Our Story

The South Bend Watch Company was one of America's finest watchmakers.  From 1903-1929, it produced approximately one million timepieces - many of which are still keeping excellent time over one hundred years later.  Our mission is to make the finest watches inspired by South Bend's iconic designs and to preserve the history and legacy of this storied brand.

A Brief History of the South Bend Watch Company

The South Bend Watch Company actually traces its roots to Columbus, Ohio, where Detrich Gruen organized the Columbus Watch Company in 1876.  After producing approximately 370,000 timepieces there, the business was renamed and its assets moved to South Bend, Indiana where members of the Studebaker family built a state-of-the-art factory capable of producing 60,000 watches per year.  Production under the company's new name - South Bend Watch Company - began in March 1903.

Over the next three decades, the South Bend Watch Company produced over a million timepieces, including many railroad grade pocket watches that were trusted to keep trains operating safely and on time.

One of the company's early advertising campaigns featured showroom displays of its watches keeping time in a solid block of ice: "Every South Bend watch must stand the ice test."

Soon, South Bend became known for making the "Watch with the Purple Ribbon" - a reference to the purple ribbon used in the company's packaging and displays.

Like many of the other manufacturers of its era, the South Bend Watch Company was not able to survive the Great Depression.  Still, the company's 25+ year run cemented its place as one of the finest American watchmakers of all time, producing over a million quality timepieces and providing jobs for hundreds of manufacturing workers in and around South Bend.