Keeping Time: Montana Watch Co.

Montana Mercantile: Montana Watch Company

Montana Watch Company keeps the old West ticking

By Adrienne Newlon/for Montana Living

For some, a watch is something you wear on your wrist to remind you what time it is.

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For David Berghold and Jeffery Nashan of Montana Watch Company, watches are small, mechanical works of art, ticking time, and memorializing their ancestors of the West. 

Tucked away in Livingston, Montana Watch Company boasts a team of local artisans, headed up by Berghold and Nashan, who produce very unique, finely crafted watches inspired by the transitional timepieces of the turn of the century. As Nashan explains, “transitional” refers to the time before wrist watches – when folks would drill holes in each side of a pocket watch, affix wire lugs to which straps were bound and wear them on their wrist.

At the company’s inception late in 1998, Berghold and Nashan brought fourth the 1915 transitional, wire-lug model to launch Montana Watch Company. This reproduction was rendered as accurately as possible; there is no shock resistant crystal, no water resistance. The watch was copied from an original 1915 timepiece that Berghold had found in London, where he had once studied watch making. 

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Time-piece models from Montana Watch Co. include field, aviator, and pocket watches, with many variations in each representation, including the 1915- and 1925-era models. “We have really way-out West, Western, to conservative, to everything in between”, says Nashan.

The watches in each model group are distinguished by carved and tanned leather straps, intricate engraving, fire blueing and gold inlay. Even the more ornate watches still possess a simple, subdued nature. Berghold and Nashan are committed to keeping styles to the spirit of the West. 

The company sells as many watches as they can produce. The watches aren’t kept in large inventory, so customers are able to keep in touch with the actual people working on their watches, and check on their progress.  Berghold and Nashan guarantee the watches for life. Production is limited to around 1,000 watches a year, which insures great service and the ability to keep the entire production process in Montana. The company’s designs and quality workmanship have already earned them the Western Design Conference Best Artist in Fashion Jewelry award, as well as a nationwide following.

The watches can be seen at The Montana Watch Company 124 N. Main St. Livingston, Montana.

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