MICRO MONDAYS: Our favourite watches from the past 6 monthsFergus Nash
Starting Micro Mondays was originally about shining a light on some of the great independent watchmakers who have been able to be supported through the miracle of crowdfunding and other means. These brands were unbound by design restrictions or the necessity to please established fanbases. Instead they had the freedom to revive a stagnant watch industry with passionate new releases and often incredible value for money. Now, the microbrand machine in itself is a force to be reckoned with, and all of those benefits have remained. Here are a few of our personal favourites from the last six months, showcasing exactly how impressive the options are now.
Seamlessly blending known elements of field watches with a fresh, bold case design and zesty dial colours, Circula’s ProTrail is an affordable taste of capable luxury across all of its variants. The 40mm diameter and 46mm lug-to-lug shows Circula are aware that compact watches are what most enthusiasts want to buy these days, and the Sellita SW200-1 movement is helping a ton of brands get the Swiss-Made certification at a low cost.
RZE were an instant hit with microbrand fans, and the Valour 38 feels like even more of an irresistable prospect. Not only are the looks fantastic, with a multi-faceted titanium case, a logo-less dial with plenty of personality, and a general air of refined detail, but the watches only cost $219 USD. Completed by a Seiko NH38A, I truly believe that this is one of the best value-for-money watches available right now.
If you’re a fan of compact sports watches but still yearn for a bit of sophistication and class, the Maen Hudson 38 GMT brings the best of pilot and dive watches together with smart presentation. Not only does it satisfy the technical requirements with a 38mm diameter, 46mm lug-to-lug, and 300m of water resistance, but it’s also offered in a sumptuous root-beer colour scheme that is rarely pulled off this well.
Military watches play a big role in the inspiration of new brands, but choosing a recognisable format doesn’t guarantee an attractive watch if you don’t get every element perfected. The Monchard Skytrain Telemeter Chronograph may not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s certainly the perfect execution of what it sets out to achieve. The coin-edge bezel, the onion crown, the bi-compax layout, and the beautiful brown fumé dial all come together to create a smooth evocation of a vintage pilot’s watch.