You can see he machining of the cases and lugs, and the creation of the coining pattern on the front of the case.  Please feel free to share it with any other watch enthusiasts.

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Making the Model 1920: The lugs

Manufacturing a watch in America is a dying art form, only a handful of companies in the states are still creating timepieces.  We are proud to be one of then and are dedicated to the idea of rebuilding the great American heyday of watch making one watch at a time.  Over the course of the next few weeks I will take you through the steps of creating the Model 1920, from the concept drawings to a final photograph of the base Model.  After many hours of research and planning the actual building of the prototype is under way.

Jeffrey created the Montana Watch Company out of his love for vintage timepieces.  He is drawn to the design elements that are prevalent during different eras.  Before he decides to create a new timepiece he researches resources looking at watches that strike him for one reason or another.  In this case he has pulled inspiration from watches manufactured in the 1920′s when a transition in style occurred.  The 1920′s started a period where watch design followed form rather than function.  Up until that time function paid a more important role in design.  A design shift moved away from wire lugs into a more substantial lug bringing another element to watch design.  The unique aspect of the Model 1920 are the hinged lugs.  This design presents a variety of challenges and here is how Paul and Jeffrey are dealing with the problem of creating square lugs and adhering them to the round case.

American Watch Manufacturing, American Watch, American Watches

Model 1920 Lug Design

The sketch of the lug design that Paul has drawn shows the radius of the cut out.  Each of the lugs starts out as a round piece of bar stock.  Each edge is then squared off and then the top and bottom radius is put into it. In order for this design to work the tolerances have to be minimal.

American Watch Manufacturing, American Watch, American Watches1920 Lug Machining
American Watch Manufacturing, American Watch, American Watches

Model 1920 Concentricity Check

Once the lugs are machined they go through a concentricity check, which is basically a sophisticated automotive gap tool.  The tolerances are checked and if one doesn’t meet the strict specifications it has to be discarded.

American Watch Manufacturing, American Watch, American Watches

1920 Lugs awaiting final operation

This photograph shows how each lug is cut from the round piece of stock metal.  Once the lugs are parted off they will be inserted into square holes which have been milled into the sides of the case.  A final process of vacuum brazing ensures invisible seems from the lug to the case.  Vacuum brazing is a metal-joining process whereby a filler metal is heated above and distributed between two close fitting parts by capillary action.  The filler metal is brought to slightly above its melting temperature and then flows over the base metal.  It is then cooled to join the workpieces together.  It is similar to soldering.

Check back in a couple of days and watch a video of machining the case.

 

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