Local man designing vintage watches inspired by his grandfather

(WTNH) — For more than a year, Brian Dunnigan has been working in secret with his business partner and now, he’s going public with it.

It’s called Hawthorn Watch Company.

The UConn grad’s late grandfather, Bernard Brown with whom he was very close, was a watch maker. He’s the catalyst for the company. Bernie, as he was known, received the Purple Heart after he was wounded in France in World War II. When he came home from war, he started in the watch business.

“It’s actually because of the GI Bill for World War II, they would give you money to study, they would give you money to learn a trade so he decided he was going to make watchmaking, so he went to the Waltham Watch Company in Massachusetts and learned how to be a watchmaker and then took that knowledge back to Connecticut and worked in New Haven working on watches,” said Dunnigan.

Dunnigan, who wears his grandfather’s time piece as inspiration, has made a watch that is vintage-inspired and meant to be passed down through the generations.

“We have two different styles of watches. We have one with the batons, which are the lines denoting the hour markers, we also have the ones with the markers, both 40 millimeters, all of them are made of stainless steel, 316L stainless steel. It’s important to note that because its surgical grade stainless steel, which means it’s not going to corrode, not going to react to your skin,” said Dunnigan.

To get things started, they are giving away four watches on their prelaunch website.

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