Independent Watch Brand | How We Began

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our story


The manual winding watch Bergstrom bronze

Our company motto is “history remembers those who are a little bit different.”  From bold, risk takers to extravagant characters, every great legacy has a mark of distinction that makes them truly unique. 

Our watch designs embody a sense of adventure, freedom and desire to live life to the fullest. So, now it's your turn. Adventure Awaits. 

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Our Founder

Steven Lee has had a lifelong love affair with the poeticism, timelessness and inspirational beauty of mechanical watches. From the moment of his first watch purchase as a young child, to being gifted by his mother his grandfather's mechanical piece, Steven knew that watches were going to be one of the most central themes in his life. This passion inspired him as a collector that led him around Europe and the rest of the world on a personal quest to uncover man's relationship with time through the use of timepieces. Through his travels and continued education, Steven became driven with the strong desire to share his passion and knowledge with others. He began sketching rough watch designs in a notebook that evolved into intricate creations that were a cumulation of his collective experiences and enthusiasm. As a longtime member of the Austin, Texas community, Steven wanted to capture his love of his adopted city and its wholly unique spirit and vibe fusing this essence into his existing designs. These designs became the catalyst and foundation that would launch DuFrane Watches in 2016. DuFrane is Steven's mother's maiden name paying homage to her early influence on his love of watches. 

Named after Austin landmarks and historical figures, the first series of DuFrane Watches feature the Bergstrom, which symbolize the innovation of early pilots who strapped their pocket watches around their wrists during flight. Meanwhile, follow up release of the Barton Springs 656 takes advantage of more modern watch technology, such as automatic mechanical movement, to create a long lasting and reliable diver model.

Each DuFrane is a unique timepiece that is a fusion of Steven's passion, classic design, and Austin’s unique essence, making each a timepiece firmly rooted in the present, paying homage to a golden past and looking forward to a future that inspires the generations to come.