In 2012, a group of friends started making leather watchbands on the kitchen table of their Lower East Side apartment. There were no business plans. No investors. Just four guys who loved vintage timepieces and wanted something different than the next guy.
Enter Throne Watches—a completely bootstrapped watch company with a line of products designed and assembled in the U.S.A.
Recently, we sat down with cofounder Joe Casale to learn more about how Throne came to be.
“We started with one-off watches,” he said, “pairing handmade straps with vintage faces we all liked. Through the process, we noticed a bunch of imperfections we wanted to change. We began to say, ‘I wish this was a little thinner’ or ‘I wish this was raised more’ and through this process we thought, ‘let’s just make our own watch!’”
So that’s exactly what they did. For their first project, the 1.0, the team at Throne designed the watch exactly the way they wanted it. “Very thin, with raised markers, a sub dial— just like vintage watches,” said Casale.
Then, the team met with various manufacturers to find the best way to bring their watch to life. “We selected a factory based in Illinois because we wanted to do American builds,” Casale explained, “It was important to us to assemble here in the states with a quality movement that we could depend on.”
The public loved the result. The 1.0 model sold out on Kickstarter well above its initial goal, which—in addition to participating in pop-up markets like American Field—allowed them to start development of more watches.
Most recently, the team at Throne released the 2.0—a gorgeous multi-dial chronograph with several combinations of colors and straps (see image at the top of this post).
“We’re trying to better our builds every day,” Casale stressed. “We want to give our customers more than they expect and have them feel proud to be a part of our journey with us.”
In the future, Throne plans on releasing more original models and shifting even more of their product-sourcing stateside. “Let’s just say we have a few more things up our sleeve—not just at the bottom of them,” Casale said with a chuckle.
As for their connection to American Field, Casale told us, “We’ve done every single one so far. And we love it.”
He continued, “We haven’t had a bad day yet—it’s great for brand awareness. All the people we’ve met through the show over the years, we’ve built relationships with them. We see them everywhere and always have that bond.”