Nathan Trafford has always used art to tell a story. With most of his professional career being in graphic design and marketing, he has spent many years doing just that. However, only over the past few years has Nathan moved that skill set into designing watches. While he always admired watches, he never imagined watchmaking would be on his personal horizon. His path to designing watches started with designing custom watch faces to use on smartwatches for fun. Seeing his visual design come to life on the face of the watch excited Nathan. The more he did it, the more he wanted to continue designing. Naturally, he progressed to the point where designing watches just made sense.  Plus, he has a fine appreciation for quality goods that live for many years – perhaps even outliving people. Thus, Trafford Watch Company was born.

Trafford Watch Company Sign

With his first project, Nathan set out to tell amazing stories of bravery and valor that he had learned. Those stories were of race car drivers early in the 20th century and how they banded together to become one of Great Britain’s greatest tools as special operations agents in World War II. When Nathan heard those stories he fell in love with them and decided that he wanted to pay homage to those drivers with their own color watch in his first collection. That collection has long sold out but it remains one of Nathan’s favorite achievements. He even toys with the idea of someday making another run of them…

With his sophomore collection, Nathan wanted to focus less on a specific story from history and more on the individual stories that each person has.  Think of a person’s life as a horizon line, with the good moments and celebrations being lines that intersect it. That idea of a horizon line and intersecting celebratory moments actually served as the main design inspiration behind Trafford’s Crossroads collection. 

With Crossroads, Trafford celebrates those good times – the weddings, the promotions, or the milestone birthdays. And to make the Crossroads as accessible as possible, he released a quartz model in addition to an automatic. He also released multiple colors – something he did on his first watch as well. This time, the Crossroads’ 4 color choices pay homage to his home – Texas.

As a resident of Austin, Texas, Trafford is a proud Texan. That’s a point he and I connected over, as Texas watchmakers are some of my favorite people. Trafford dreams of someday assembling his watches in Texas, or earning a “made in USA” stamp on his watches (or both). The sky’s the limit for Nathan Trafford and Trafford watches.


And as far as what’s next for this Texan watch designer turned brand owner? After 2 widely-successful and fully-funded Kickstarter launches, he is already sketching out what the next watch looks like. And if you missed the Crossroads, he hopes to make it a permanent collection in his lineup – perhaps someday even upgrading it to include a GMT or chronograph.

Whether you’re a fan of watch microbrands, Texas watch design, or just fabulous looking quality timepieces, Trafford Watches is a Company to keep your eyes on.

*Note – Credit to Trafford Watch Company for the photos. 

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