Minuteman Watches: Military Style Built In The USA

Minuteman Watches: Military Style Built In The USA

Minuteman Watches: Military Style Built In The USA   feature articles

The original idea behind Minuteman watches (quite appropriately named) was for the pieces to be assembled in the United States by disabled war veterans. It was a good idea, given that disabled veterans are a laudable group to work with/benefit, and it is a great goal to give even a few who are out of work, work. Minuteman tried to work with an organization that deals with disabled veterans, but it didn't work out. I think it was pretty nasty. Nevertheless, Minuteman did not want to abandon the idea of making watches here in the US. So the end result is that some portion of the sale of the watches will go to a charity that benefits disabled veterans, and the watch will be produced in Ohio by LUM-TEC.

More specifically, for the first round of production, a percentage of the profits (not sure how much) will go to the Gary Sinise foundation (I have to wonder if that has to do with the fact that he played a disabled veteran in Forest Gump). After that I think the brand will evaluate how well that is working. The person behind Minuteman is the same person who started The CGA Company that happens to sell LUM-TEC (and soon Minuteman) watches.

Minuteman Watches: Military Style Built In The USA   feature articles

By the way, the model with the black and green dial (that is USN branded) is a special version that the brand is making in honor of the US Navy. I was wrong on that. While "USN" is the usually abbreviation for the US Navy, in this case it means "Usual Suspects Network," that is a knives and weapons internet forum group. Very modern and very American in style... Inside each of the Minuteman watches will be a Swiss Ronda caliber 715LI quartz movement. Minuteman goes out of their way to indicate that these are the Ronda movements with the Swiss versus Chinese parts. The cases are 43mm wide in steel with a few models available in black PVD. I think they did a nice job with the dial designs, especially the model with black PVD case and Arabic numerals. I like the legibility and overall "casual combat" style it seems to portray. You have a nicely integrated date with a black on black disc that is uncommon at this price range. The neat little solider logo is well done too.

With 200 meters of water resistant, a sapphire crystal, and SuperLumiNova, these are going to be useful and daily wear watches that you don't need to worry about beating up. Minuteman also include extra-thick spring bars for the strap and two NATO-style straps (a black and a green one) with each watch.

Minuteman Watches: Military Style Built In The USA   feature articles

According to Minuteman, the first batch of watches will be limited to about 115 pieces per version and will be available in Q3 of 2013. They are doing pre-ordering now via the CGA Company's website for all the models. It can be a bit confusing, but the reason the watches are sometimes listed twice is because you have the option of paying in full (at the pre-order price) or reserving your watch and then paying in full (at the pre-order price) a few months from now. You'll have to get the full details there. Retail prices for the Minuteman watches once they are produced will be $445 to $475, but the pre-order prices are between $398.00 and $421.00. A pretty good deal if you order them now as well as if you wait for them to be produced. thecgacompany.com/Minuteman

13 comments
DG Cayse
DG Cayse

For what its worth, and consider how much it is costing you, my opinion of this new marque is very favorable. A vetting of this owner, very shallow vetting admittedly, and the company background turns up all good things. Their affiliation with the Gary Sinise foundation, a very admirable group, is solid as is their commitment to the veterans who have walked in harms way.

While I may have some slight quibbling with their design choices; which will evolve no doubt, this looks to be a solid company who is walking the walk.

RLTW

(I hate "nato" style straps - they absorb body odor, thus stink, and are not allowed in areas where maintenance is being performed)


Minuteman1
Minuteman1

fyi the reason that we picked the Gary Sinise Foundation. The question posed in the article is was that because Sinise played LT Dan in Forrest Gump. 

At first we were going to say no. Its because Gary Sinise does more work for our troops than any other person I know of at this point. 

Dig into that and look at all he does for vets. Plus 100% of funds donated to that charity go to the vets and Gary and his well off friends are paying for the charities operating costs our of their own pocket. 

But if you ask how did Gary get involved with vets. I believe it is in fact due to his connection through family with veterans and his role of LT Dan in Forrest Gump. 

So given that I think we can conclude that yes in a round about way we picked the Sinise foundation due to Gary's portrayal of LT Dan in Forrest Gump. 

Minuteman1
Minuteman1

I am quite sure their watches are not build in the U.S. but rather in China. 

UofASouthpaw
UofASouthpaw

Maratac Pilot, with Japanese automatic movement (no it's not Swiss - but it's an automatic nonetheless) goes for $195 when it's in stock.  I would like to see the Minuteman compete with that automatic movement and price point.  That being said, I do like the minuteman style and size better than the Maratac, so I'll go check out the preorder prices anyway.  :)

Minuteman1
Minuteman1

Greetings!

First up I would like to say DangerussArt is correct about the USN watch and he is in fact the designer of our watches, and logo. Which we are very happy with. =) 

In response to nutellabear we had thought we had a partner line up before we even started with designs etc. That partner was going to Veterans Watchmakers Initiative. Basically they were in a real big hurry to get a letter from us that they could then take to the IRS I believe for their charity status or some such. We got them that ASAP then they were pretty much un-reachable. Which we had a real problem with. If you look at how far back their effort dates to and how far they have gotten. Well that should have been a red flag for us. We then contacted every school that had a serious watchmaking program in the U.S. and even the top Swiss school. We had no luck with that. So we decided we were going to have to change our plan a bit. To be honest I feel we will really be able to help a lot more people by donating to groups like the Sinise Foundation. 

CG that's just the sort of look I personally had in mind for at least some of the versions. The MM04 has a more modern dial design and thus far seems to be more popular among those who we consider to be watch collectors. While people like my father who is a disabled Vietnam vet really like the MM01 styles. 


1singur Thanks for the positive comments on the design. As far as price I don't know of another brand building watches in the U.S. that offers a lower priced watch. I am not saying they don't exist. But I sure don't know of them. The watches will be build by Lum-Tec to their usual standards. Also they will be handling the warranty repair. To be honest I don't know of any brand that has the sort of turn around time the do on repairs. Not to mention their customer service is as good as you will find. 


Ulysses31 we are not looking to set the world on fire with our designs. We are going for tried and true designs that will be durable and comfortable to wear. 

Tango45 Gary does a lot more than most know when it comes to vets and I have to say I don't know how he finds the time to do it along with his busy work schedule. His devotion to veterans is very inspiring in our view. 

CG
CG

Nice military watch, they should get it approved for DoD issue. Reminds of the late VN issue watches. Classic military. I'll get one! Gary is the Man!

nutellabear
nutellabear

Would be interesting to read why the disabled vet idea didn't work. Is there anything written somewhere about that story? I think one of the watch schools was approved for VA benefits, but I don't remember which one. Might have been the NAWCC school which unfortunately closed. And I agree with the prior comment that Gary Sinise has been a long time friend of Active Duty military and Vets.

1singur
1singur

This is my idea of a good watch, at least when it comes to looks. Minimal design, with strongly contrasting dial and hands. Readability is the most important aspect of a wristwatch from a design point of views, and this one is just perfect on this!

On the downside, however, i think the price reaches too high for a quartz piece that only shows the date as an extra function, even if it dives.

Sarfa
Sarfa

The cga website seems to be down. Ariel, I think your vast readership overloaded their servers!

:-P

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

Bland, but for a good cause which is laudable.

DangerussArt
DangerussArt

Ariel, The USN version is NOT for the US Navy. It is actually a collaborative piece with the "Usual Suspects Network" an avid tactical weapons (mostly knives) collector group / forum with over 20,000 members. They have done other pieces in prior years with CGA and LÜM-TEC.

The green goat-head tribal is their group logo.  I would have made the same association error, had I not been part of the development process on the Minuteman line.

Tango45
Tango45

Actually, Gary Sinise is pretty (really) active in the USO/Veteran charity arena. Makes sense he would be involved with something like this.

aBlogtoWatch
aBlogtoWatch moderator

@DangerussArt Right, thanks for the note Russ. I figured you'd chime in because I knew you had a part in the designs. "USN's" meaning has been updated as well.

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