Guides Watches

Microbrand Corner – October 2022’s Best New Releases 

96Zero Field Watch

96Zero Field Watch

Forget the usual ‘in the field’ look of most miliary-inspired watches; 96Zero’s take on the formula is inspired by the founder’s grandma who was instrumental in intercepting and decoding wartime messages. Hence, the typewriter-esque typography, with every other numeral represented by a letter rather than a number. Paired with a black dial, compass bezel and a full lume dial (those lettrs and numerals look phenomenal in the dark), this might be one of the most inventive field watches of the year. So far.

The Specs

  • 42mm stainless steel case with 100m (10 bar) water resistance
  • Miyota calibre 9015 automatic movement with 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency and 42h power reserve
  • £300, available at 96Zero.

RGM Model 25 USS Constitution Limited Edition

Marquetry is a dying craft. The wood-based mosaic adjacent technique is rarely seen these days, which given the results on RGM’s second model to use it, is a travesty. Depicting the USS Constitution – the oldest warship still afloat – leaving Malta in 1804, the detail depicted using different coloured woods is nothing short of spectacular. Otherwise this is RGM’s flagship Model 25, with an American-made 40mm case, designed specifically to highlight the dial. What better way to honour ‘old ironsides’ and the exquisite skill of marquetry?

The Specs

  • 40mm stainless steel case with 50m (5 bar) water resistance
  • Swiss made automatic movement
  • USD $13,900 (approx. £12,575), limited to 3 pieces, available at RGM Watches.

SDC OceanRider Great White

SDC OceanRider Great White

Upcycling and diving go hand-in-hand these days (it’s hard to visit a coral reef if there aren’t any after all) and the Great White is a paragon of environmentally friendly watchmaking. A big, bold diving watch with a cool, high-contrast black and white look, it also has some teeth with its diving specs: 300m water resistance and and a chunky diving bezel. Oh and if you’re wondering where the lume is… it’s the entire dial. What’s more, 5% of every sale goes into supporting the Marine Conservation Society in support of cleaner oceans, which everyone can enjoy.

The Specs

  • 42mm stainless steel case with 300m (30 bar) water resistance
  • Seiko NH35 Calibre automatic movement with 41h power reserve
  • £425, available at SDC Watches.

RZE Valour 38

RZE Valour 38

Field watches are now what dive watches were a couple of years back: everywhere (even here), so it takes a particularly standout version to, well, stand out. Enter RZE’s Valour 38. The 38mm titanium-clad field watch with its faceted, featherlight (57g) lozenge case and solid collection of dials (our money’s on the Arrowleaf yellow), it’s possibly the coolest field watch you can get for the money – which is, even for a stripped back beater, incredibly good. There are some bigger field watch makers out there that should be really worried right about now.

The Specs

  • 38mm titanium case with 100m (10 bar) water resistance
  • Seiko NH38A automatic movement with 41h power reserve
  • USD $299 (approx. £270), available at RZE.

Hesili Champagne

Hesili Champagne

Hesili take their New York vibes seriously and in the case of their pared-back, Champagne watch, elegantly. It might be an everyday wearer with a 40mm stainless steel case, but the dial – which varies from cream to glamorous Champagne depending on the light, with contrasting blued steel hands – is versatile enough to wear wherever, whenever and with whoever. Provided all three are in New York, obviously. Backed by an STP 1-11 movement and a very tempting price tag, it’s a quality casual timepiece.

The Specs

  • 40mm stainless steel case with 50m (5 bar) water resistance
  • Swiss made calibre STP 1-11 automatic movement with 44h power reserve
  • USD $595 (approx. £540), available at Hesili.

Second Hour Sattelberg

Second Hour Sattelberg

Proving that field watches aren’t just beaters, the first from Australian watch brand Second Hour is a winner. Slim, svelte and with one of the coolest field watch dials around – the blue and white version in particular shows off the brushed dial – it’s the kind of timepiece that can take a beating and look good doing it. At the time of writing, pre-orders aren’t quite open yet, but if like us you fell in love with their Gin Clear, this is one you’ll want to keep an eye on. And for this price, it’s worth snapping up.

The Specs

  • 40mm stainless steel case with 100m (10 bar) water resistance
  • Miyota calibre 9015 high beat automatic movement with 36h power reserve
  • AUD $675 (approx. £610), available at Second Hour.

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