Exploring the world of watches on a budget

Interview With Bill McDowell and McDowell Time / Clockwork Synergy Giveaway

Today I've got an interview with Bill McDowell. I've also collaborated with McDowell Time and Maryland strap vendor Clockwork Synergy to bring you a sweet giveaway. Like what you see? Want to win a McDowell Time DelRay and Clockwork Synergy straps? See the rules below.

McDowell Time DelRay Blue

When did you discover your passion for watches?
I’ve always been a ‘gadget person’, so as a child wearing a watch was a cool gadget for me. I consistently wore some inexpensive watch until the smartphone era, and at that point watches became somewhat obsolete for me, especially since I had a cool new phone.

It wasn’t until my in-laws gave me my first 'nice' watch as an engagement gift that I again realized how cool watches can be. A watch revolution started in my life and I became obsessed with analyzing every watch I came across; critiquing the minor details which culminate to the overall design and feel. I was constantly scouring the Internet and Kickstarter to see what cool watch was coming next.  

McDowell Time DelRay Blue

What inspired you to create your own watch company?
I really admired the Kickstarter-funded watch companies and thought “who are these people to just make their own watch?” I was awestruck at the idea of someone creating a company on Kickstarter from scratch. I started researching what it would take to start my own brand and slowly put together a business plan. After months of planning & prep work, we were lucky to fully fund our first watch on Kickstarter and now we are a real brand too!  

McDowell Time DelRay Blue on leather

What products do you provide at McDowell Time?

We currently sell our only watch, the DelRay, along with a variety of strap options; however, we are very excited to release our next model, the Sonoma, this spring on Kickstarter. 

Which of your watch designs is your personal favorite?
Since we are a fairly new company we only have two watch designs right now.  Our first watch, the DelRay, is a very classic design that will always have a spot in our heart since it was the watch that launched our company.  That being said, I’m more biased towards the Sonoma because it was a true in-house design.  We modeled the watch with 3D CAD software and printed out many variations with our 3D printer.  This rapid prototyping allowed us to get direct feedback on design tweaks and see the effects in person, not just a computer screen.    

McDowell Time DelRay Blue on Perlon

What are some technical details of your watches?
Here are the specs:
  • Case - 316L Stainless Steel in Polished or PVD Black
  • Case Width - 44MM
  • Lug Width - 22MM
  • Thickness - 11MM
  • Crystal - Sapphire Crystal with Anti-Reflective Coating 
  • Movement - Seiko Epson YT57 Auto-Quartz (Kinetic)
  • Hands - Classic Styling with C3 Super-LumiNova
  • Water Resistance - 10ATM
The Seiko YT57 movement provides the benefits of both automatic and quartz watches. The automatic movement is the typical rotating counterweight and is visible via a glass case back.  Instead of the rotating mechanism winding a spring, the YT57 stores energy in a small capacitor. This electrical energy is then used to power the quartz operation of the watch; which provides extremely reliable timekeeping. This combination of rotation mass converting to electrical energy is a true hybrid approach.

McDowell Time DelRay Blue case back

What do you do in your free time when you aren’t designing watches?
What’s this ‘free time’ you speak of? LOL! I’m a gearhead at heart, so I enjoy wrenching on older cars when I can. A few years ago I restored a 1980 CJ-7 where I disassembled the car, had all the body panels media blasted, then I repainted everything with my Dad’s help. We installed new gauges and re-wired the Jeep while it was all apart.  

More recently I’ve been flying drones. I’ve always tinkered with remote control cars & planes, so drones are the next logical step. You have to be very careful where to fly in the DC area, and luckily my house is just barely in the ‘allowed area’ to fly.   

McDowell Time DelRay crown

What are some goals for the future of McDowell Time?
We have a few more designs queued-up that we would like to create, but it all depends on our next Kickstarter. We don’t ever over-extend ourselves, so we need to continue to have funding success to justify making watches. Ultimately we hope to continue creating some cool watches that deliver high quality at an affordable price.  

McDowell Time DelRay Blue and Clockwork Synergy Straps


Want to win a new McDowell Time watch and case, along with three Clockwork Synergy straps and a Classic Strap Tool? Easy. Just head over to Facebook, Instagram, or both and follow the rules below.


1.  Like the contest image.
2.  Like @thetimebum@mcdowelltime, and @clockworksynergy on Facebook.
3.  Tag three friends who you think would love this prize. For every friend you tag, you will earn an additional entry!


1. Heart the contest image.
2. Follow @thetimebum@mcdowelltime, and @clockworksynergy on Instagram.
3. Tag three friends in the comments. Once accounts are followed, regram the image for an additional entry!

Giveaway ends March 16, 2017, winners will be chosen shortly after. Good luck!

Photos courtesy of McDowell Time and Clockwork Synergy.

Clockwork Synergy Straps
Clockwork Synergy Classic Strap Tool

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