Whiskey & Watches: The Original Grain American Heritage Collection Featuring U.S. Made Movements

August 24, 2023

Sponsored post presented on aBlogtoWatch

Back when North American giants like Bulova and Hamilton stalked the land, American watchmaking was a toothy, robust affair. Components ranging from canon pinions to cases sprung forth from Yankee factories nationwide, with a locus in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. But after the proverbial Swiss asteroid struck in the post-war years  followed soon after by a quartz kill-off in the 1970s  U.S.-based watchmaking was essentially wiped out. However, like any ecological recovery, signs of life eventually began to emerge. Today, things are evolving quickly, with American brands sprouting from the fertile ground once trod by giants. In this “land after time,” the rules are few and Darwinian experimentation is encouraged. So, when Original Grain set out to build an American watch out of wood recovered from bourbon barrels and a 150-year-old building, it might not be as crazy as it sounds.

In 2013, Original Grain got started (like many new American brands) on Kickstarter. Back then, co-founders Andrew and Ryan Beltran sought to build unique timepieces using an often overlooked material in watchmaking: natural wood. Endeavoring to use it in creative ways, the OG watches sported wood bezels, dials, and even inlaid wood bracelets. Decoration will only take you so far, however, and soon the brand began production of several interesting limited editions, sourcing the grainy stuff from such storied places as Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, and even wood flooring from center court at Oracle Arena in celebration of the 2017 Golden State Warriors historic NBA Championship. Churning out over 500,000 watches in a decade however takes a toll, and since 2016, Original Grain has supported reforestation efforts, planting over 600,000 trees which, if my math is right, puts them pretty far ahead of the replacement rate.

While these celebrations of Americana certainly helped Original Grain’s reputation as an “American watch company,” it faced a stubborn problem familiar to many U.S. brands: Without a truly American movement, no watch could ever practically be considered to be “American.” To this end, let’s gingerly step over the FTC’s arcane definitions of what a company must do in order to label its products “Made in the USA,” since  suffice it to say  the folks at Arizona-based Fine Timepiece Solutions have gotten closer than anyone else to producing (at scale) something that comes even close. Its line of flagship movements, dubbed Ameriquartz, are jeweled by American watchmakers at the company’s Fountain Hills facility and represent another crucial step toward regaining the large-scale domestic watchmaking heritage lost in the mid-20th century. Appropriately, Original Grain has teamed up with FTS on its newest watch, using the high-torque 7320B Ameriquartz movement, a good pairing of two companies seeking to reclaim this proud birthright.

Having cracked the code of the watch’s interior, OG turns to the case, breathing new life into the familiar design of the brand’s wood-inspired timepieces. Here, the Beltrans double-down on the patriotism, using authentic wood recovered from Kentucky, then planed and cut in Minnesota, including a Prohibition-era rackhouse used to store bourbon in the 1930s. The American Heritage collection comprises five distinct references, three of which are made from whiskey barrels, while the other two use the rackhouse wood. Among the barrel-based models, a 42mm brushed steel version with torched-finished wood and a black dial is the most conventional offering. The most eye-catching is the 46mm black case version. Also utilizing torched wood, it features elongated stick markers set upon a wood-themed dial and fitted with a stylized emblem celebrating the watch’s American heritage.

Pairing special woods with special metals, the two rackhouse wood versions (a 46mm copper case and 42mm bronze case) are both standouts thanks to metals that have as much character as the wood used to complement the design. In the case of the latter, bronze’s famous patina qualities make it a watch that promises to change and take on new life. Similarly, the copper-plated 46mm case brings to mind that famous Lincolnian symbol, the increasingly rare penny. Seriously, when’s the last time you saw one?

Each watch is available now via Kickstarter. For steel watches, early backers can take advantage of $250 off of retail, bringing the price down to $499 USD. The bronze case version is limited to just 250 pieces and is priced at $699 USD. After backing, supporters can add on a premium Horween leather strap handcrafted in South Carolina. Learn more on the brand’s Kickstarter page

Sponsored Posts are a form of advertising that allows sponsors to share useful news, messages, and offers to aBlogtoWatch readers in a way traditional display advertising is often not best suited to. All Sponsored Posts are subject to editorial guidelines with the intent that they offer readers useful news, promotions, or stories. The viewpoints and opinions expressed in Sponsored Posts are those of the advertiser and not necessarily those of aBlogtoWatch or its writers.


  • Brand: Original Grain
  • Model: American Heritage
  • Variants:
    • 42mm, steel, torched bourbon barrel wood, black dial
    • 46mm, black steel, torched bourbon barrel wood, brown dial
    • 46mm, black steel, natural bourbon barrel wood, black dial
    • 42mm, bronze, natural rackhouse wood, natural dial
    • 46mm, copper plate, natural rackhouse wood, natural dial (limited to 250 pieces)
  • Dimensions: 42mm or 46mm diameter, 22mm lugs, 49.5mm lug-to-lug, 10.8mm thick.
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Case Material: Steel, bronze, copper
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Movement: American Made High Torque 7320B Ameriquartz movement (quartz, hours/minutes/seconds)
  • Strap/Bracelet: Three-row steel bracelet with inset wood. American-made Horween leather strap available as an add-on with purchase.
  • Price & Availability: Starting at $499 USD

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *