MICRO MONDAYS: Our favourite microbrand releases of the year (Pt II) MICRO MONDAYS: Our favourite microbrand releases of the year (Pt II)

MICRO MONDAYS: Our favourite microbrand releases of the year (Pt II)

Time+Tide

In March 2020, Time+Tide started our weekly Micro Mondays report that was dedicated to celebrating the creativity, ingenuity and excitement growing in the independent and microbrand space. We started it because what microbrands offer the watch buyer is something refreshingly different. Not only do they regularly deliver extraordinary value for money, they can also provide a personal dimension, too. When it comes to buying a watch from a microbrand, you’re not dealing with some huge and faceless corporation, but can often find yourself entering into a direct exchange with the brand founder themselves. In addition, the fact that microbrands tend to make watches in much smaller runs can also imbue them with a special rarity value. The surge of interest in microbrands of late also points to the growing awareness among the watch community as enthusiasts look beyond the A-list brand names to judge a watch on its own value. A watch made by a small, independent brand does not purport to be a mainstream status symbol to broadcast the size of your bank balance. But that quiet discretion and “in-the-know” appeal may also suit a cluey consumer who prefers not to follow the herd. Last week, we brought you the first part of our favourite microbrand releases of the year. Here is part two….

ABOUT VINTAGE X KRISTIAN HAAGEN 1970

At the flick of a cap Kristian Haagen proves his Scandinavian mettle, and the value of his years in the watch media business. Teaming up with the young Danish design team of About Vintage, the 1970 is an ode to the early ‘70s, and the magic of green and gold within a compact tool watch case. On its thick, woven NATO strap, the 1970 has got what it takes to be one of the best entry tickets to the hard-fought GMT game. Read more

MING X MASSENA LAB

Some microbrands offer a particular charm and purity of focus. Ming does exactly that with their brilliant design, proving that minimalism is a lot more than paring down well-known horological traits. Teaming up with the master of collabs, William Massena and his LAB, the honey-coloured delight of the revised 17.09 proves just how much can be achieved without a single touch of homage. This is futurism with a clean and rich dial. Read more

SERICA 5303

Serica follows their own path of steel minimalism with a style that is refreshingly uncategorisable. That they’ve only got three releases to their name, yet are still instantly recognisable without visible logos on their dials, is proof of their focus. The 5303 offers a quirky take on a pure ’60s dive tool with a delicious twist to the lugs. Read more

FURLAN MARRI

Furlan Marri are the Kickstarter success of 2021. Andrea Furlan and his partner Hamad Al Marri prove the value of curated details and a savvy sense of mid-century panache. The five 38mm references are powered by the Seiko VK-94 calibre and offer plenty of seductive elegance to punch leagues above the accessible price. Read more

 

ZERO WEST H1 HURRICANE

This is proper daydream fodder. The Zero West transports you to the cockpit of a fighter jet offering a welcome dose of cosplay for the wrist. With its tough 44mm case in a choice of black or polished steel, the instrument cues make for super legibility while the gold crown is a delight. Read more

IRIDIUM

Available in a host of colours, this tool watch offers big value for less than $400. As a bona fide 300m diver’s tool, the 42mm Torpedo has got large, applied indices with swathes of lume for those night dives (let’s just pretend shall we), while its bold case design and bevelled lugs speak a more refined language than its price dares to suggest. Read more