Guides Watches

Microbrand Corner: May 2023’s Best New Releases 

Botta Design Uno Automatic 35 Edition

Botta Design Uno Automatic 35 Edition

If less is more, then the Botta Design Uno Automatic is the most. The one-handed watch has been making Bauhaus waves for 35 years and to celebrate the studio has released this handsome limited edition version. Available in either white or black, both with a single, red central hand for minutes and hours and blacked-out, PVD-coated 44mm cases, they have the aesthetic impact that only this level of minimalism can achieve. The culmination of three-and-a-half decades of watch refinement, grab one while you can – there are only 35 of each colour.

Price & Specs

  • 44mm stainless steel case with 50m (5 bar) water resistance
  • Sellita calibre SW 200-1 elabore automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve
  • €1,560 (approx. £1,370), limited to 35 pieces, available at Botta Design.

Lilienthal Berlin Chronograph Blue Orange

Lilienthal Berlin Chronograph Blue Orange

Lilienthal Berlin Chronograph Blue Orange Part pared-back minimalist timepiece, part high-contrast sports watch, the Chronograph Blue Orange is far more particular in execution than in name. The smooth, tactile case has a shimmering, dark blue metallic sheen, with highlights in solid orange across the chronograph hands, edge of the crystal and around the winding crown. The effect is striking and between those good looks and solid build – especially the matching blue-coated steel bracelet – the watch has more than enough to make up for a simple, if effective, Ronda quartz movement.

Price & Specs

  • 42.5mm stainless steel case with 50m (20 bar) water resistance
  • Rhonda quartz movement
  • £395, available at Lilienthal.

Bernhardt Retro World

Bernhardt Retro World

While Retro World might sound like a Stranger Things-flavoured theme park, in Bernhardt’s hands it’s one of the most fun recent throwback timepieces around. Given the stiff competition there, that’s saying something. Available in three funky variations, here we have the perfect summer version in crisp white and blue. Equipped with a peripheral world time complication (which is where it gets its name), the Retro World’s 1960s-slanted cushion case and Milanese bracelet pair perfectly with its dual crown look, with the upper crown operating the rotating inner world time bezel. It’s cool, useful and incredibly accessible.

Price & Specs

  • 41mm stainless steel case with 200m (20 bar) water resistance
  • Miyota calibre 9015 automatic movement with 42-hour power reserve
  • £352, limited to 300 pieces, available at Bernhardt.

Moels & Co Heavenly

Moels and Co Heavenly

We’ve spoken about Moels & Co’s signature rounded rectangular watch before; it’s hard not to love, with its painfully cool retro good looks and the spider-esque dial. But as we venture into the warmer months, we have our eyes out for colours to suit – case in point, the sky blue Heavenly. A gorgeous, pale shade to suit a spring sky, it works flawlessly with the otherwise pared-back silhouette and comfortable mesh bracelet. Backed by a solid Sellita movement, it’s a look both rooted in rose-tinted nostalgia and the timelessness of great design.

Price & Specs

  • 45mm x 33mm stainless steel case with 100m (10 bar) water resistance
  • Sellita calibre SW200-1 b automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve
  • £946, available at Moels & Co.

Genius Smart

Genius Watches Genius Smart

We’ve all been there. You’re deciding on your next watch and get split between the twin icons that are the Patek Philippe Nautilus and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Well, now you don’t need to decide! Genius Watches have built their name on a literal 50/50 aesthetic split between the two Genta designs, with the top half of each watch aping the Patek, the lower half the octagonal Royal Oak. Their latest edition – the Genius Smart – repeats the theme but with a more pared-back look. Fortunately it’s not as pricey as either icon it riffs off, with a quartz movement taking  a good deal off the price tag.

Price & Specs

  • 39mm x 49.8mm stainless steel case with 50m (5 bar) water resistance
  • Rhonda 5155 quartz movement
  • From CHF 890 (approx. £800), available at Genius.

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