MICRO MONDAYS: Our favourite microbrand releases of the year (Pt I)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. Over the next four Mondays, we’ll bring you some of our favourite microbrand releases of the year. And yes, the competition was stiff.
BND Watches MNBRO
French minimalist vintage cool in three pitch-perfect colours including a choco-licious tropical brown, with a brushed-tough 39.5mm case. When endorsed by a legendary COMEX diver, the value in each click of the lumed, brushed steel bezel is clear.
BND are firm believers in the true meaning of the term “tool watch”, with the minimalist no-date dial a lesson in pared-down and rather cool functionality. With a French twist, of course. Read more
Charlie Paris Concordia Blue
An elegant blue Explorer alternative, the established French brand Charlie Paris has nailed the everyday sports watch in the Concordia series. While also available in a 41mm automatic, this 38mm piece of daily wrist-candy is hard to beat at the price. One of the very few sub-40mm sports watches available with a 300m depth rating, this is a bullet-proof beater made with consummate style. Read more
With applied gilt indices at near Black Bay levels, the cracking value of this debut from microbrand mecca Singapore, is a vintage lover’s delight. Unusual hand-scratched patina on the coloured dials are a pointer to HVD’s commitment to retro cool, and the deep green dial with gilt details is more than the sum of its vintage-inspired parts. Read more
For the fauxtina-allergic, the new Keris might just be the perfect antidote. Keaton’s debut diver’s watch is unlike anything I’ve seen in a long time. Forget about slim vintage, creamy lume, even the 3 o’clock crown! The latter is cheekily placed at 12, and the case body is vaguely reminiscent of the angled facets of the Orlinski pieces from Hublot, with a wild array of dial designs. Read more