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About Us

Sangamon Watches was started in America’s Heartland by two international business travelers who wanted to combine their passions of history and high-quality watches. Using their business expertise, Sangamon designed stunning dress watches for men and women around meaningful American stories. Every Sangamon watch is hand assembled in limited quantities and based on a special inspirational story.

Behind The Name

Sangamon Watch Company is named after the Sangamon River, which runs from Central Illinois and feeds into the Mississippi River. The river was loved by Abraham Lincoln, whose family settled along the river when he was a young man. The Sangamon region was also home to one of the finest watchmakers in the United States - the Illinois Watch Company. It operated for 61 years building nearly six million watches and had over 1200 employees at its peak. It was a pioneer of the time-keeping industry and railroads across the world utilized their technology.  

Our employees work in the long shadow of President Lincoln feeling inspired by our region’s rich history. Our name, Sangamon, is proud to honor this tradition of excellence.

Our Founders

Tyler McKay is a sixth-generation farmer from Central Illinois who was taught true Midwestern values as a kid by raising livestock and working around heavy machinery. His passion for business and entrepreneurship led him to the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), where he was inspired to launch Sangamon Watches while completing his MBA.

Brian Su followed his heart to America in the 1980s and has 3 decades of international business experience, frequently traveling across the world. He has a deep appreciation for American history and President Lincoln’s influence has kept him in Springfield for over 25 years. Brian’s passion for history and craftsmanship along with his diverse skill set has transformed our business model to be inspired by the American spirit.

Brian Su and Tyler McKay of Sangamon Watches

Our Process

We are proud to have a global team with a small-town headquarters, focusing on quality over quantity. Every watch is designed in America at our Springfield office around a special theme. We work with distinguished scholars and researchers to craft a special story card that further relates our customers to their watch. We only work with trusted manufacturers on small-batch production to ensure the highest quality of products. We are able to source parts from around the world and work with highly experienced manufacturers, allowing us to pass on savings to our customers. Every decision is strategically calculated as we are committed to crafting historically inspired watches.

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