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Handmade Portraits: Brooklyn Watches

Jun 19, 2012

by ZPontz

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(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.

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3 Featured Comments

  • heatherllevin

    Heather Levin from petticoatplease said 4 years ago 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!

  • PennyBirchWilliams

    Penny Birch-Williams from PennyBirchWilliams said 4 years ago 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!

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat said 4 years ago 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!

45 comments

  • Parachute425

    Terry from Parachute425 said 4 years ago

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

  • volkerwandering

    Jess from volkerwandering said 4 years ago

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

  • heatherllevin

    Heather Levin from petticoatplease said 4 years ago 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!

  • PennyBirchWilliams

    Penny Birch-Williams from PennyBirchWilliams said 4 years ago 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!

  • StringBeardCraftery

    Stephanie from StringBeardCraftery said 4 years ago

    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!

  • warnellcreations

    warnellcreations from warnellcreations said 4 years ago

    Phenomenal work! Thanks for sharing your inspiring story.

  • ErikaPrice

    Erika from ErikaPrice said 4 years ago

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

  • thevicagirl

    VaLon Frandsen from thevicagirl said 4 years ago

    How cool, such pretty watches. Love it.

  • adrianaallenllc

    Adriana Allen from adrianaallenllc said 4 years ago

    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!

  • vinylclockwork

    Scott from vinylclockwork said 4 years ago

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

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 4 years ago

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

  • ThePolkadotMagpie

    Polkadot Magpie from ThePolkadotMagpie said 4 years ago

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

  • skybluemaine

    skybluemaine from MySkyBlueMaine said 4 years ago

    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

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 4 years ago

    What a great story! Almost a lost art.

  • windycitynovelties

    Windy City Novelties said 4 years ago

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

  • ValliCraftEmporium

    ValliCraftEmporium from ValliCraftEmporium said 4 years ago

    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.

  • KMalinka

    Natalia from KMalinkaVintage said 4 years ago

    Awesome story!

  • maaretsinkko

    maaret sinkko from maaretsinkko said 4 years ago

    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.

  • lovelyfeverboutique

    Jessica from LovelyFever said 4 years ago

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

  • silvertique

    silvertique from silvertique said 4 years ago

    wow, nice story!

  • Iammie

    iammie from iammie said 4 years ago

    Nice!

  • redemptionart

    Connie Haskell from redemptionart said 4 years ago

    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!

  • DreamSight

    Marta Morales from DreamSight said 4 years ago

    Oh!! Nice story :D

  • samsnatural

    Sam's Natural from SamsNatural said 4 years ago

    Awesome ~ nice short!

  • EmiliaFaith

    Edie Ann from OhHoneyHush said 4 years ago

    Very nice watches!! Great story :)

  • morganhartlage

    Morgan Hartlage from morganhartlage said 4 years ago

    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). :)

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat said 4 years ago 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!

  • customizeBaby

    Custom Baby from customizeBaby said 4 years ago

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

  • jewelryrage

    Aaron Kish from JewelryRage said 4 years ago

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

  • ellenmari

    ellenmari said 4 years ago

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

  • isoscele

    isoscele from isoscele said 4 years ago

    Super Article!

  • melissamunsterman

    Melissa Munsterman from ZOBESTUDIO said 4 years ago

    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.

  • DarwinsDress

    Deanna Lamour from DarwinsDress said 4 years ago

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

  • ArteArtesania
  • goingplaces2

    Ginger Oliphant from GoingPlaces2 said 4 years ago

    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.

  • mafiz

    Inga Rudnick from mafiz said 4 years ago

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

  • deprince49

    David Prince said 4 years ago

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

  • mickeytryan

    mike ryan said 4 years ago

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

  • juicychristians

    Nathifa Davis-Sligh from juicychristians said 4 years ago

    This is such an awesome story.

  • newtribetextiles

    newtribetextiles from newtribetextiles said 4 years ago

    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.

  • opalbyoz

    Opal by Oz from opalbyoz said 4 years ago

    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.

  • shilproductions

    Sandi Hill from shilproductions said 4 years ago

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

  • EvangelineBlack

    Evangeline Black from EvangelineBlack said 4 years ago

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

  • ktrebeccajewellery

    Katie Rebecca Hoare from ktrebeccajewellery said 4 years ago

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

  • auvahome

    Dana Dufek from auvahome said 3 years ago

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

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