The sheer breadth of microbrands currently occupying the horological hemisphere is nothing short of miraculous, and for us enthusiasts, it’s a very good time to be into watches. There have been numerous examples of microbrands knocking it out of the park over the last 12 months, and while we’d like to mention all of them, these three timepieces really stood out:
MING 17.06 COPPER
For a brand that has only been producing watches for two years, Ming have managed to create a remarkably consistent – and eminently recognisable – design language. This is clear in their new 17.06 Copper, an update to their original model, the 17.01. While the flared lugs express the panache of a brand making a name for themselves on the world stage, the gem hiding in plain sight on this watch is the dial. Its coppery warmth evokes the salmon tone used so commonly on the dials of mid-century Swiss watches.
Ref No: 17.06C / Case size: 38mm / Case material: Steel / Movement: ETA 2824-2 / Price: CHF1250
CREUX AUTOMATIQ DIAMONDBACK
Creux’s bid for more attention in the world of microbrands is likely to be achieved with the release of the Diamondback series. While the relatively high price for a microbrand with low visibility thus far could put off some potential purchasers, the amount of eye-catching design elements you get for your investment is impressive. A patterned dial with applied polished indices, a custom case, and proprietary strap (which is especially arresting in bi-colour) amount to a strong sales pitch.
Ref No: DIAMONDBACK CA-08 / Case size: 40mm / Case material: Steel / Movement: Swisstech CA24- 041 / Price: USD$2050
Baltic is fast making a name for itself as a seriously cool microbrand with a vintage range of accessibly priced timepieces. The Aquascaphe is the pick of the bunch, with a clean and clear dial that blends both pad-printed lume with a sandwich construction (the cardinal hours are given the sandwich treatment). A sapphire bezel insert alongside a double-domed sapphire glass gives a luxurious appearance on the wrist and puts it well above its pay-grade in the cost/value stakes.
Ref No: Baltic Aquascaphe / Case size: 39mm / Case material: Steel / Movement: Miyota 9039 / Price: USD$654