Szanto Watches is a California based brand that was launched in 2018. It’s one of a couple of watch brands created by the Time Concepts company. The inspiration for Szanto comes primarily from vintage military and aviation watches, and a desire to recreate contemporary versions.
Their watches are inexpensive and feature both quartz and automatic movements. The collections range from WWI trench watches to more modern divers – with the vintage models making up the bulk of their range. I’d like to take you through a little of the brand’s backstory and then present you with a selection of the best watches that the company has to offer.
The History of Szanto Watches
The story of Szanto watches starts in 1989 with the creation of Luminox watches, a brand built around self-illuminating watch technology. US-based Barry Cohen was already a veteran of the watch industry and with his business partner, created a company to capitalise on the new GTLS technology.
Where are Szanto Watches Made?
Time Concepts works with factories in Switzerland and China. They have long-established relationships with the factories and for Szanto currently use a Chinese plant with a Hong Kong office. Like Stuhrling, a brand I previously highlighted, they are very open about the Chinese origin of their best rolex replica watches and are transparent about the production process.
Are Szanto Watches Good Quality?
Time Concepts state “We feel very fortunate to work with a factory in China that is every bit as professional as any we’ve ever seen in Switzerland, and in fact is superior to many”.
They give out quite a bit of information regarding the process of creating their watches. Working with R&D teams in Hong Kong and China, they develop watches that are built under very strict standards and then thoroughly tested.
The 5,000-square-meter office-factory complex that they use is directly supervised by Hong Kong senior staff and experienced mainland-Chinese staff. The watches are assembled in a dust-free environment and are individually inspected with more than twenty-five quality control testing procedures. This includes everything from water resistance testing to drop ball tests for the watches glass.
Szanto watches are good quality and the brand are keen to stress that quality isn’t determined by where watches are made, but how they are made.
Created by Swiss pioneers MB-Microtech, this innovative technology involved using radioactive tritium gas, in glass tubes, to create a self-powered light source. This lume never needs to be charged by sunlight and has a life of up to 25 years. Cohen saw the potential to use this in watches and launched Luminox – it’s Latin for Lightnight – to bring these innovative watches to the market. I’ve discussed Luminox here and also MB-Microtech’s company, Traser, here. They are both favourites of mine.
As Luminox expanded, Cohen was asked by watch brands and retailers if his company could produce private label watches. In response, he launched Time Concepts. From 2007 this new company worked with brands to produce watches in Switzerland and Asia. Luminox cheap replica watches, for example, all carry the Swiss-made label.
As a natural part of the new companies growth, they created a couple of their own brands, Szanto being the foremost.
Cohen had taken an interest in vintage watches, in particular, early wristwatches that had been developed for military use. His idea was simple. Recreate the best of these designs, but with modern watchmaking technology and with updated sizing.
In essence, this has meant producing vintage looking pieces that are larger than the originals and use quartz movements, or modern Japanese automatics. It’s very much a niche brand that caters to specific tastes and is wholly independent of Luminox.
The Szanto name, like the brand’s inspiration, takes its cues from the past. It’s an old family name.