Montana is known more for horses than horology, the fancy word for the watch-making.
So, you might be surprised to find out that some of the most famous people in the world come to Montana to have their watches made.
Livingston Montana is a place where time stands still.
The population and Main Street, have looked about the same for the past 80 years.
And toiling away in his main street workshop, the watchmaker.
Jeffrey Nashan is the owner and chief horologist at the Montana Watch company. He tends to one of his bespoke time pieces like a surgeon. Each watch is hand-crafted, about two-thirds of them custom-designed for individual buyers.
"It says something about that person's personality,” says Jeffrey. “It says something about who they are. Not just, 'He had means and taste so he can afford to buy an expensive watch;' but, 'He had means and taste and he was a character and he had personality and it's reflected in this time piece.'"
Like a heartbeat, Jeffrey listens to his creation come to life.
Early in his own life, Jeffrey was a teacher who liked to repair tractors, then learned to work on clocks and watches, before starting the Montana Watch Company in 1998.
"Your workspace is the size of your thumb,” says Jeffrey. “And it's sitting in front of you and I’m fascinated by the gear train and it's a pretty old concept of how to take spring power and turn it into timekeeping."
As time went on, word spread about his watches, attracting the pens of high-end magazines, then the wallets of high-end clients, heads of state, business, sports, entertainment.
You don't need to be a celebrity to buy one of Jeff’s pieces, but you do need to be willing to spend some money, $3,500 to $60,000.
Missoula attorney John Bennett has purchased four of them. Two he gave as gifts, two were gifts to himself.
"I’m more proud of the watch because it says Montana on it than if it says tag hewer or Rolex," says John.
And like gears working together to make the movement of a fine time-piece, the Nashan family works together in the business. Cole, Jeffrey’s son, is a born salesman, demonstrating the company's newest model.
"It becomes more than just a way of telling time,” says Cole. “You get to use it as a way of expressing yourself."
Melanie Nashan, Jeffrey’s wife, does sales and marketing.
"Most of our clients are self-made people,” says Melanie. “So, they want something that's very different than what everyone else has. A lot of our clients are watch collectors, but they want to create something that's very personal to them. So, I try to help them create a story that makes their timepiece something special.
Jeff has a team of craftsmen who do everything from his machining to his leather work.
He does the finishing, and assembly at his small atelier in downtown Livingston, Montana.
"I’m taking from an early history of American watchmaking and actually making a piece of individual history for that family,” says Jeffrey. “It means a lot to me. Hard to describe but that's the way I feel about it when I’m making it."
And he’s having the time of his life.
Here are a few other names of Montana Watch Company clients we can mention: Tom Brokaw, Peter Fonda, and there are more - - including one very famous name, that you can find with a picture, on the Montana Watch Company's Instagram page, @montanawatchcompany, and you will see a massive watch, on his massive arm.