“So we’re not any better than what’s out there, but we’re different because it’s us,” is the perfect intro to this week’s featured Monday Maker whose quality American Made products are designed with confidence and passion by a tight knit group of three young men with a distinct vision for their brand.
The story started innocently enough in an apartment in Brooklyn, NY.
Please meet the co-founders of THRONE Watches.
Zack Sears original leather smith and Creative Director.
Travis Alexander, leather smith and Director of Marketing.
Joe Casale, leather smith and Director of Sales.
The journey started in 2012. Zack was living in Brooklyn and had a small leather business on the side. Messing around a bit, a watchband was made using a box cutter and a leather awl.
You couldn’t just make a watch strap. You needed a face and so one was found. Now you needed to show it off to your friends. And of course your friends wanted one too. Suddenly Zack found himself quite busy.
Enter Travis and Joe, happenstance friends, to help out.
That was the innocent birth of THRONE and the rest of the story came about very organically.
The company started by repurposing watch faces sourced from vintage stores, pawn shops or on eBay.
They found a guy in the East Village who would fix up the watch mechanisms.
The leather was sourced from the famous Horween Leather Company located in Chicago, IL.
Horween manufactures vegetable-dyed leather and is one of the oldest continuously running tanneries in the U.S.
Working in their Brooklyn apartment, they would hand-cut and hand-sew
beautiful leather straps to complement the acquired vintage faces.
They added, what became the THRONE ‘signature,’ a stitched X at both connection points.
The business model was straightforward and simple. Rescue heritage time pieces, attach a beautiful strap and create a classic accessory with a contemporary, rugged handsomeness with character built-in. Make it affordable and sell it through social media.
2012 was also the birth of a dozen or so American Made pop-up markets and Team THRONE started participating in
Northern Grade, American Field and Renegade, to name a few.
Getting their brand out there and getting a great response to their quality American Made products changed everything.
The desire for a new direction took hold and they soon were leaning towards designing their own watch faces.
Their brand positioning became tighter and the new look was to determine their future.
In 2014 THRONE launched a successful Kickstarter and raised $50,000 in order to go into production with their new watch face.
The company’s rebirth yielded THRONE NYC offering the THRONE 1.0, a beautiful dress watch that was reasonably priced and handmade in America.
The new THRONE watches are assembled in Illinois with Swiss parts but that does not change the handmade, artisanal aspect of this quality American Made product.
The watch band still sports the signature X on every strap.
The strap still is hand-cut, hand-sewn and hand-stitched.
The young entrepreneurs are tightly knit and have a vision for their company that goes beyond their watches. They share a love for community and music as well. Truth be told, the three young men knew each other from their years in Maine where they hung out in the same crowds and played in a band together.
Going forward, Team THRONE, passionate about music and the arts, have incorporated an entertainment component into their brand. Their loft like headquarters in Brooklyn are located on the Williamsburg-Greenpoint border and is the perfect space for hosting community based events.
Musical evenings and readings on a regular basis are all part of the THRONE lifestyle and commitment to a community based environment.
As they grow their empire, their lifestyle, based on community, entrepreneurship and being American Made, will be apparent in everything they design.
They strive for simplicity in design.
The new THRONE 1.5
They incorporate functionality into each piece and offer affordability for your pocketbook.
So what does THRONE bring that’s new?
“So we’re not any better than what’s out there, but we’re different because it’s us.”
So said with truth, passion and confidence.
Team All New American is delighted to feature another ‘Made in the USA’ company. Since 2012, THRONE Watches, a Brooklyn based small business, has been designing and manufacturing American Made watches, handmade leather goods and more. Team THRONE’s commitment to USA labor and jobs makes their company another example of what makes a quality American Made product. Zack, Travis and Joe can be proud to be part of the ‘American Made’ community that is fuel for the engine which makes America great.
Thank you for giving us your time today. Have a great week. The Team.