Watches

Microbrand Corner: July 2021’s Best New Releases

Klokers Klok-01

Klokers Klok-01

Blue Note Blue notes are one of the characteristic elements of jazz, the notes ‘between the cracks’ of conventional pitches, so it’s not hard to imagine where the inspiration for Kloker’s latest release came from. The French brand’s unique dial layout is already about as unconventional as they come with its rotating timekeeping discs and the new watch pairs a lovely blue colouring with their first ever black PVD case. It’s not ground-breaking but the result is an almost painfully cool watch, complete with the brand’s signature quick-change strap system. The grey Alcantara is particularly lovely, though we’d opt for a couple of straps to choose from.

The Specs

  • 44mm stainless steel case with 50m water resistance
  • Ronda quartz movement
  • €585 EUR (approx. £500), available at Klockers.

Maen Greenwich Automatic GMT

Maen Greenwich Automatic GMT

Inspired as much by Greenwich Village as the meridian, Maen’s latest New York inspired timepiece takes the elegant 38mm case of their previous Hudson model, strips off the bezel completely and adds a second time zone function. Combined with oversized, square hour markers, it’s about as streamlined a traveller’s watch as you can get. The Greenwich GMT is available in a few variations, including with a blue grid dial or eye-catching red indexes. For us though it’s all about the orange – don’t worry, it’s just the GMT hand that’s orange – for the classic jet-setter look at a distinctly non-jet-setter price.

The Specs

  • 38mm stainless steel case with 100m water resistance
  • SwissTech S24-045 automatic movement with 40-hour power reserve
  • $770 USD (approx. £550), available at Maen Watches.

Von Doren Runde RivaBlue

Von Doren Runde RivaBlue

We all need a splash of colour now the sun’s out and the Runde from Von Doren has you covered. The elegant small seconds timepiece is the perfect accompaniment to bright summer prints in yellow, blue, brown or this fantastic turquoise. It’s a quartz movement so it’s a few rungs down on the horological ladder from Von Doren’s flagship Uraed timepiece, but that makes it all the more affordable, which is pretty much what you want out of a summer accessory. Let’s be honest, British weather being what it is you might not have all that long to wear it.

The Specs

  • 39mm stainless steel case with 50m water resistance
  • Ronda 1069 quartz movement
  • €248 EUR (approx. £210), available at Von Doren.

ZRC GF 3000 Titanium

ZRC GF 3000 Titanium

300m is a good level of water resistance, the kind needed by professional divers for some of the toughest underwater work around. In which case, God only knows what things are like 3,000m down, but the GF 3000 Titanium is one of the scant few watches that can find out. In fact, while it’s been proofed to 3,000, this beast of a watch has been tested to 5,100m. It’s pretty insane. It’s also a good deal different from the heritage French Navy watches ZRC are perhaps more famous for, with a lightweight titanium construction and cool, tricolore-inspired dial. It’s available in satin or sand finishes but either way it’s an extreme timepiece.

The Specs

  • 42mm titanium case with 3,000m water resistance
  • Sellita SW200-1 Elaborated automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve
  • CHF 3,990 (approx. £3,150), available at ZRC.

Zelos Mirage 2 Glacier

Zelos Mirage 2 Glacier

The follow-up to Zelos’ ten-piece tourbillon run proves that the microbrand is upping their game considerably by forgoing the usual Sellita and Miyota movements of their contemporaries in favour of a masterpiece movement courtesy of La Joux Perret. This time they’ve opted for a streamlined but no less excellent automatic, visible front and back thanks to the openworked dial. In typical Zelos fashion, the case materials are distinctly atypical, with titanium being the baseline and joined by heavyweight tantalum and a zirconium titanium alloy that looks like a more colourful Damascus steel. There’s even a full sapphire version, though for our money the entry-level titanium is the most impressive for its distinctly accessible price tag. It’s a seriously impressive watch – and if you want to find out more about it, check out our YouTube review.

The Specs

  • 42mm titanium case with 50m water resistance
  • La Joux Perret manual-wind movement with eight-day power reserve
  • $3,900 USD (approx. £2,750), available at Zelos.

About the author

Sam Kessler

Legend has it that Sam’s first word was ‘escapement’ and, while he might have started that legend himself, he’s been in the watch world long enough that it makes little difference. As the editor of Oracle Time, he’s our leading man for all things horological – even if he does love yellow dials to a worrying degree. Owns a Pogue; doesn’t own an Oyster Perpetual. Yet.

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