Family-owned Weiss Watch Company was founded in 2013 by certified American watchmaker Cameron Weiss with the goal of rediscovering the art of mechanical watch-making.
Cameron is a Swiss-trained and certified master watchmaker, having trained with Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin. Cameron was co-host of Watch and Listen, a watch podcast, and enjoys cycling, woodworking, restoring classic cars, and exploring the outdoors with his family.
We sat down with the leading luxury watchmaker to find out more about the brand and how he’s restoring prestige to American watchmaking.
What inspired you to start Weiss Watch Company?
I was working for a top Swiss watchmaker and had always dreamt of going out on my own with some ideas and designs I had formulated over the years. There are so few watchmakers in the USA that it just felt natural to me to start my own US-based watchmaking brand. Even if the market might be small, I knew we would find our own unique space in the mechanical watch world with a group of collectors that have an eye for details and a true passion for what we do.
What does a typical day look like running your company?
Since we are an independent, family-owned watchmaker, the typical day includes a little bit of everything. There will likely be some finishing and assembly work on timepieces, and some time spent crafting components for our timepieces. There may also be design and engineering work with components, watch cases, dials, and hands. Also, because I wear many hats in the business, the days are usually finished with some paperwork or financials and accounting work.
How do you come up with new ideas?
I am constantly coming up with new ideas, and I notice my best creative thinking happens away from my workbench and studio. After that, I test out my concepts in the studio and see what works and what doesn’t work. Many things simply don’t work, but with every failed idea something valuable can be learned. The ideas that do work are then refined and tested further.
How did you make your first sale?
Our first sale was from word of mouth, and the client came to us through our online store. We keep a logbook of every timepiece made since day one, so I can always look back to see to whom and where a timepiece travelled.
What made you decide to break into the luxury market?
I had worked for Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin, two of the top luxury watchmakers in Switzerland, so for me, the luxury part of watchmaking came very naturally to me.
What challenges did you have to overcome at the beginning of your journey?
Watchmaking is a craft and an artform, but it also requires science, math, and high-precision manufacturing. The knowledge of how to make mechanical timepieces is known to very few around the globe, and so I have always found that the biggest challenge is in actually crafting our timepieces. The selling has always been the easy part, with so much time and energy going into each timepiece, we have always had more clients waiting for watches than we can easily produce.
What is unique about your business?
There are very few independent brands making their own watches these days and even fewer located in the United States. We are in the USA and independent, still owned by the watchmaker (me), and crafting our own timepieces from design to assembly. This is a pretty small club that we are very proud to belong to.
How did you create your brand’s culture/identity?
Our identity really stems from the aspects of watchmaking and watch collecting that I love the most, and the things outside of watchmaking that I truly enjoy. Nothing is faked or forced; the brand identity is really just an extension of me and my personal likes and dislikes.
What have you enjoyed most about starting your company?
Freedom and independence is by far the most rewarding and enjoyable aspect. It can also be very stressful at times, but I find it is always worth it in the end.
Where can readers follow your journey online?