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Microbrand Corner: May 2022’s Best New Releases 

BOLDR Odyssey Regatta

Boldr Supply Co. Odyssey Regatta Admiral Blue

Regatta timers are definitely a niche complication but the only thing more certain than that is that they’re incredibly cool – as are accessible tool watch brand BOLDR. Put the two together and you get their new Odyssey Regatta, now in admiral blue.

A timely follow-up to last year’s Regatta, the watch was built in collaboration with a panel of experts and the results speak for themselves. As well as a 10-minute countdown timer used during a race, the two-in-one bezel combines a 15 minute counter and tachymeter adapted to nautical miles. The downside is that if you do happen to lose your next race wearing this, it won’t be due to your equipment.

The Specs

  • 45.5mm stainless steel case with 500m water resistance
  • ETA Valjoux 7750 Elabore automatic movement with 48-hour power reserve
  • $1,499 or $1,299 pre-order (approx. £1,175 or £1,000), available at Boldr Supply Co.

anOrdain Model 2 MKII

anOrdain Model 2 MKII Racing Green

Since it was launched, anOrdain’s Model 2 has put Scottish watchmaking on the map with it’s modernised take on the classic field watch, combined with the Glaswegian watch brand’s in-house enamel dials. Now, it’s been revisited with a few quality and quality-of-life changes.

Was the original small for your gargantuan wrists? Never fear, it’s now available in 39.5mm version. Did you miss having a second hand? anOrdain heard you. Even the enamel palette has been shifted to be a touch more militaristic, in keeping with its field watch vibes. It’s not reinvented the Model 2, but it has without a doubt improved it.

The Specs

  • 36mm or 39.5mm stainless steel case with 50m water resistance
  • Sellita SW-210-1 automatic movement with 42-hour power reserve
  • £1,700 (medium) and £1,800 (large), available at anOrdain.

Atelier Wen Perception

Atelier Wen Perception Collection Piao Ying Xia

It’s an open secret that many a brand sources components from China, yet most – especially watchmakers – avoid the ‘Made in China’ moniker like the plague. Not so Atelier Wen. The Chinese brand is embracing their homegrown manufacturing and has begun a campaign to enhance their country’s reputation for craftsmanship.

Looking at their latest Perception series, it’s hard to argue with. The Xia, with it’s burning copper dial is magnificent, right down to the exquisitely guilloched finishing and 222-esque bracelet. It’s a lot of watch for the money – which, this being made in China, is still remarkable accessible.

The Specs

  • 40mm stainless steel case with 100m water resistance
  • Dandong SL1588 calibre automatic movement with 41-hour power reserve
  • HK$16,380 (approx. £1,600), available at Atelier Wen.

Audric Strider

Audric Strider

The Seaborne should already be on many a dive watch aficionado’s radar; Audric’s debut was big, bold and colourful in all the best ways. Now their follow-up is ready to land and it promises a more nuanced, generally sporty vibe. Core to the watch is its new, distinctively angular case, tapping into the current sports luxe zeitgeist nicely.

Throw in a textured dial in some funky colours, not dissimilar to a Royal Oak, and you get a seriously accessible (and nicely chunky) alternative to the pricier prestige options out there. And by accessible, we mean $549 – if you go support them on Kickstarter that is. Retail price will be a touch higher.

The Specs

  • 42mm stainless steel case with 200m water resistance
  • ETA 2824 or Sellita SW 200-1 automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve
  • $849 (approx. £650), available at Audric Watches.

Maen Manhattan

Maen Manhattan

You see an integrated bracelet and an octagonal case, you assume homage to Genta. Yet while the Manhattan from Dutch brand Maen does indeed have both those elements, it feels completely different, somewhere between 1970s sports watches and art deco classicism. That’s largely thanks to its cleaner look and its stunning, vertically striped dials. It’s also slim, with lovely dress watch vibes, all wrapped up in a timepiece that’s far, far more accessible than it looks. This one really
deserves to put Maen on the map.

The Specs

  • 37mm stainless steel case with 50m water resistance
  • Ronda R-150 automatic movement with 40-hour power reserve
  • £474, available at Maen 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.