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The Best Microbrand Watches to Buy in February 2024

Apiar Invenire

Apiar Invenire v1.0

While most microbrands rely on putting a slight twist on established formulae, Apiar are here to smash the paradigm with aerospace precision and additive manufacturing. The customisable Invenire not only lets you choose your numerals and the number of tabs on the bezel, but the lattice design of the case sides (only achievable via Apiar’s ground-breaking Additive Manufacturing) and the guilloche on the dial. The chunky, bold base watch with its 39mm case has more than enough impact from the start, but being able to give it your own twist with machining techniques more at home in Formula 1 than watchmaking takes it to another level. The biggest plus? Thanks to the aerospace grade titanium, it’s a lot lighter than it looks.

Price & Specs

  • 39mm diameter (47mm lug-to-lug) x 12.55mm thickness, grade 23 titanium, 3D printed in Wales and machined in England, choice of 3 skeletonised patterns (hexagon, gyroid or X lattice) case with 100m (10 bar) water resistance
  • La Joux Perret G100 version soignée automatic movement with 68-hour power reserve
  • From £2,160, priced on configuration, available at Apiar.

Neotype LM01 Type D

Neotype LM01 Type D2

Franco-centric watchmaking is on the up and there’s a small chance that our own crop of fun, British watchmakers might have some rivals across the Channel. Asymmetrical case in point, the Neotype LM01 Type D. An incredibly modern dive watch a world apart from the usual, 1960s-flavoured numbers we’re used to, the LM01 Type D combines a tactile rounded bezel, oversized, integrated crown guard and a pared-back sandwich dial for a 300m water resistant professional diver that ticks all the right boxes. It’s as sleek and cool as it is unusual and we’re here for it – or for as long as the sparse 75 of each colour last.

Price & Specs

  • 40mm stainless steel case with 300m (30 bar) water resistance
  • Miyota 9039 automatic movement with 42-hour power reserve
  • £538, limited to 75 pieces, available at Neotype.

Spinnaker Croft Mid-Size Automatic Dolphin Project Limited Edition

Spinnaker Croft Mid-Size Automatic Dolphin Project Limited Edition

Dive watches paying homage to sea life charities and conservation organisations is nothing new, but whatever else you can say about them, these partnerships do lead to some supremely cool watches. The latest version of Spinnaker’s mid-size Croft diver is in collaboration with the Dolphin Project, and echoes the animal in its multi-layered lume dolphin dial and the distinctive second hand. That dial is awesome in an old-school, Ecco the Dolphin way and brings a unique flourish to the already handsome Croft blueprint, particularly in the light blue version.

Price & Specs

  • 40mm stainless steel case with 150m (15 bar) water resistance
  • Seiko calibre NH35 automatic movement with 41-hour power reserve
  • £408, limited to 200 pieces, available at Spinnaker.

Atelier Holgur Frømand

Atelier Holgur Fromand
Atelier Holgur Fromand

A distinctly modern riff on classic mil-spec divers, the Frømand, or Frogman, from Atelier Holgur leans on the founders’ watchmaking heritage (co-founder Asbjørn Simonen-Andersen hails from a family of Danish watchmakers) for a proper prestige tool watch. The Frømand’s multi-faceted case offers the kind of precise machining you just don’t see in most divers, backed by a gorgeous, skeletonised, micro-rotor movement – specifically, a Schwarz-Etienne number. The end result is tried and true diver with a professional standard 300m water resistance, but the looks and horological leanings of collector catnip. There are only 100 being made though, so don’t expect to see one of these on every wrist – at least, not yet.

Price & Specs

  • 40mm titanium case with 300m (30 bar) water resistance
  • Schwarz-Etienne ASE 200 automatic movement with 86-hour power reserve
  • CHF 9,850 (approx. £8,950), limited to 100 pieces, available at Atelier Holgur.

Gravithin Focuscope

Gravithin Focuscope

While ostensibly inspired by Galileo Galilei – and there is something about the legendary astrologer’s groundbreaking telescope in the concentric rings on the dial – the main hint of the celestial on Gravithin’s ultra-modern Focuscope is meteorite. The Widmanstätten pattern at the centre is a grained counterpoint to the minimal roman numerals, the brighter ring of colour and the outer, brightly lumed edge. The end result is a cool, distinctly Italian take on the integrated bracelet sports watch with more personality – and much more accessibility – than most. In fact, at a pre-order price of £337, it’s a lot of watch for the

Price & Specs

  • 40mm stainless steel case with 100m (10 bar) water resistance
  • Miyota 9039 automatic movement with 42-hour power reserve
  • £337, available to pre-order at Gravithin.

Bilic LEKLU

Bilic LEKLU
Bilic LEKLU

For some collectors, less is more. Those people likely won’t be on board with the Bilic LEKLU. While its 40mm diameter doesn’t sound particularly out-there, the ultra-faceted, uncompromising contemporary flair of the watch makes for some serious wrist presence. Even the gradiated dial, with concentric rings like a target, is unmistakable. While it has all the hallmarks of an integrated, 1970s-influenced sports watch, the LEKLU is very much its own beast. When most microbrands are going retro and safe, it’s good to see one that’s hitting the opposite note.

Price & Specs

  • 40mm stainless steel case with 120m (12 bar) water resistance
  • Sellita SW-300 calibre automatic movement with 56-hour power reserve
  • €550 (approx. £475), available at Bilic.

Oak & Oscar Olmstead FEW Limited Edition

Oak and Oscar Olmstead FEW Limited Edition

As the barrel-specific wood in the name suggests, Oak & Oscar have a penchant for whisky, specifically Bourbon given their stateside location. So it’s no surprise that this spirit-drenched new version of their sandwich-dialled Olmstead field watch takes its salmon colourway from Chicago’s renowned FEW distillery. It also – and this is something we’ve not seen as much of as previous years – has a piece of a bourbon barrel in the caseback, a barrel used in Oak & Oscar’s own single barrel bourbon. Oh and of course, the watch comes with a bottle of said bourbon to savour while you wear this 38mm slice of US handsomeness. Next up, a limited edition in honour of Oscar the dog.

Price & Specs

  • 38mm stainless steel case with 100m (10 bar) water resistance
  • Sellita SW300 automatic movement with 56-hour power reserve
  • £1,481, available at Oak & Oscar.

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