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Microbrand Corner: July 2023’s Best New Releases 

Monbrey MB1 L08

Monbrey MB1 L08

Built by a pair of Hong Kong-based industrial designers, The MB1 series takes inspiration from 1970s design. The case shape is inspired by the Cybertruck and the angular aesthetic of the wedge era design, thankfully more successfully than Musk’s EV. The movement is guarded against magnetic fields thanks to its faraday cage, with a magnetic resistance of ISO 764:2020, a nod to the scientific necessities of the era. With its angular case, sharp hands, and 12 silver markers, it also comes in an array of dial colours, with slight Grand Seiko vibes, which is never a bad thing. Available in a rainbow of colours, the L08 stands out for its rich, royal purple hue, a colour we’re seeing a lot more of lately.

Price & Specs

  • 38.5mm stainless steel case with 50m (5 bar) water resistance
  • Miyota cal.9039 automatic movement 42-hour power reserve
  • €499 (approx. £400) available at Monbrey.

Charlie Paris Alliance 68H

Charlie Paris Alliance 68H

If you’re looking for an understated, classy watch with an incredibly impressive level of finishing, the Alliance by Charlie Paris could be for you. An elegant case shape gives the watch an understated look, but it still has presence thanks to the curvature of the lugs. Sapphire glass at the back of the watch displays the G100 from the La Joux-Perret manufacturer, which is customised in France before being cased. The dials come in stunning dark blue or silvery white dial and look considerably more expensive than they are. I really think that these watches will be sold out in no time thanks to the craftsmanship and overall looks of the dial – proof positive of serious French watchmaking and design.

Price & Specs

  • 39.5mm stainless steel case with 30m (3 bar) water resistance
  • La Jous-Perret G100 automatic movement with 68-hour power reserve
  • €1,624 (approx. £1,400), available at Charlie Paris.

Heinrich Taucher Sport

Heinrich Taucher Sport

After releasing their first watch, the Taucher 1 in 2020, Heinrich have now revealed a new 1970s inspired version with the Taucher Sport. Defined by its colour combination of orange and black on the dial, it’s both a splash of vibrancy and practicality, as it’s one of the most visible colours at depth. It’s not all about colour though as there’s a fantastic structure to the entire ensemble, with white and orange hour and minute markers leaping off the dial. Set in a 41mm case in black DLC diamond-like carbon coated case or plain stainless steel, it’s a fantastically constructed piece. Backed by a Sellita SW200-1 Elaboré movement, 200m water resistance and a stainless steel mesh bracelet (with diver extension buckle), there’s a lot to love.

Price & Specs

  • 41mm stainless steel case with 200m (20 bar) water resistance
  • Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve
  • €849 (approx. £730), available at Heinrich.

Draco London Stellar

Draco London Stellar

There’s something innately appealing about a classically sized watch with a vintage salmon dial. It’s the kind of shorthand for old school elegance that’s hard not to fall in love with – although in many cases, it’s also hard to afford. Enter Draco London and their Stellar, a starry- eyed ode to 50s dress watches, complete with gorgeous rosey dial and cursive Arabic numerals. At 36mm, it also has the era-appropriate sizing, all in a neat package that won’t break that bank. If you’re interested, the Kickstarter will be live in a matter of weeks, so get in there nice and early and the already accessible watch will be a steal.

Price & Specs

  • 36mm stainless steel case with 50m (5 bar) water resistance
  • Miyota 9039 automatic movement with 42-hour power reserve
  • $389 (approx. £305), available at Draco London.

Boldr Field Medic Lagoon Blue

Boldr Venture Summer Collection Field Medic

A decidedly modern take on the usually vintage pulsometer, Boldr’s new edition of their ultra-cool Field Medic adds a touch of light, tropical blue just in time for summer. Said blue is across the bi-compax subdials, chronograph seconds hand and a subtle ring on the crown, with the rest dressed in a mix of grey and black to suit the lightweight titanium construction. Boldr are becoming frustratingly proficient at producing incredibly cool timepieces, but at least the Field Medic has the kind of price that won’t stretch your purse strings, even if you grab a few.

Price & Specs

  • 38mm titanium case with 200m (20 bar) water resistance
  • SII VK64 MecaQuartz movement
  • £240, available at Boldr.

Pitot F/A-18 Super Hornet Inspired

Pitot FA-18 Super Hornet Inspired

A Pitot tube, for those not well-versed in aviation paraphernalia, is a device used to measure airspeed. Why is that important? Because it shows just how obsessed fledgling microbrand Pitot is with aircraft – the F/A-18 Super Hornet specifically, in the case of this soon-to- Kickstarter model. Inspired by the Boeing-built fighter jet, the new watch is a contemporary take on a classic pilots’ watch, equipped with a tachymeter and a green, HUD-inspired bi-compax layout. There are two versions, one in black and green and the other in blue and yellow, which leans on aesthetics inspired by the Blue Angels of the US Navy, complete with a diamond formation of aircraft at six o’clock. Both offer big, 44mm titanium cases backed by a Swiss quartz movement. Exact timings for the Kickstarter launch are fittingly up in the air, but watch this space.

Price & Specs

  • 44mm titanium case with 100m (10 bar) water resistance
  • Swiss Ronda quartz movement
  • $500 (approx. £393), available at Pitot.

Rosenbusch The Quest

Rosenbusch The Quest RBX

Rosenbusch’s The Quest is a 42mm steel watch inspired by the design codes of integrated sports watches from the 1970s. That means it has a broad, flat surfaces and a hexagonal bezel with decorative screws. That hexagonal shape is also makes it way to The Quest’s dial, which features sunray brushed finishing and bathtub indexes. The project is currently being supported on Kickstarter where you can pledge to support three versions of the piece. There’s the RB35 housing the Seiko NH35 movement, the RB200 with Sellita SW200 Elaboré and the Kickstarter exclusive limited edition RBX with skeletonised display.

Price & Specs

  • 42mm stainless steel case with 100m (10 bar) water resistance
  • Seiko NH35 with 41-hour power reserve (RB35), Sellita SW200 Elaboré with 41-hour power reserve (RBX, RB200)
  • €469 (approx. £404) (RB35), €669 (approx. £575) (RB200), €999 (approx. £859) (RBX), available at Rosenbusch.

Makina Andras_I Stealth Gray

Makina Andras_I Stealth Gray

You can trust Makina to veer away from the ‘standard’. Just look at their first rectangular watch, the Andras_I Stealth Gray; it’s not just the usual Art Deco block but a distinctly modern, multi-faceted, multi-layered piece of metal. In the latest Gray version, it’s also surprisingly stealthy for its 44mm lug-to-lug size. Slightly less intense than the black DLC, the Stealth Gray is nonetheless impeccably sleek, with a bright blue handset contrasting against the layered dial. The most unique aspect however is the second hand, which runs around a funky oval racetrack instead of your usual circular subdial. Somehow in their first rectangular piece, Makina have brought something genuinely new to an archetype that’s not known for innovation.

Price & Specs

  • 44mm x 33mm stainless steel case with 50m (5 bar) water resistance
  • Sellita SW260-1 automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve
  • Pre-order for $650 (approx. £510), available at Makina.

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