Guides Watches

Microbrand Corner – June 2022’s Best New Releases 

Makina Gabriel I

Makina Gabriel 1 watch

We’ve covered plenty of Makina’s sporty dress watches over the years and they’re always stand-out, intriguing, eyecatching twists on more classical designs. For some reason though, they’ve never caught on as much as they should have.

That’s about to change because this time, the Hong Kong/Philippines microbrand have hit the nail on the head. The Gabriel I combines an eight-sided case shape with a dial dripping in mid-century graphic flair; a sector dial with plenty of aesthetic bells and whistles. It’s eye-catching and, sans numerals, minimal in equal measure. In short, it’s hard not to love at any price – let alone under £600.

The Specs

  • 40mm stainless steel case with 100m water resistance
  • Sellita SW260-1 calibre automatic movement with 36-hour power reserve
  • USD $725, (approx. £585) available at Makina Watches.

Brellum Pandial LE.1 DD Chronometer

Brellum Pandial L.E1 DD Chronometer

There’s just something quintessentially cool about a tachymeter-equipped panda dialled watch and the latest from bang-for-your-buck brand Brellum is no different – other than it’s even more appealing than most.

Opting for nautical blue rather than black, the layout is incredibly handsome, right down to the placement of the dial wording above and below the day date window at three o’clock. There’s a lot to love – including the classically decorated movement visible through the caseback. It’s also, as with every Brellum watch, an absolute steal at around £2,250. It’s just a shame it’s so limited.

The Specs:

  • 43mm stainless steel case with 100m water resistance
  • BRELLUM BR-750-2 automatic movement with 46-hour power reserve
  • CHF 2,750 (approx. £2,225), limited to 33 pieces, available at Brellum.

Isotope Terra Maris GMT 0°

Isotope Terra Maris GMT 0

One of the most aesthetically individual microbrands working today, Isotope are a homegrown favourite (particularly their burnt tangerine Hyrium) and now they’re turning international with the brand’s first GMT.

Still using their now signature teardrop shape for the titular traveller’s complication, the collaborative watch (designed with help from watch journalist Miguel Seabra) is split between brown and blue to represent the meeting of land and sea at the Portuguese coastal region of Cascais. The fume outer dial is lovely, as is the peripheral date. The only thing it’s missing? A hint of burnt tangerine.

The Specs

  • 41.5mm stainless steel case with 200m water resistance
  • Landeron automatic movement with 40-hour power reserve
  • £1,240, limited to 49 pieces, available at Isotape Watches.

Crafter Blue Hyperion 600m Green

Crafter Blue Hyperion 600m Green

It seems like every brand in the watch world, big and small, is dressing their signature pieces in green, and that thankfully extends to Crafter Blue. The Hyperion 600m is already an overspecced beast of a diving watch, with its Seiko-adjacent case shape and a bezel to give the Panerai Submersible a run for its money.

It also looks fantastic in a dark, (kelp) forest green, all set on a strap that’s up to Crafter Blue’s typically exacting standards. It may draw elements from plenty of other dive watches, but there’s no doubt that you’re getting a big weight of watch for your money.

The Specs

  • 45mm stainless steel case with 600m water resistance
  • Sellita Calibre SW200 automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve
  • $600 (approx. £485), available at Crafter Blue.

Bravur x EF Education-EasyPost Team Edition

Bravur x EF Education EasyPost Team Edition

A cycling-centric version of Bravur’s lovely Grand Tour chronograph, this funky limited edition adds splashes of colour across the board inspired by its namesake pro team’s colours.

Lengthy as the team’s name is, their colours are way easier to express and have become one of the most instantly recognisable sights in pro cycling. Here that combination of bright pink and dark green makes for a unique (and I don’t use that word lightly) style of sports chronograph – one that the team themselves will be wearing.

The Specs

  • 38,2 mm stainless steel case with 100m water resistance
  • Sellita SW511 calibre automatic movement with 62-hour power reserve
  • kr25,500 (approx. £2,175), available at Bravur Watches.

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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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