August 5, 2012
by Ariel Adams
Say hello to another independent American watch brand. This time from raging New Orleans. Sounds like a place with enough history to support a watch brand. The marque is simply called the New Orleans Watch Company – and the pieces have a distinct feel to them that is both decorative and celebratory – a lot like New Orleans I suppose.
The watches don’t seem to have model names. What I gather is that each is made to order per the customer’s wishes. That equals expensive. The pieces have a very artisan feel to them versus being made in sophisticated CNC machines and alike. Seen in this article are a few versions of the New Orleans Watch – you can see how the parts can be mixed up with various materials. I don’t actually know the case size of the pieces either.
The cases look like parts from old furniture. Actually a lot of the watches are seemingly made from old furniture. For instance, according to the brand, there is ivory in some of the pieces on the dial – which was recovered from an old piano that was found during the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. The watches are said to have a nautical theme. I sort of see that. The actual watch dial is off-centered. They are cool with a very “antique” look to them. On each dial is an 18k gold fleur de lis symbol.
Each of the cases has separate lug structures. These are decorated on many of the models and add a very unique look to the watch. You can see how New Orleans Watch Company also plays with different hands and other dial elements. There is an exposed balance wheel from the mechanical movement on the dial as well.
Who is behind all this? A guy named Craig von Babylon (really, “from Babylon?”) who is also the president of Couronne Jewels and Watches – a retailer in New Orleans. All the movements are Swiss, with New Orleans Watch Company sourcing movements from Soprod. Specifically, the movements are the A10-2 automatics (these have the exposed balance wheels on them). So say hello again to a bit more watch love from right here in the US of A (with Swiss guts).