As the founder of luxury watch brand Niall, Michael Wilson’s vision of American manufacturing is a far cry from assembly lines and smokestack-topped factories.
From his Country Club Plaza retail boutique and workshop, Wilson leads a business that integrates Swiss horology (the art of making timepieces) with American ingenuity and craftsmanship. With each handcrafted Niall watch, Wilson is pioneering a dynamic model of small-scale custom manufacturing.
“We’re starting a revolution in American manufacturing by using an aerospace mind-set to apply their technology to watchmaking,” he said.
The name of Niall (pronounced “nile”) is drawn from Wilson’s direct paternal lineage to Niall Noigiallach, the legendary fourth century High King of Ireland. Yet the company’s forward-looking focus remains squarely on materials, service, products and brand-building that surpass the contemporary standards of competitors. Niall marries Space Age potential with timeless Midwestern values, Swiss expertise and American know-how.
“Innovation comes from the Edison approach,” Wilson said. “I have entrepreneurial grit and try lots of things with processes and materials. I look for what’s best. There are no sacred cows. We make things our way but in a time-honored profession. We maintain an open mind-set.”