ABOUT HARLEM WATCHES
From The Founders - Dwight & Shani Richards
In February 2021 we launched a Kickstarter Campaign for our Harlem watches and timepieces. This video is a snippet of us talking about some of Harlem's history that became the foundation of the Harlem Watch Company. It gave us a wealth of creative insight and material that we'll be able to leverage for years to come.
A Little History Of A Third-Generation Harlemite
The Harlem Watch Company was founded by a third-generation Harlemite who moved back to Harlem to be closer to family, and with his return to Harlem, the appreciation for his hometown grew. His love for watches started in elementary school, Harlem’s P.S. 100 to be exact. He always admired the watches his father wore and started wanting his own. He was very proud to wear a watch to school at a young age, along with his briefcase. Yes, he carried his books to elementary school in a briefcase. More on that another time, and we’ll not discuss how many watches he dismantled trying to figure out how they worked. But he was the one who would change everyone’s battery when needed.
The founder, Dwight Richards brought together his love of family, heritage, and watches to form The Harlem Watch Company.
Dwight’s love of family starts with his Grandmother who is 99 years old and extends to his Great-Great Niece who is barely a year old, a total of six generations here in Harlem. “Gran’ Ma’ > Ma’ > His Oldest Brother > His Brother’s Daughter > Her Daughter > Her Daughter’s daughter” – Now that’s a family tree! Dwight’s appreciation for learning about Harlem’s history goes back to before it was incorporated around 1658, there are varying opinions on the exact year. And of course, through the very famous time period that really brought Harlem to prominence - The Renaissance.
These signature timepieces pay homage to the people, the places, and the times associated with Harlem’s very rich history. Over the centuries Harlem has managed through many highs and lows, and through it all, Harlem residents’ resilience is still shining through.
Our very first offering is a lightweight, stainless-steel men's watch and women’s watch that we’re calling - The Traveller. You can find additional details about our Traveller watches for sale in our shop.
A Behind The Scenes Note:
“There is a diamond in the company’s logo and on the watches because it represents a diamond-in-the-rough. There are so many powerful, meaningful, and beautiful stories associated with Harlem’s rich history.”
FACTS OF [MY] LIFE
This page offers a little insight into the history I've experienced and learned about in Harlem, NY.
MRS. JOSEPHINE BAKER
Singer, Dancer, Activist
Mrs. Josephine Baker.
Singer, Dancer, Activist.
Sunrise 1906 - Sunset 1975.
Her career started in the Vaudeville
show called Shuffle-Along.
As she found success, she moved to New York City in the early 1920s, which added to the Harlem Renaissance lure.
While in the City she performed in the show "Chocolate Dandies", where she played Harlem venues including the Cotton Club.
She worked to break color lines by refusing to perform at segregated venues.
Mrs. Baker also spoke at The March on Washington in 1963 with Doctor Martin Luther King.
Thank you, Mrs. Baker, for being a Harlem Traveller.
World Famous Sports Legend
As a teenager, I had gone on a day trip to Muhamed Ali's training camp in Upstate New York with a neighborhood community organization. I was in line to meet him and shake his hand, but a pretty girl was behind me and I somehow disappeared in his eyes. Nonetheless, the camp was great and for a while afterwards, none of the kids I hungout with could out box me.
World Famous Blues Entertainer
I believe I was a teenager when my school class from P.S. 100, formerly on 139th Street near 5th Avenue, and I went on a field trip to see BB King, live at the Apollo Theatre. The song I remember him singing was Stormy Monday. From that interaction as a kid, I learned to play the sax by ear as an adult, while listening to BB King cd's.
World Famous Entertainers
I saw the Spinners at the Apollo Theatre as a child, and I don't recall what group I went there with. But what I do remember is that I was rather disturbed with their performace. They performed their song "Rubber-band Man", and one of the group acted as if they couldn't see and kept approaching the stage's edge as if they were going off the edge. And just in time a couple of the group members would "stop him". Thankfully, an adult took some time to explain to me their humourous objective. I'm actually reacting as I write about it now.