News

An Interview With Seth Minkin: Part 1

Seth Minkin and Jeffrey have just started a collaboration, where Seth’s paintings are artfully rendered onto the dials of Jeffrey’s watches.  I sent Seth a few questions about their collaboration and will be sharing his responses over the next few days.  We will have some photographs of their first completed piece on the final day of the interview.

1.)   Your studio is in an office building which is highly unusual for an artist. Can you talk about how you came to be in this situation and how you have collaborated with the firm?

I was initially introduced to this company through the CEO.  I met up with him while I still lived in San Francisco and he asked me for some ideas about the art in his office.  He was toying with the idea of having a mural of some sort painted on the wall of the office, but wasn’t sure this was the right approach, since the company was growing and they didn’t know how long they would be in the space.  We went back and forth quite a bit and, in the end, decided on two large paintings that were related to the company’s brand.  A few years later, I moved to Boston and the company had moved into a phenomenal new space.  They had just received a multi-million dollar round of funding and were in hyper growth mode.  They invited me to sit in on a project they had called “90 Days,” which was basically a collaboration between me, a writer and the rest of the team at the company.  The goal of the project was to expose what was going on within the company in relation to getting such a large injection of capital in an open, interesting and transparent way.  The framework for the project became a blog, which was based on a painting called “The Bento Box” which I created for the company.  Every day, a new blog entry was posted that corresponded to a piece of the painting.  It started off on day 1 with the painting being black and white and, as entries were added to the blog, each piece was rendered in color.  It was a great opportunity to work with an incredible team of people and to really match visual art with great writing and intellectual capital.  At the conclusion of the project, the CEO asked me to stay on board and paint in the office space full time as a way of encouraging creativity in the company’s culture.  It has been a great symbiotic relationship.  I have filled their space with my art and, in turn, I have been able to work within an amazing environment with very smart and talented people who give me instant feedback on my work.

2.)   Have you ever done any other collaborations?

When a client commissions a piece, my process is usually very collaborative in the sense that, having actually selected a subject, they are likely to have an opinion on the details.  In many cases, the subjects of commissions are close to the heart of the client and are not necessarily images that I have worked with before.  Therefore, it really helps to have an open dialog with a client to be sure that we are heading in the same direction.  I have been fortunate to have worked with some extremely talented clients over the years who are very creative in their own right.  These kinds of opportunities have been great collaborations and have enabled me to produce works that would have never come to life had these individuals not approached me.

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Seth B. Minkin: His Work

We listed a brief introduction to Seth on our site awhile back and now that our first piece is almost complete I thought we should do a more in depth look at his work.   He and Jeffrey have started collaborating and we will be able to share some photographs of the first watch soon.  Check back in a few days and read more about Seth’s experience in this project…

Seth Minkin,

Biography:

I have always considered myself an artist, however, my path to success has been anything but typical. After completing my formal art education, I veered off the traditional path into the art world and, instead, have built up a cult following by learning from some of the brightest minds in the business world. Through these affiliations, I have garnered national attention for my paintings from the likes of CBS Sunday Morning, the Pentagon and several magazine publications including Entrepreneur and Fortune. In spite of the fact that I have been unrepresented throughout my career, my work has continued to increase in popularity and my paintings have become important components in the collections of many astute and prominent art lovers and organizations.

My work is as much about the act of painting itself as it is about the subjects I embrace. While my technique has become more refined over the years, my approach has always been the same; I look for what is special in everyday objects, people, animals, etc., and build on that, exaggerating and accentuating features that appeal to me with an almost baroque sensibility. My art is a celebration of the subjects I choose to work with and the process of creating each new painting.

Over the span of my career, I have sold hundreds of my pieces to clients in Boston, Miami, Belgium, London, France, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Washington DC and Los Angeles.

education

B.S. Art; Skidmore College, 1993 M.F.A.; Tufts University, 1996

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Seth Minkin: An exciting collaboration

A few weeks ago Jeffrey contacted Seth Minkin on a reccomendation from Rosanna.  (Thank you Rosanna) Seth is an artist based out of Boston and passionately creates  simple compositions that are quirky, full of color and life and capture the essence of his subjects.  I love his work.  Jeffrey and Seth hit is off immediately and are already working on a couple of projects.  (Once we get the approval from the client on the first piece they are making I will share some preliminary sketches with you.)

Seth Minkin, Montana Watch Company

The wonderful thing about a successful collaboration is that the end product is not what any one of the collaborators initially had in mind.  The transference of ides and the give and take of information makes something better than what either person could do on their own.  I think this relationship, just like the one we have with John Banovich, is going to prove to be a successful collaboration and will take The Montana Watch Company in a direction that it has not been so far.

What I love about the watches Jeffrey makes is that they become a canvas for these artistic collaborations.  We were talking the other day about the commissioned piece he has started with Seth’s painting.  His painting was in a vertical format and looked perfect in the rectangular 1930 case.  Although each of Jeffrey’s design is beautiful on their own they can integrate other people’s paintings on their dials and become something completely different and even more beautiful.

Here are some of my favorite paintings of Seth’s for you to enjoy and envision on our watches.  Seth has a show coming up on July 12 at the Liberty Hotel is Boston where we will meet him and see his work in person.  (By the way the Liberty Hotel is a gorgeous hotel that was a prison in its past life.  Seth had told me it was fantastic and he was right.)

Seth Minkin, Montana Watch Company, American Watch

Seth Minkin, Montana Watch

Seth Minkin, Montana Watch Company, American Watches

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A custom made Model 1925/Banovich Collaboration

American Watch Company, Montana Watch Company

Our dear friend and fine artist, John Banovich, brought one his clients into our shop in Livingston, Montana.  She, her brother and husband looked at the selection of inventory and decided that she would like to work with Jeffrey to create a custom Model 1925 American timepiece.  The unique aspect of our company is that you can work with Jeffrey and create ANYTHING you want, well almost anything.  You can start with any of the watch models and create something that is one of a kind.  If you want to take it a step farther you can even collaborate with Jeffrey to design a unique case design that becomes your design forever.  But that is another blog entry.

Montana Watch Co.  Montan Watch Company, American Watch Manufacturer

Custom 1925 detail

Jeffrey’s client, I will call her Kathy as she does not want to share her personal information,  wanted to incorporate one of John’s paintings onto the dial of her watch.  She and John thought of some options and decided on this painting of a cheetah.  One of our engravers hand engraved the piece onto the dial.  The bulino engraving takes hours to complete, and if the artist makes one wrong cut the whole dial may have to be thrown away and the process begun again.  If you ever visit our store or see us as a show ask us to show you the piece on our IPad as we can zoom in and you can see the individual engraving marks that make up the face of the dial.  It is incredible to see how many marks make up the face of such a small canvas/dial.  When working with such an intricate dial design we typically use markers instead of numbers so as not to take away from the beauty of the design.  These were created with 22K white gold and give a subtle contrast to the image on the dial.

Kathy wanted the case to be just as special as the dial and had it made out of 18K rose gold because she loved the color of it precious metal.  She asked to have bright cut engraving with inlaid diamonds both on the side and the front of the case, with an overlay rope pattern on the front.  Another one of our engravers took the case and started creating something very unique, even for our company.  Our engraver Diane, painstakenly engraved the case, created the overlay rope design and then inlaid the pavé diamonds on the bezel of the watch and then on the cuts she had engraved on the side of the case.  This is the first time one of our clients placed diamonds in the cuts of the engraving and the effect is subtle and beautiful.  It is perfect for someone who wants an understated watch from a distance and then something magnificent up close.

Kathy recently sent the watch back to us to customize the strap with with our leather smith, Howard Knight.  He will be creating a gold applique on the strap, another first for our company and we will post some photos once the strap is created and placed on the watch.

We love working with people who have a vision of something they want to create.  Your vision coupled with Jeffrey’s horological skill and aesthetic opens the doors to endless possibilities.  If you would like to work with Jeffrey, call up Catherine or stop by our store and schedule an appointment so we can start working on your watch.

Specs:

18k rose gold case with western bright-cut engraving and pavé diamonds, 18 karat gold rope and 14 karat gold winding crown.  14 karat gold dial with bulino engraving and 22k white gold dial markers with a diamond at the 12 o’clock position.   American alligator strap finished with hand engraved buckle.

+ 32mmx44mm case

+ Swiss movement, ETA cal. 2895-2, self-winding

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1925 Model

The 1925 model is one of my favorite case designs. I love the sleek lines of the Montana Watch that can be worn by men and women, to an elegant event or fishing on the Yellowstone river. Over the next few days I will post some of my favorite designs that Jeffrey has made starting with the base model made out of sterling silver.

From: http://ping.fm/p/xtBPs

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SCI AUCTION ITEM

SCI Auction Item

SCI Auction Item

Take a peak at the Montana Watch we are auctioning off at SCI in Reno.

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Elichai Fowler: One of our talented engravers.

Montana Watch Company, Hand made watches

Montana Watch 1925 engraved by E. Fowler

Before Jeffrey left for Charlotte and then onto Reno for the SCI show he had received this beautiful 1925 case from Elichia Fowler and was able to assemble the watch and will be showing it in Reno.  I have not seen the watch in real life, but from the photos I can tell how exceptional it is.  Jeffrey loves the engraving, especially the fact that the design work starts on the front of the case and is carried over the side of the watch without any break in design.

Montana Watch Company

Detail

I cropped the one photograph so you can see the intricate work that Elichia has done on the watch.  If you are going to the SCI show in Reno stop by our booth and ask to look at the piece.  It is extraordinary.  We will be in the Trails End Pavilion at booth numbers 50 and 53.

Montana Watch Company

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Dallas Safari Club

Montana Watch Company, Dallas Safari Club

Jeffrey Nashan, Paul Chausse and his son John behind the display cases at DSC.

Montana Watch Company, Rocky Mountain Authentic Line, Dallas Safari Club

Dallas Safari Club Booth

Behind the massive clock they just made for the show.  If you are going to the Reno SCI show look for it and you will find us.

We just got back from a few days at the Dallas Safari Club show which we have been attending for the several years.  This year was our best show yet. We had a great location, shared some interesting demonstrations and had a lot of new products.  Many of our previous collectors came by and said hello and we met a lot of new people who either bought pieces at the show or are learning more about what we do.  It is always interesting to share what is new with the Montana Watch Company and The Rocky Mountain Authentic line with the people.

Howard Knight, our fantastically talented leather smith, showed us how he works on pieces of leather to create unique bands that can be custom created specifically for each of our watches.  Ernie Lytle, one of our talented engravers, worked on a case with a hammer and chisel.  He carefully engraved one of his patterns on a case that will eventually be used in one of our finished pieces.  Jeffrey and Keegan sat behind the bench and assembled the works of watches.

We are going to be at the SCI in Reno in a couple of weeks and will have more of our artists demonstrating their skills.  If you haven’t stopped by our booth to watch them do their work make a note to do so in Reno.

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Welcome to the Blog.

Welcome to our blog!  The Montana Watch Company and the Rocky Mountain Authentic line has a lot of news to share so I am going to get started!  My name is Melanie Nashan, and Jeffrey is my husband.  He loves making watches and designing new projects with clients and I love sharing what he does, so I will be his official blogger.  If you have ideas or want to hear about a certain project he is working on please send me a note.  If you are a previous client and would like to share your photos send me a note and we can feature you and your watch or watches for that matter.

This is going to be brief because I have to take Jeffrey to the airport to fly to Charlotte, NC.  He is going to be at the first annual African Sports Expo.  If you are in the area stop by and look at his watches.  Since we only sell directly from our showroom in Livingston there isn’t much opportunity for you to actually see the watches in person. It opens tomorrow and is at the Blake Hotel.

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Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation event a success!


Congratulations and thank you to the elite attendees of the annual fundraiser event for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation hosted at the Childress Vineyards in beautiful Lexington, North Carolina.  The event was a tremendous success this year raising money for CSF, a group who’s sole focus is providing access and a voice for sportsmen in the U.S. Congress, the Administration and federal land management agencies, as well as state legislatures across the country.

Richard Childress, Mike Helton, & Jeffrey Nashan

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