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Microbrand Corner: December 2020’s Best New Releases

Paulin x anOrdain Neo C

Paulin x anOrdain Neo C

As Scottish as an Irn Bru-drenched Haggis, this collaborative effort between Glasgow-based Paulin and anOrdain is one of the funkiest microbrand releases of the past few months. The anodized aluminium dial in blue, lilac, orange and red is ripped straight out of the 80s. Backed by a calibre NH35A and capped with a Moonwatch-esque hesalite crystal, this is one of the coolest things you can own for under £500.

The Specs

  • 38mm stainless steel case with 50m water resistance
  • Calibre NH35A automatic movement with 41-hour power reserve
  • £395, available at Paulin Watches.

Creux Ghost V3 Mono

Creux Ghost V3 Mono

A far more modern take on automotive-inspired design, the latest generation of Creux’s iconoclastic Ghost series offers serious performance for less than you’d expect. A mix of titanium and forged carbon, complete with an open-worked dial showing the in-house movement, it’s big, bold and brassy, with all the style you’d expect from some of the more avant-garde high-end watchmakers out there. If you’re a fan of industrial monochrome and high-octane design, this is one for you.

The Specs

  • 45mm titanium case with 100m water resistance
  • CA S24-SK8 automatic movement with 36-hour power reserve
  • £2,406, available at Creux Automatiq.

Circula AquaSport

Circula AquaSport

Combining the sleek, utilitarian look of 70s skindivers with a seriously cool palette of bright colours, the latest depth-defying timepiece from German brand Circula is one of the most eye-catching watches coming out of Pforzheim. Each piece a versatile 39mm across, boasts 200m water resistance and comes with one of three automatic movements. Visually though, the standout is the Petrol, with its turquoise and blue bezel and wavy, Seamasteresque dial.

The Specs

  • 39mm stainless steel case with 200m water resistance
  • Calibre STP1-11, ETA 2824 or COSC-certified Sellita SW 200 automatic movement
  • From €486.42 EUR (approx. £439), available at Circula Watches.

Vario 1918 Trench Watch

Vario 1918 Trench Watch

The original trench watches were developed, as so many new technologies are, in wartime, and were a practical upgrade from officers’ pocket watches that were designed to be durable, readable and reliable. Vario’s latest project is a new take on that formula, with the same oversized Arabic numerals and vintage case shape. There are some modern nods of course, such as copious lume, a Miyota movement and some very handsome dials. Very handsome indeed.

The Specs

  • 37mm stainless steel case with 100m water resistance
  • Miyota 82S5 automatic movement with 40-hour power reserve
  • $368 USD (approx. £275), available at Vario.

Soldat Automatic Chronograph

Soldat Promessa

We couldn’t do a retro issue without hunting down a seriously cool vintage styled microbrand racing watch and Soldat’s signature automatic chronograph ticks every box. A solid three-counter column-wheel chronograph styled to look like a retro bi-compax, the watch is particularly handsome in the Lotus-inspired Green Forty-Nine colourway, predominantly green with delicate flashes of yellow.  With its generously curved 42mm case and perforated matching racing strap, this is a serious and near perfect sports chronograph from Japan.

The Specs

  • 42mm stainless steel case with 50m water resistance
  • SII NE-88 Automatic movement with 45-hour power reserve
  • $1,250 USD (approx. £935), available at Soldat Watch.

About the author

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Chris Petersen

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