The Etsy Blog

Handmade Portraits: Brooklyn Watches

MP4 | YouTube | Vimeo | Blip.tv | Subscribe in iTunes

(Music by Moby Gratis)

The Brooklyn Flea is not an easy place to stand out, but David Sokosh caught my attention. With his rounded spectacles, crisp white shirt, jacket vest, and thick mustache complemented by slicked-back hair, he looked like a vestige of a bygone era. It turned out he was an anachronism of sorts — a watchmaker.

David fell into watchmaking almost by accident. He owned an art gallery that closed during the recent recession. A hobbyist for many years, he had apprenticed with a clockmaker early on, and returned to it only after the dissolution of his art gallery. David’s story is a fascinating account of the consequence of chance, and how life’s uncontrollable events can lead an individual to his calling.

Watch More Etsy Videos

All Etsy videos are created under the Creative Commons license.
Please feel free to share!

3 Featured Comments

Sign in to add your own
  • heatherllevin

    Heather Levin from petticoatplease says: Featured

    I have a handmade watch myself, and the artist is right; digital watches just don't have the same feel or personal connection. So much care and attention has to go into a handmade watch; it's such a work of art that you get to wear and look at every day. I hope more people will see the advantage of these beautiful watches over the monotonous ones from China! Thank you for this great video!

    1 year ago

  • PennyBirchWilliams

    Penny Birch-Williams from PennyBirchWilliams says: Featured

    The current recession has changed many lives and altered many courses, but what seems to be a loss or setback may often turn someone in a direction they would never otherwise find. And that direction may be a great opportunity or a new passion. We can't always tell what twists and turns of life will take, or what may result; even 'bad' things can bring 'good' to us in time. David Sokosh is a great example of how people persevere and find the good in difficult times. I'm happy for him and his watches are wonderful!

    1 year ago

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat says: Featured

    "A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it." Jean de la Fontaine. I love the serendipitous nature of the way so many Etsians came to be crafting for a living. And as someone who has had a lifelong friendship with the last watchmaker in this area, & seen his struggles to find a suitable apprentice to pass his skills on to, I'm thrilled to see that the art hasn't died out elsewhere either! Best of luck for the future David!

    1 year ago

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 from Parachute425 says:

    Excellent, David! Best of luck to you. Thanks for sharing your story.

    1 year ago

  • volkerwandering

    Jess from volkerwandering says:

    so cool! I love that he works with old watches!

    1 year ago

  • heatherllevin

    Heather Levin from petticoatplease says: Featured

    I have a handmade watch myself, and the artist is right; digital watches just don't have the same feel or personal connection. So much care and attention has to go into a handmade watch; it's such a work of art that you get to wear and look at every day. I hope more people will see the advantage of these beautiful watches over the monotonous ones from China! Thank you for this great video!

    1 year ago

  • PennyBirchWilliams

    Penny Birch-Williams from PennyBirchWilliams says: Featured

    The current recession has changed many lives and altered many courses, but what seems to be a loss or setback may often turn someone in a direction they would never otherwise find. And that direction may be a great opportunity or a new passion. We can't always tell what twists and turns of life will take, or what may result; even 'bad' things can bring 'good' to us in time. David Sokosh is a great example of how people persevere and find the good in difficult times. I'm happy for him and his watches are wonderful!

    1 year ago

  • StringBeardCraftery

    Stephanie from StringBeardCraftery says:

    Such tiny pieces! It must be so challenging and rewarding to find all of these little vintage hardware mechanics and to piece them together to create something new. Something new and vintage at the same time! Like resuscitating a watch that has seen so much throughout its life!

    1 year ago

  • warnellcreations

    warnellcreations from warnellcreations says:

    Phenomenal work! Thanks for sharing your inspiring story.

    1 year ago

  • ErikaPrice

    Erika from ErikaPrice says:

    Awesome story, and I love the way David combines old and new in each piece - would cherish one of my own!

    1 year ago

  • thevicagirl

    VaLon Frandsen from thevicagirl says:

    How cool, such pretty watches. Love it.

    1 year ago

  • adrianaallenllc

    Adriana Allen from adrianaallenllc says:

    I loved the video. The music was very appropriately chosen - there is something very romantic about recovering the past that has been lost. It's amazing that in this world there a niche can be found or built for anything, if you have the right approach and passion for it. Yes, you are not competing with Cartier Patek Phillipe, but you don't have to. Your work is just as valuable. Best of wishes for your future!

    1 year ago

  • vinylclockwork

    Scott from vinylclockwork says:

    Great Video, Gonna head over to Brooklyn Watches and check them out they look pretty cool. Keep up the great work and awesome story

    1 year ago

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie says:

    Love your story! Your work is beautiful! Thanks for sharing with us!

    1 year ago

  • ThePolkadotMagpie

    Polkadot Magpie from ThePolkadotMagpie says:

    Love this piece, and David's work. Congrats!

    1 year ago

  • skybluemaine

    skybluemaine from MySkyBlueMaine says:

    Hellooo David, I'm really really pleased and inspired by you! Now I'll be watching yard sales for old pocket watches for you! No charge. Very excited to see you have a dream and vocation of such distinction. It seems that everyone must have an ancestor whom they can claim was a watchmaker; now to know one in "real life is very cool." Bravo. Annie skybluemaine

    1 year ago

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage says:

    What a great story! Almost a lost art.

    1 year ago

  • windycitynovelties

    Windy City Novelties says:

    One door may have closed but another one opened and you are very talented! Great story.

    1 year ago

  • ValliCraftEmporium

    ValliCraftEmporium from ValliCraftEmporium says:

    I love these manual wind watches! Well made with no batteries. It would be great if there were more no-battery operated, high crafts available today.

    1 year ago

  • KMalinka

    Natalia from KMalinkaVintage says:

    Awesome story!

    1 year ago

  • maaretsinkko

    maaret sinkko from maaretsinkko says:

    who knows how the road takes you on a fascinating journey. what you set out to do in life is not perhaps what you become, but something better.

    1 year ago

  • lovelyfeverboutique

    Jessica from LovelyFever says:

    Great video with an inspiring story! I guess there is truth to the saying that "when one door closes, another one opens".

    1 year ago

  • silvertique

    silvertique from silvertique says:

    wow, nice story!

    1 year ago

  • Iammie

    iammie from iammie says:

    Nice!

    1 year ago

  • redemptionart

    Connie Haskell from redemptionart says:

    Bravo! Good for you! What a great example of American ingenuity, as well as an inspiration for so many of us who have had to charter a new path for our lives! Best of luck to you!

    1 year ago

  • DreamSight

    Marta Morales from DreamSight says:

    Oh!! Nice story :D

    1 year ago

  • samsnatural

    Sam's Natural from SamsNatural says:

    Awesome ~ nice short!

    1 year ago

  • EmiliaFaith

    Edie Ann from OhHoneyHush says:

    Very nice watches!! Great story :)

    1 year ago

  • morganhartlage

    Morgan Hartlage from morganhartlage says:

    I am so glad someone is making wrist watches like this. The level of craftmanship is amazing. I've always been obsessed with pocket watches and antique movements... I once asked my uncle who owns a jewelry store to make a watch from one of my boyfriend's antique watches. Unfortunately he didn't have the skill to do so and Ive been trying to find watches like these ever since. Bravo David, and you should push into the market for women (masculine watch faces with more feminine bands). :)

    1 year ago

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat says: Featured

    "A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it." Jean de la Fontaine. I love the serendipitous nature of the way so many Etsians came to be crafting for a living. And as someone who has had a lifelong friendship with the last watchmaker in this area, & seen his struggles to find a suitable apprentice to pass his skills on to, I'm thrilled to see that the art hasn't died out elsewhere either! Best of luck for the future David!

    1 year ago

  • customizeBaby

    Custom Baby from customizeBaby says:

    WHAT AN AWESOMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE ARTICLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 year ago

  • jewelryrage

    Aaron Kish from JewelryRage says:

    Awesome work congrats on the feature. http://jewelryrage.com/

    1 year ago

  • ellenmari

    ellenmari says:

    If the watches had'nt already sold me this vid sure would have! Amazing stuff!

    1 year ago

  • isoscele

    isoscele from isoscele says:

    Super Article!

    1 year ago

  • melissamunsterman

    Melissa Munsterman from ZOBESTUDIO says:

    I grew up in the jewelry industry and watched my father repair watches for years. He is no longer alive but he would approve of this inspiring story. Bravo for finding a new avenue and creating something beautiful once again.

    1 year ago

  • DarwinsDress

    Deanna Lamour from DarwinsDress says:

    I love real life stories where hard times are alchemized into fruitful times through patience, perseverance, and optimism! Wonderful video!

    1 year ago

  • ArteArtesania
  • goingplaces2

    Ginger Oliphant from GoingPlaces2 says:

    What a wonderful story and talent! Eleanor Roosevelt said "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are". I too would never have discovered the talent inside me if not for the recession and a reduction in hours at my job. 40 hours to 24 hours allowed me the to create my line of art and open up my Etsy store. Well done David! And much continued success.

    1 year ago

  • mafiz

    Inga Rudnick from mafiz says:

    Great storie. I like to see it, as others show their craft. I felts, I like that too.

    1 year ago

  • deprince49

    David Prince says:

    That's great, I get how you get a hold of the movements but how do you get the cases and dials made ??

    1 year ago

  • mickeytryan

    mike ryan says:

    Whats his web site or how does one get in touch with him?

    1 year ago

  • juicychristians

    Nathifa Davis-Sligh from juicychristians says:

    This is such an awesome story.

    1 year ago

  • newtribetextiles

    newtribetextiles from newtribetextiles says:

    I have seen first hand how the art of watch making and fixing is dyeing in India, hopefully it is not as inevitable as it seems. Because it is a beautiful and amazing craft. Thanks for creating this post.

    1 year ago

  • opalbyoz

    Opal by Oz from opalbyoz says:

    I have several wind up wrist watches. I have a few digital as well. I wear the wind up because that is me. The last digital is still in the box. That sums up it all. David, you are on the right track! Out of adversity comes opportunity. A great story to share.

    1 year ago

  • shilproductions

    Sandi Hill from shilproductions says:

    Wonderful! I have a small bag of new old parts, if there's some way to get them to the artist.

    1 year ago

  • EvangelineBlack

    Evangeline Black from EvangelineBlack says:

    what a beautifil story - I wish him all the best with his business! Real makers like David, that's what the world needs :-)

    1 year ago

  • ktrebeccajewellery

    Katie Rebecca Hoare from ktrebeccajewellery says:

    Such an inspiration! There is not many with this skill! Thanks

    1 year ago

  • auvahome

    Dana Dufek from auvahome says:

    Beautiful and moving story! Thanks so much for sharing and for the connection to your craft. Truly inspiring. -Dana auva home

    1 year ago