Deep Ellum, Texas, is a neighborhood in East Dallas that you’ve probably never heard of, much less know as a hotbed of horology. However it’s home to Jack Mason, one of our favorite up-and-coming affordable watch brands, started a few years back by two friends working out of a 1971 Airstream.
Like their makeshift office, Jack Mason watches are well-designed, rugged and innately American, even when their look is derived from vintage – and increasingly unaffordable – Swiss pieces.
Like the rest of the collection it’s inspired by the dashboard gauges of vintage race cars, but the sporty new quartz-powered chronograph also features a red, white and blue sub-dial, which of course echoes the colors of both the Texas and American flags but also references some very cool vintage sailing watches like the Heuer Autavia Skipper and the recently reissued 1960s Yema Yachtingraf.
The back of the 40mm stainless steel case, which is water resistant to 100 meters (328 ft.), is engraved with a classic grand prix race car, a spiffy touch, while the dial displays a tachymeter used for measuring speed like the ones found on iconic timepieces such as the Omega Speedmaster.
The “rally” style strap is also nicely done in perforated black leather echoing the upholstery on vintage sports cars. Like all Jack Mason straps it features a quick-change pin system so you can easily swap it out and give the watch a new look.
If you’ve been adding all this up in your head you’re probably thinking this watch runs at least $500 and maybe more like $1,500, but the price is only $275.
Which is why we feel it’s safe to say you can’t afford not to buy one.