The story of the Croton Watch Company begins in Southern Italy in 1878. The ancient town for which the company was named was known for producing Olympic champions of unrivaled spirit and strength. Hundreds of years later, an ambitious young businessman used its name in his new enterprise.
Italy was not known for its watches. Art, architecture, fashion, and food is what they did best. It was Switzerland, and specifically its city of Geneva, that was viewed as the world capital of horology. There was just one problem—it was too crowded! By the end of the 19th century, timepieces where the country’s number one export and competition had never been fiercer.
As a result, many experienced watchmakers decided to relocate and ply their trade in a less cluttered environment. Most moved to small cities and towns in the Jura Mountains in Switzerland and France, others moved farther south, into Italy.
The Croton Watch Company hired a small group of Swiss masters and began producing high-quality timepieces in Italy. Since there was less competition and they made a superior product, Croton quickly established itself as one of the top watchmakers in the country. Though they never did become a worldwide brand, their company was known and respected by watchmakers the world over.
Croton muddled on in the wake of the quartz revolution of the 1970s. These electronic watches from Switzerland and Japan nearly put an end to a three-hundred-year-old trade. It seemed the times were changing and that horology was a thing of the past. But some old-world watchmakers refused to throw in the towel. Croton survived as a regional brand in Italy until 1991, when they were offered a unique opportunity.
Watchmakers are a stubborn lot. They hew to old traditions and believe that what they do is not only a trade, but an art. No machine can take the place of a trained artisan and no tool can reproduce the work of a true master. It is as simple as that. Fortunately, the public agreed, which is why companies like Croton survived as niche player in a shrinking marketplace. That was until Nationwide Time offered them a deal they could not refuse.
The two companies had next to nothing in common. Nationwide Time was an American watch manufacturer with only thirty years of experience, while Croton had been around for over a century. But the company was in desperate straits and the deal worked out for both parties.
Croton gave Nationwide Time what it had always lacked: experience and legitimacy, and Nationwide Time gave Croton what it had never had: a first-rate distribution network. Before long, Croton became an international brand that eclipsed the million sales mark for the first time in its illustrious history. The following is a brief list with descriptions of a few of their most popular new models.
Two-Tone Automatic Dive Watch
The most recent incarnation of the company does an admirable job of incorporating both old and new technologies and designs in their timepieces. Automatic watches have been around for well over two centuries. They are also known as self-winding watches, since they do not rely on batteries or winding to power them. Rather, they are powered automatically when you move your arm.
What happens when you sleep? Automatic watches from Croton are so well designed that they will run for nearly a day without movement. So, if you leave your automatic watch in a drawer, it will switch to battery power after twenty-four hours. The appeal of automatic timepieces is that they are made by masters to last. Unlike disposable quartz (digital) watches, an automatic watch can last for decades, even though it has hundreds of moving parts.
The two-tone automatic dive watch from Croton is a handsome, durable watch that will impress in the office and on the water. The stainless steel dial and mineral crystal cover protect the timepiece in up to 660 feet of water. The bold black dial with gold Arabic numerals and white hour indices are nothing short of striking. There’s even a calendar window beside the three o’clock hour marker.
Stainless Steel Quartz Watch
Quartz movement has been king since the 1970s. If we were a little hard on this electronic technology a little earlier, perhaps we got carried away. Whenever a new technology replaces or nearly replaces an old one, it is natural to observe it with a jaundiced eye. Quartz has its fair share of strengths and weaknesses. The good news is that these watches are accurate, reliable, and cheap, especially when they are made with quality materials.
The stainless steel Quartz Watch from Croton is one of their most popular models. It features a stainless steel round case with a distinctive orange bezel that stands out in a crowd. The black dial displays luminous white indices at every hour, with the exception of the 3 o’clock marker, where a handsome date window is positioned. The hour and minute hands are silver-toned, as is the stainless steel bracelet that fastens securely with a fold-over clasp.