Core concepts often discussed here within the Man of Mastery community include uncovering purpose, following the fire in your belly, taking consistent action, and growth outside the comfort zone. In this week’s episode I have the honor of speaking with a gentleman who is no stranger to any of those concepts.

Brian Dougherty parlayed a finance degree into the commercial real estate industry before answering a call to service and enlisting in the Navy at 28 years old. He succeeded at his objective of making it into the SEAL Teams and served 8 years on active duty including overseas deployments as well as a turn as an instructor at BUD/S. Today we speak with Brian about the next leg of his already epic journey.

Brian has founded an American watch company named after his first son – the Declan James Watch Co – and they just hit the market this past fall. His start-up provides great context for a discussion around differentiators in an extremely competitive business, the critical importance of relationships in branding, the incredible support of the veteran community, and the mindset of building a company and a product that can pass from generation to generation.

We even get a quick cameo from Master Declan James himself!

“Every Declan James piece pays tribute to the heritage of watchmaking and honors those who came before us and those who will come after”

– Brian Dougherty

And for other watch geeks like me, we talk a bit about case design and size and the high-quality Swiss movement Brian chose that allows them to offer a very unique lifetime warranty. Listen right through to the end as the Declan James Watch company are extending a really generous 15% DISCOUNT to anyone in the active duty or veteran military, law enforcement, and first responder communities who would like to purchase a timepiece.

“Our company’s history is rooted in service, and we continue this lineage of humbly serving our customers with integrity and dedication.”

– Brian Dougherty


The idea of a watchmaking company that cared about every single detail of its timepieces—whether that be the craftsmanship, design, or sophistication—burned deep inside the mind and heart of founder and CEO Brian Dougherty for many years.  It was in grade school where Brian developed his passion and some might call his obsession for watches. Even as a young kid, he was drawn to their functionality and beauty. Though his passion for watches continued into adulthood when he worked in commercial real estate, he knew it was not the right time to start his own watch company.

Seeking a higher purpose, he decided to commit his life to service and join the Navy at 28-years-old. As a Navy SEAL, Brian learned the virtues of humility, integrity and leadership. He also learned the importance of dedication. As a mentor once told him, “It’s not that SEALs are amazing at what we do that makes us successful, it’s that we get back up every single time we are knocked down.”

Equipped with a newfound respect for service and a new humble fearlessness from his time in the Navy, Brian was ready to make the leap and found Declan James Watch Co. Being a Navy SEAL instilled within Brian a higher purpose and this is what guides his company today. It is not just about building a watch with fine craftsmanship and flawless design, it’s also about the love for his sons and a desire to start a tradition with them that they can be proud of for generations to come.


  • Carving a niche out of a competitive market
  • The two best jobs Brian has ever had
  • The power of asking for help
  • Why watches are still extremely relevant
  • Insist on quality 
  • Marketing an analog product in the digital age
  • Morning routine to meet the day
  • Comparing notes on fatherhood
  • Military veteran community
  • Doing right by your customers


Brian and the Declan James Watch Co team are offering a VERY generous 15% brotherhood / sisterhood discount to Man of Mastery customers in the military and veteran community. When you’re ready for one of these incredible timepieces, please reach out to Brian at one of the links above.

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We will learn from executives, athletes, entrepreneurs, academics, relationship experts, wealth managers, and warriors. Embrace success as a process – not a singular event – achieved through grit, resilience, and perseverance. Study strategies to achieve extraordinary results through simple consistent actions, accomplishing what others deem impossible.

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Note to reader: This article may contain product/service recommendations based on my own trial, error, and what I’ve found works well for me. Again, these are my own opinions from my personal experience. Your mileage will vary. For your convenience, I’ve provided links – mostly to Amazon because I’m a fan of the shopping and shipping ease. These are affiliate links, meaning that if you choose to make a purchase then I will earn a small commission – at no additional cost to you. Please spend your hard-earned dollars wisely and only consider those products that are right for you. If you choose to purchase any of these items, I’d be honored if you do so through the affiliate link as the commissions will help to further the mission here at Man of Mastery. For more about affiliate links please see this page on our website.