Daniel A. Spitz
Daniel A. Spitz is an independent Watchmaker & 3 time Grammy nominated recording artist who designs and manufactures Haute-Horlogerie watches in his atelier.
In 1995, Dan Spitz left Anthrax, an American heavy metal band, to pursue a career in luxury Swiss watchmaking, attending the Swiss watchmaking school WOSTEP on a full scholarship. He was certified a Mechanical Complications Specialist, earning Swiss degrees in micro-mechanical engineering, and opened his own luxury watch service. But he actually started taking apart movements when he was eight years old in his grandfather’s watch and jewellery store. Spitz is also someone who pushes the limits in everything he undertakes, and finally it translated into high-end watchmaking and complications.
After working on restorations and later at Chopard (he was the sole head of complications and instructor for all of Chopard North and South America), he created his first movement, the Calibre J11.13. A calibre conceived, designed, and produced serially, entirely in the USA. Dan Spitz designed the watch in CAD/CAM, programming his own CNC machines for all the parts in order to be able to produce his watch in North Carolina, without relying on specialist suppliers in Switzerland or Germany.
This American movement project is rather special since it doesn’t rely on a straightforward Swiss lever escapement. Instead, it is a completely new calibre regulated by a free escapement inspired by a 19th-century drawing by Louis Richard (échappement Richard libre excentrique à ressort et irrenversable, circa 1860).
Dan Spitz’s plan is to get the orders to a level where he needs to employ an additional two US watchmakers, buy the additional benches, expand his space and train them up to his standards in order to produce the 10-15 watches a year he’d love to get to. The reason to hire young, traditionally trained watchmakers is to help push forward American Watchmaking by giving them the ability to use his machines to make their own watches and ultimately to obtain the knowledge to set up as independents in the USA.