One of the earliest records we have of Western Watches comes to us from
late 1800s America. This was the time of the Wild West, of the unbroken
frontier, of manifest destiny and the American dream.
A German émigré named Isaac Swope, one of many who left their homes
in search of a new life in the New World, imported watch components
and assemblages from Switzerland to the US for use on the railroad.
In the latter half of the 19th century, the railroad was everything to
America. It was where civilisation began and ended and ceaselessly took
men and their dreams way out West, bringing untold riches and wild
stories back East.
There were very few lines of communication between the railroad head office
and the pioneers that staffed the little stations scratched into the landscape.
Those men had to rely on their pocket watches to time the arrival of trains
down the arterial network of railway crisscrossing the territory.
Those pioneers needed reliable timepieces that could survive the harsh
degradations of the wild frontier while still keeping good time and this
was a demand that we rose to meet for several decades. People say that
the Colt Peacemaker won the West, but it was our watches that kept
ticking long after the dust had settled.