Made In The USA: Weiss Standard Issue Field Watch


As many of you may remember, Brother Jack got his own Weiss American Issue Field Watch with the Cal. 1003 movement from Weiss Watch Company a few months back and raved about the quality of the product. Much of his writing that day, however, dealt with the movement contained within the case—the reverse-engineered Caliber 1003, which Cameron Weiss has painstakingly created in his shop in Los Angeles, California. It’s the standard bearer for American watches in modern times.

However, JB also mentioned that Mr. Weiss, who’s a disgustingly young and handsome man, started his business with the Standard Issue Field Watch. He still makes the crystals and cases in SoCal, but rather than using his hand-crafted automatic movement, he uses the Caliber 1001, a hand-wound fully mechanical movement which is imported from Switzerland and finished by hand. The end result is a watch that is no less beautiful that the American Issue, but costs half as much.

As I tend to rotate my watches more often than many men rotate their underwear, I wanted to support Mr. Weiss’ efforts, but I was reluctant to spend the nearly $2000 required for the automatic movement. As such, when it came time for me to buy my own Weiss timepiece, I opted for the Standard Issue, as you can see in the photos above (if you’re not familiar with the ‘gram, you can click on the image to scroll through the four unboxing pics).

It has, thus far, been fantastic.

The beauty of the Standard Issue is equal parts simplicity and craftsmanship. I have long admired my father’s Marine Corps watch which was issued to him in advance of his tour in Vietnam, and which he has recently begun wearing again. It was designed to withstand the horrors of war, and to do one thing exceptionally well—tell the time. Mr. Weiss’ creation is inspired by such military watches. I specced mine with a white face and an olive-colored cordura strap, keeping at least partially in that tradition.

I could, in the style of many less-than-fine automotive journalists, do a copypasta of the specs that Mr. Weiss has listed on his website, but I would rather encourage you to go there yourself to read about them and the intricate manufacturing process. Many of you indicated in the comments on Jack’s piece that you would be interested in purchasing your own Weiss creation, but that the cost was prohibitive. To this I would say that the Standard Issue is significantly more than 50% of the value of the American Issue, but at only 50% of the price.

No, it doesn’t have the automatic movement, and yes, there are some imported parts, but I believe that it’s better to purchase a watch that’s mostly American than one that isn’t American at all. Like Jack, I have made my fair share of Shinola purchases (up to a dozen now), and I support their efforts to bring back American jobs, as well, but the only truly American thing about their product is the strap and the assembly (and the over 300 jobs created in Detroit).

Weiss is doing nearly everything in house, with over 35 hours of labor involved in each Standard Issue, and 65 hours involved in the American Issue. It’s a great and humbling feeling to look down at my wrist and think of all the labor and design involved in it. In other words, it takes longer to assemble a Weiss Standard Issue Field Watch than it does to assemble an Acura NSX, which is also hand-assembled.

Speaking of Shinola, my Weiss timepiece was quite the topic of conversation when I went to their Wynwood store in Miami recently. All of the employees were more than enamored with it, and asked several questions about the watch and the company. The manager, in particular, was excited to see it, saying she’d heard all about them but had yet to see one.

If you’re interested in getting your own, I’d recommend doing it soon. Weiss is offering financing through Affirm at 0% interest (with approval). I was able to get free engraving on mine by taking advantage of their holiday special, so the total cost was $950, and it arrived in less than a week from when I placed my order. Someday, I suspect my Weiss watch, with a serial number that’s under #1000, will be somewhat of a collectors’ item. I have to think that as demand for these increases, so will the price. $950 for this watch? It’s a steal.



20 Replies to “Made In The USA: Weiss Standard Issue Field Watch”

    • Bark M Post author

      Yessir, and Jack mentions them in his post. I think one RGM is probably worth more than my entire Shinola collection 🙂

    • Bark M Post author

      Thanks for vigorously reading every word I write. And your quip says much, much more about you than it does about me.

      The act is tiresome.

  1. -Nate

    Wow ~

    That’s really pretty and I like and wear, traditional looking watches .

    $2000.00 is way out of my league though, more’s the pity .


    • Bark M Post author

      That’s why I opted for the $950 Field Issue over the $1900 American Issue. Similar appearance, different internals, half the cost.

  2. Athos

    That is beautiful.

    Although, I love my automatic Seiko… which I have the itch to have it modded to look like a proper pilot watch.

    I wonder what is the insistence of using Swiss movements instead of Japanese ones.

    • Mark D. Stroyer

      Sir Weiss has a background as a traditional watchmaker, spending long years going through the Swiss schools and working for Swiss companies, so he’s intimately familiar with those movements.

      Source – Smoking Tire podcast

  3. what's the point

    I dont have an issue with dropping the money for a quality product, I dont think a pair of chinese made shoes is equal to Allen Edmonds. And this watch seems quite nice.

    However, I dont understand the desire to have a dozen watches (just from Shinola). Both you and your brother have this bizarre need to acquire in volume: shoes, watches, clothes …

    Where does it come from? How much marginal utility do you derive when you move from 11 Shinola watches to 12?

    • Bark M Post author

      There’s no marginal utility involved. None. Zilch. Zip. Zero. Shall I go on?

      I enjoy the ownership. I like going to my watch case and having several choices for that day. I like walking into the store in Wynwood, or Easton, or Midtown, or Soho, and picking out exactly the combination of case and strap that I want.

      I find it infinitely more satisfying than, say, creating six usernames for the same blog.

  4. Jonathan H.

    It took both of you to convince me but I’m in. My watch box has a couple vacancies that need to be filled anyway. Didn’t see the 0% financing offer though.

  5. Bdol

    As an engineer and occasional timepiece wearer, I prefer my watches to be classic and well functioning. This checks all the boxes, but I need convincing to upgrade from a $200-300 watch to a $1000. It would essentially be my only watch, tired of dealing with dying batteries on a small collection of <$500 watches.

  6. Pingback: Five Good Minutes with Cameron Weiss and Weiss Watch Company - Riverside Green

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