Bespoke Watch Projects
Bespoke Watch Projects creates limited production mechanical timepieces, all assembled by hand in Oakland, California. The brand has become known for its combination of heritage-inspired details and modernist design influences, as well as being distinctive objects of expression from designer & watchmaker John Beck McConnico. Having come from a professional background in art direction, design, and fine art, he applies unconventional techniques to the overall production process. His latest “Intaglio Edition” collection incorporates engraved & patinated dials with direct influences from painting and printmaking—resulting in pieces that look both familiar yet unique.
Located in North Oakland, John’s 1,000-square-foot studio is divided into two spaces: one area for production and one for watch assembly (what he likes to refer to as the “clean” and “dirty” rooms). This provides the flexibility to iteratively work on prototyping, dial finishing, and final timepieces simultaneously. His sunny studio resembles more of an artist’s space than a traditional watch company, serving as a direct nod to his roots and creative process.
In addition, he shares the studio with his wife Kristina McConnico (who runs Lacson Ravello, an apparel company and fellow Bay Area Made brand).
The Production Model
Bespoke Watch Projects primarily produces made-to-order timepieces, incorporating handmade dials, straps, and customized mechanical movements for each customer. A curated selection of readymade models are also offered, allowing customers to immediately buy distinctive one-of-a-kind watches.
His distinctive dials incorporate a variety of production techniques—starting as hand-drawn & digital art, then engraved onto patinated metals via laser & mechanical engraving methods. The finishing process is also unique, as John has developed his own proprietary “recipes” for patinas & surface treatments.
Most prototyping and watch production is done locally, incorporating CNC cutting, laser engraving, printing, and hand-finishing techniques. Final dial creation and finishing is executed in-house, applying custom patinas and engraving to recycled brass, copper, and sterling silver substrates. The brand also strives for a “zero waste” model, using leather cut-offs and dead stock materials for custom straps and recycled components for packaging.
Above all, the range of processes contribute to the end product—a timepiece that is equal part tool, art, and heirloom.