New Releases Watches

The Best Microbrand Watches to Buy in July 2024

Heron Marinor Caribbean Blue

Heron Marinor Caribbean Blue

If you dream of owning a Fifty Fathoms but don’t want to fork over grail watch money – and find the Swatch Suba ever-so-slightly painful – then Heron have you covered. An ode to the divers of the 1950s with its sapphire bezel and elegant dial, it’s aesthetically lovely, especially in the unusual Caribbean blue, but also has the specs to match.

The hardened steel case is more rugged than your usual surgical steel and the 300m water resistance and workhorse Miyota movement will keep it ticking underwater, back on the boat, or back at the boat club. For £495, the Marinor is a whole lot of watch for not a huge amount of money – which would be cool enough if it looked half this good.

Price & Specs:

  • 39mm stainless steel case with 300m water resistance
  • Miyota 9039 automatic movement with 42-hour power reserve
  • £495, available at heronwatches.com

Sherpa x TRTS OPS

Sherpa x TRTS OPS

When it dropped two years ago, the Sherpa OPS, heir to the Enicar legacy of proper adventure watches, was seriously cool. Not only was it a true compressor, but it had a solid tool watch look and a unique, Buddhist-inspired movement in keeping with its ode to Tibetan mountaineering.

Now it’s back in a new format, in partnership with The Real Time Show podcast. The main change is the new satin finish which really rounds out that utilitarian vibe and makes it a little less intense than the original, blacked-out OPS. It’s a subtle change but one I personally appreciate.

Price & Specs:

  • 40mm stainless steel case with 200m water resistance
  • Mantramatic MM01 automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve
  • €6,200 (approx. £5,300), available at sherpawatches.com

Ember Rocket

Ember Rocket

The 1980s are back in full swing and with it, glorious neon drenched colour – something that nascent microbrand Ember have embraced with the Rocket. With a sharply faceted case in brushed steel, a polished bezel, a sleek, faded blue dial, and plenty of bold orange highlights, this is actually one of the more subtle colourways from Ember but therefore arguably the most wearable. Either way, between the distinctive case and bright colours, the Rocket has more wrist presence than its 40mm sizing suggests. Lovers of Swiss classicism need not apply. It’s also incredibly accessible – especially if you get in there early.

Price & Specs:

  • 40mm stainless steel case with 100m water resistance
  • Seiko NH38A automatic movement with 41-hour power reserve
  • £395 retail or £296 early-bird on Kickstarter, available at emberwatchcompany.com

BA111OD x Label Noir CHPTR_Δ.5

BA111OD x Label Noir CHPTR Delta 5

Chapter Delta-Point-Five (you’re welcome) is the visually arresting collaboration between independent Swiss watchmaker BA111OD and Geneva-based watch customiser Label Noir. In a world of retro and vintage-inspired watches, it’s a breath of fresh air to see something this futuristic at a relatively accessible price – we wouldn’t call it Urwerk style on a budget, but it doesn’t land far from that particular space station.

An eye-catching mix of black and green with the openworked movement visible underneath, you might be wondering where the hour indication is. That would be the green lollipop on the end of the central arrow, which moves in a cycloid fashion. Basically, it rotates in circles to trace out a triangle because maths. It’s nerdy cool and we love it.

Price & Specs:

  • 44mm stainless steel case with 50m water resistance
  • Soprod M100 calibre automatic movement with 42-hour power reserve
  • £2,700, limited to 111 pieces, available at ba111od.com

echo/neutra Cortina 1956 Chronograph GMT Bronze

echo/neutra Cortina 1956 Chronograph GMT Bronze
echo/neutra Cortina 1956 Chronograph GMT Bronze

Riffing off the already handsome, overtly Italian good looks of the Cortina collection, the newest addition to the adds not just a racy tricompax chronograph/tachymeter combination, but a globe-trotting GMT hand, too. You don’t see those two together too often, but with the restrained design and relatively chunky hands, it’s easy enough to read that it works well. What works even better is the bronze/gold dial, which adds some riviera glamour to the ensemble. Sure, it’s combining two watches echo/neutra have built before, but it’s greater than the sum of its parts.

Price & Specs:

  • 40mm stainless steel case with 100m water resistance
  • Sellita SW532M manual-wind movement with 62-hour power reserve
  • £1,375, available at echoneutra.com

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