Tsao Baltimore Watches
If you haven’t heard of Tsao Baltimore Watches, you will. Much like the fact that, in the late 1990s you may not have heard of another Baltimore-based company—this one in sporting apparel—Tsao watches are a high-quality Baltimore born institution in their genesis.
Tsao Baltimore LLC is a premium watch company, established in 2017. Each timepiece is proudly designed, assembled and established in Baltimore, Maryland.
Tsao Baltimore began as a lot of companies do: with a passion. Founder Alan Tsao started out as a watch enthusiast and collector. His background was in graphic design, marketing and advertising.
He taught himself by taking watches apart and reassembling them. He had already amassed quite the collection when, one evening, while he was researching which watch to buy next, his wife suggested, “Why not just start your own company?”
So, combining his passion for quality and watchmaking with the resolute spirit of his city, Tsao began designing his own watches. And as he perfected designs that he began to really like, he started to think other people may too. Using his own funds, plus some seed money from a Kickstarter campaign, The Tsao Founders Edition watch was born in February of 2017. It was followed by the Torsk Diver and Constellation Chrono-Diver.
The most recent launches are The Tsao Legacy and Legacy 36. They are compressor-style dive watches with many dial color options, among which is a royal purple dial reminiscent of a certain Baltimore sports team (or Edgar Allen Poe reference, whichever you prefer). The Legacy is aptly named: it is a bold announcement of what it is, and a promise of something worthy of being passed down to future generations. The limited edition Tsao Baltimore Legacy is an heirloom worthy timepiece.
Tsao Watches set themselves apart in several ways. The first is the attention to detail and the quality of each piece. For instance, the Legacy and Legacy 36 (a smaller version of its counterpart) feature different texturing on the crowns for tactile distinction (the top adjusts the bezel, the bottom works the date and time). Along the bottom of the dial, a keen eye will notice the symmetry of two long words: BALTIMORE|MARYLAND. On the Constellation Chrono-Diver, the back is stamped with the U.S.S. Constellation Star Insignia in raised relief. On all Tsao watches the industrial brushed finishing emphasizes the design’s sharp lines.
The second unique thing about Tsao Baltimore is their passion and loyalty to Baltimore. Every design is inspired by Baltimore: its history, landmarks and people. Whether it’s the design, or the story, Baltimore flows deep within the heart of each Tsao Baltimore timepiece. For instance, The Constellation Chrono-Diver watch is named after the USS Constellation ship, located at the Baltimore Inner Harbor. The USS Constellation is the last sail-only warship designed and built by the United States Navy in 1853.
Tsao Watches are only made in small quantities. Some color and strap combinations can only be numbered in the hundreds.
Tsao watches have certainly fully come into their own. Their ultimate goal is to not only continue designing and assembling watches in Maryland, but to eventually manufacture them locally, as well. Nelson Coleman Jewelers is proud to be the ONLY Baltimore-area retailer to carry the Tsao brand. Their beginnings are a lot like ours, and we can’t wait to see how far they go.