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

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


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. What microbrands offer the watch buyer is something refreshingly different. Not only do they regularly deliver extraordinary value for money, they can 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. Over the last couple of weeks we brought you our second installment of we brought you the second part of our favourite microbrand releases of the year. Here is part three.


On the microbrand top tier, Brellum are on the verge of being a small manufacture. The LE.8 is a complex blend of traditional style with stealth cool. Its dark grey case offers the perfect frame for a high complication chronograph, its triple calendar exhibiting great readability on the domed anthracite dial. Brellum shows a thoughtful eye for detail in the COSC-certified movement, visible in touches like the flash of traditional blue in a moonphase at 6, showing maturity for such a young brand. Read more


The Nera Rogue is a modern reimagining of the diver grail Tornek-Rayville, itself a US Fifty Fathoms rebrand. But this is so much more. Peer closer and you’ll see a dark blue-green dial and a modern aesthetic, that gives it a bullet-proof identity.  Read more


OK, we might be expecting great things from Zelos, with the brand now being part of the Microbrands establishment. Yet through his focused design nous, founder Elshan Tang still manages to knock us for six with what is perhaps the best value titanium diver’s watch on a bracelet this year. With everything from deep blue fumè hypnotism to mother-of-pearl dials, this 300m depth-rated tool is as future-proof as it is feather-light. Read more


The spacious dial, sharp case and big crown gives York & Front’s Burrard a mid-century military vibe, while its slim case and wearability comes on a soft two-stitch leather strap. There’s a double-domed sapphire crystal for those cool Instagram dial shots, and this tough cookie will combine perfectly with anything from a parka to a suit. Read more