I have been interested in mechanical things ever since I was a kid.  Growing up in Ohio, I remember tinkering with all sorts of small appliances, lawnmowers, etc., oftentimes with my father or grandfather.  It was this continuing interest that carried me into engineering school,  where I earned my Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.  After I graduated, I had about 2 months before I started my first job.  It was at this time that I discovered watches.  I was basically going through some of my dad's old stuff, and found one of his old Omega Seamaster watches.  I opened the back, and was immediately fascinated with the fine finish and the intricacy of the parts.  I decided that I wanted to learn more about watches, so my dad and I went to some flea markets and bought some very cheap mechanical watches that I could tinker with.  I bought some books and a few cheap tools, then went off to my first corporate job.

I moved to Rhode Island to work for a large computer accessories company.  During nights and weekends, I continued to learn more about watches.  I eventually figured out that I could buy broken vintage watches, fix them, and sell them for a small profit.  This was just a hobby and a small side-business for me.  I realized that I could possibly make a living doing watch repair and restoration.  I had a few trade customers, and after 5 years in the corporate world I set out on my own.

I earned a reputation in the watch world as 'the court of last resort' - that is, someone who could get results where other people had failed.  I gained experience repairing many high-grade vintage watches, and learned what was important in a good watch and what was unnecessary.  In order to increase (and prove) my knowledge and skills, I decided to take the Certified Master Watchmaker examination offered by the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute.  I passed this very selective exam in 1996.

After about 10 years of repairing watches, I decided I had enough knowledge and experience to develop my own line.  I spent a lot of time traveling and making contacts worldwide, as well as a lot of time designing products.  Unfortunately, there is no infrastructure in the United States for making watches, so most all of my contacts had to come from Europe.  I realized that I could leverage my hard-earned reputation as a watch restorer to help promote my line of watches.

I understood that I would be following in the footsteps of some very big names, who also got their start in the technical aspects of watchmaking, including Breguet, Franck Muller, and Patek Philippe.  My experience in watch restoration has given me a great understanding of all watches, and allows me to make very educated and calculated decisions on what a great watch should be.  This same experience has also shown me what is unnecessary, and what adds extra expense without any real benefit to the customer.

In owning one of my watches, I hope that you share in my dream and passion for fine timepieces.

Tom Gref   


Thomas Gref   -   AWI Certified Master Watchmaker   -   BS Mechanical Engineering

PO Box 69151   -   Tucson, AZ  85737   -   USA   -   ph 520.818.3382