Best Watches

We did the research to find the best watches made right here in the USA, looking across a variety of categories from casual to formal and more. Below are our recommendations, in-depth details about each of our top picks, and the methodology behind our research and testing.

Our Findings

Overall, we were pleased to find that there are a ton of great American watchmakers in the U.S. making high quality timepieces. The city of Detroit shined brightly with Shinola and Detroit Watch Co. both crafting products from their own facilities there. Devon and RGM are two U.S. watchmakers that are on the higher end of the market, but make really unique and valuable watches that could even be seen as collector’s items. Hager is also a newcomer to the industry that is producing great products. Read more below!

Top Recommendations

Best American Made WatchesBest for:
Shinola: The Runwell, Men’s Leather WatchLeather Strap
Hager GMT TravelerTraveler Watch
Detroit Watch Co 1701 SeriesAutomatic Self Winding
Devon Tread 1DMost Unique
RGM PS-801-BBMost Expensive
Shinola: The Cass, 28 Mm Ladies WatchSquare-Face Ladies Watch
Shinola: The Birdy, 34 Mm Ladies WatchRound-Face Ladies Watch

Recommendations: Going Deeper

Below, we go into more detail about each of our top recommendations with extensive product details, why we think it’s the best, what we liked about each one, and what we didn’t like.

Best Leather Strap Watch

Shinola: The Runwell, Men’s Leather Watch

Shinola is a relatively new watch factory out of Detroit, MI. They have only been making wristwatches for men and women since 2011, but they have gotten darn good at it over that time period. The Shinola Runwell men’s watch is the best one we’ve seen for leather strap watches. It has a wonderful cream-colored dial, a fixed stainless steel bezel, and luminescent hands and markers. The Runwell also comes in a black watch face, which we’ve provided the link to below. This watch is perfect for the casual everyday use. The leather band width is about 20mm and the watch face diameter is about 41mm – important to note to make sure it fits well around your wrist.

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Things we like:

  • Sapphire crystal face, which is scratch resistant
  • Water resistant at about 165 feet
  • Casual, simplistic, and aged look
  • Quartz crystal clock (regulates the electronic oscillator inside the watch for more precise time keeping)

Things we don’t like:

  • None

Black watch face: Found here


Best Travelers Watch

Hager GMT Traveler

Hager Watches was founded in 2009 with the mission to make high quality automatic watches at an affordable price. The GMT Traveler watch is the best one we’ve found for frequent long-distance travelers – allowing you to quickly tell time for where you are and the time back home. Especially for business travelers, this watch is both functional and stylish to pair with your suit at the next big meeting. The GMT Traveler comes in several different options for the watch face and dial colors; the most popular are the navy blue and black, which pair well with just about any apparel. The watch face measures in at 42mm and the band width at 22mm – both fairly standard to fit most men’s wrist sizes. Note: there is currently a waiting list for this watch!

Join the Waiting List

Things we like:

  • Stylish look for both casual and formal settings
  • Water resistant up to 660 feet
  • Scratch resistant sapphire crystal on the watch face, with an anti-reflective treatment inside
  • Quick time adjustment capabilities

Things we don’t like:

  • This watch is so popular that you have to get on a waitlist to purchase one


Best Automatic Self Winding Watch

Detroit Watch Co 1701 Series

The 1701 Series is a limited edition by the Detroit Watch Company, a relatively new company on the watchmaking scene, founded in 2013. They only made 125 watches for this model, and it was the best we saw of all the limited editions on the market. This watch has automatic self-winding functionality, so it “powers up” as you move throughout the day. Towards the top of the face, it even has a power reserve indicator. The leather band is made of high quality calfskin, and you have a few different color choices, which you specify when you order. Like many of the other top watches on the market, the watch face is made of sapphire crystal, which is generally scratch resistant. They also treated it with an anti-reflective coating, so it’s easy to read. The watch face measures 44mm wide and the watch band is 22mm wide.

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Things we like:

  • Water resistant up to 165 feet
  • Self winding functionality with a 40 hour power reserve
  • Stylish clasp on the leather strap with the Detroit Watch Company logo
  • Silver, white, and black tones on the watch face
  • Pays homage to Detroit in subtle places around the dial

Things we don’t like:

  • None


Most Unique Watch

Devon Tread 1D

Devon is a U.S. manufacturer that makes some of the most unique watches on the market, and they don’t even call them watches! The Tread 1D is one of the signature “time belts” that Devon produces, along with many other stylish designs. Rather than having dials run clockwise, Devon uses essentially conveyor belts moving horizontally and vertically across the watch face to display the time, as you can see in the photo. What we love even more about this watch is it’s all exposed, giving the piece a robotic and innovative feel to it. They even have a watch themed after Darth Vader from Star Wars. If you want your watch to stand out in the crowd, this is the “time belt” to do it with – and it will cost you.

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Things we like:

  • Exposed mechanics of the watch
  • Unique and innovative style
  • Stainless steel construction

Things we don’t like:

  • Not a downside, but something of note – must be charged every 20 days or so


Best Luxury (Most Expensive) Watch


The RGM Watch Co. is about as luxury as they come, only producing the highest quality (and most expensive) watches on the market. The PS-801-BB model takes you back to childhood, with baseball engravings at each hour mark in the enamel – a high risk, but high reward form of watchmaking. This watch is a true commemoration of America’s pastime in a real glass encasing, and each one is hand finished by the expert watchmakers in the RGM facility. This is an extremely rare watch, only 10 were created and just a handful have ever been seen. One of the watches currently sites at the National Watch and Clock Associations’ museum in Columbia, PA. The stainless steel version is pictured here (which is sold out), and RGM also has versions that are in 18K rose gold and platinum – both with a higher price tag. We were able to see demonstrations of one from a current owner, but can’t find a link to buy this anywhere.

See on Site


Best Square-Face Ladies Watch

Shinola: The Cass, 28 Mm Ladies Watch

Shinola, as we’ve mentioned before, is one of the best American-born watchmaking companies, and they have no shortage of quality styles for both men and women. The Cass is a 28mm ladies watch that is perfect for casual everyday use, and even a few formal events. The stainless steel case fits well with the other features of the watch, especially the leather strap which we saw was a pretty comfortable fit. The quartz crystal inside the watch helps keep timing very precise, compared to some other mechanical models. The square face goes well with tons of different styles!

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Things we like:

  • Stylish, elegant square face
  • Water resistant up to 164 feet
  • Stainless steel case and scratch resistant watch face
  • Comfortable fit

Things we don’t like:

  • None


Best Round-Face Ladies Watch

Shinola: The Birdy, 34 Mm Ladies Watch

The Shinola Birdy watch is a great round face option for ladies looking for a watch with that style. The case and bracelet are both made of stainless steel with a nice cream colored finish that is also present on the watch face. The dials and watch face have a more traditional design, but pop off the wrist with style. We also liked the thin links that make up the bracelet. As such with all Shinola watches, The Birdy is made with a quartz movement for the most precise time keeping capabilities on the market for analog watches.

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Things we like:

  • Stylish round face
  • Cream colored notes throughout the watch design
  • Large watch face juxtaposed by a skinnier bracelet
  • Precise time keeping capabilities
  • Strong construction with stainless steel and other materials

Things we don’t like:

  • None

Recap: Best Watches Made in the USA of 2018

Factors We Considered


Style is important when you’re considering buying a new watch. In our research, we looked for watches that are versatile, with the ability to wear them in both casual and more formal settings. We eliminated a few watches from consideration that did not pass our style guidelines.

Here are some of the major styles we made sure to look at:

  • Diving
  • Dress
  • Aviator
  • Action
  • Minimalist


Functionality is also really important – you need a watch that will work well, is easy to strap on, adjust dials, and simply be hassle-free for your everyday lifestyle. Durability was a big consideration in this category as well. A watch is a large investment, so we eliminated several watches that were made from cheaper materials that would not last a long time.

A big part of functionality is learning how a watch operates, or the movement. The movement is the engine that powers the ticker of the watch, and there are two variations that are most popular in American watching making – quartz and automatic. The first uses an oscillator powered by a battery and regulated with a piece of quartz to keep time. An automatic movement uses the movements of the wearer’s wrist to power the mainspring of the watch. The quartz variations are typically slightly more accurate than their automatic counterparts, however the latter is typically considered more “classic” and costs a little bit more.


A watch that isn’t precise in its timekeeping is immensely frustrating. We mostly looked for quartz clocks, which has a quartz crystal to help regulate an electronic oscillator, which creates a signal with very precise frequency and allows you watch to consistently stay on time without lagging behind or jumping ahead. However, the automatic movements have such classic style, that we wanted to include some of those as well.


There are a bunch of different types of material that a watch and its band can be made from – stainless steel, carbon fiber, rubber, gold, leather, and more. For the watch face and components inside it, we looked for materials that are going to be durable in the long term and also not fade. For the band around your wrist, full grain leather is the best option because it’s durable, stylish, and comfortable.


Value is as important to us and it is to you – we’re consumers too! We chose watches that we felt had a price tag that was representative of the quality you’re getting. Overpaying for stuff is annoying – we want to eliminate that frustration.


All American Reviews Team

We're here to take the guesswork out of buying quality, American products and services.


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