CAVE CREEK, Ariz. — Watson’s Hat Shop in Cave Creek, Ariz. is keeping the style of the wild west alive with hand-crafted hats.
Try to imagine those old western movies without the character’s iconic hats. For Eric Watson, that was never an option.
Watson always had a passion for hats. He started teaching himself how to make and sew hats from a very young age, inspired by a very iconic hat from an even more iconic movie series- Indiana Jones.
“I loved Indiana Jones as a kid. When I started wearing fedoras or a hat it was an Indiana Jones’ style hat.”
At Watson’s Hat Shop in Cave Creek, Watson, his wife and employees handcraft beaver fur hats, fedoras, Panama hats and more, using original machinery made in the 1800s and early 1900s.
He uses the old machinery to make the vintage hats authentic. He said to truly make a vintage hat, you have to create it in a vintage way.
“You can’t recreate the wheel, you have to do it the same way with the same old equipment,” said Watson.
“That’s what makes it the most exciting,” said Alex Cabrera, who is working as an apprenticing hatter. “I just find it so cool that when I look at these tools and I’m using them, just think about all the other hats that have used since the 1800s, 1900s.”
Watson’s hats have even been featured on the small screen. Eric Watson and his team made hats for the main characters in the Netflix series ‘Godless.’
Watson’s Hat Shop makes custom hats and can have a custom piece in your hands in just a couple of days.