The Best Microbrand Watch Releases of 2021 - Oracle Time
Editors Pick Guides Watches

The Best Microbrand Watch Releases of 2021

Kurono Chrono Tokyo Hajime Asaoka Toki

As our regular microbrand corner has shown over the past few months, the global pandemic hasn’t dented the output from the smaller, independent watch brands of the micro world. It’s not surprising; most are passion projects, small in scale and output but big in creativity and personality.

In fact, it’s been a job and a half just keeping up with them all – which is why we’ve opted for a joint assault on the subject with our own editor Sam Kessler and Independents expert Thor Svaboe. So, without any more preamble than necessary (there’s a lot to get through) here are the best microbrand watch releases of 2021 – divided into price so you can fit our options to your budget. Enjoy!

Under £300

Nezumi Studios Tonnerre

Nezumi Studios Tonnerre

The Nordic purveyors of petrol-infused retro, Nezumi studios have perfected their colourful chronograph portfolio with the fresh Tonnerre, and we love it. Excuding a strong Heuer Skipper feel, the blues on the dial brings to mind a summer on the Côte d’Azur. Blue skies, Sunkissed hair and linen shorts packed into a compact vintage 38mm.

The Tonnerre is a tangential departure from their brand of motorsports chronos, and with its airy maritime blues all the better for it. With the solidity of a Seiko mechaquartz, surely this is one of the best value summer tri-compax choices out there.

Case/Dial: 38mm stainless steel case with 50m (5 bar) water resistance
Movement: Seiko VK64 mecha-quartz movement
Strap: Vegetable tanned leather strap
Price: SEK3,160 (approx. £265)

Learn More

Brew Watch Metric Retro Dial

Brew Watch Metric Retro Dial

Have a hankering for the 60s and don’t fancy splurging on a vintage original? Brew Watch has you covered.

The coffee-centric studio founded by designer Jonathan Ferrer has a penchant for the painfully cool side of retro horology and the Metric is a funky take on a 1930s telephone timer – only adapted to time the perfect brew time for an espresso shot. There’s never been a classier way to get your caffeine fix.

Case/Dial: 38mm stainless steel case with 50m (5 bar) water resistance
Movement: HYBRID VK68, meca-quartz movement
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: $395 (approx. £290)

Learn More

Charlie Paris Concordia Blue

Charlie Paris Concordia Blue

An elegant French blue Explorer alternative, the established French brand Charlie Paris has nailed the everyday sports watch in the Concordia series.

While also available in a 41mm automatic, this 38mm piece of elegant daily wristcandy is hard to beat at the price. One of the very few sub-40mm sports watches available with a 300m depth rating makes this a bulletproof beater with consummate style.

Case/Dial: 38mm stainless steel case with 300m (30 bar) water resistance
Movement: Seiko calibre VH31, quartz with sweep seconds
Strap: Nylon Bleu fabric
Price: €275 (approx. £235) on a choice of straps

Learn More

Furlan Marri Chronograph

Furlan Marri Chronograph

With their debut campaign quadruple-funded within minutes, and Patek Philippe collectors sharing content on IG, The Furlan Marri Chronograph is the biggest horological Kickstarter success this year.

Andrea Furlan and his partner Hamadi Al Marri have proven that a savvy sense of mid-century panache and a curated sense of detail is the path to a successful debut. The five goldilocks-sized 38mm references are powered by the solid Seiko VK64 calibre, with an air of seductive elegance that punches several leagues above their price point.

Case/Dial: 38mm stainless steel case with 50m (5 bar) water resistance
Movement: Seiko calibre VK64, mecha-quartz movement
Strap: Leather
Price: CHF 500 (Kickstarter CHF 320) (approx. £255)

Learn More

Vario 1918 Trench

Vario 1918 Trench

Instead of the usual Dirty Dozen or A-11 style field watches we’re used to, Vario’s vintage-inspired take goes back a bit further to the trench watches of WWI. That means a case akin to a classical pocket watch on a chunky bund strap in an array of vintage colourways, of which our favourite is this crisp white dial with orange lumed indexes.

There are a few modern nods of course, like steel instead of an authentic brass case and a Japanese movement, but aesthetically it’s pretty damn authentic.

Case/Dial: 37mm stainless steel case with 100m (10 bar) water resistance
Movement: Miyota calibre 82S5, automatic, 40-hour power reserve
Strap: Horse leather
Price: £239

Learn More

Reverie GT

Reverie GT

Reverie’s previous diver was a standout for the unusually lavish guilloche on the dial; now the micro has turned their attention to the open road in much the same way with the simply named GT. There are a trio of colours available but let’s be honest, if you’re after a racing watch you’ll want the Panda.

The black on white sub-counters are shorthand for old-school automotive, and are usually a little pricier than this. The dial finishing is as superb as ever with a knurled look at home on a classic dashboard, while the price is kept nice and accessible with a quartz movement. That said, the Seiko VK64 mecha-quartz still offers sweeping seconds so if no-one asks, don’t feel the need to tell them what’s inside. They’ll never know.

Case/Dial: 40mm stainless steel case with 50m (5 bar) water resistance
Movement: Seiko calibre VK64, mecha-quartz
Strap: Leather
Price: $360 (approx. £260)

Learn More

Under £500

Scurfa Treasure Seeker

Scurfa Treasure Seeker

Most dive watches are admittedly, designed by horologists rather than actual divers. Not so at Scurfa, as they are created by professional saturation diver Paul Scurfield. If there’s one guy that understands the demands of days at depth it’s he, and the Treasure Seeker is Scurfa’s best piece yet.

Sure, the bright orange may have Doxa overtones, but that’s simply because it’s one of the most legible colours at depth, differentiated here with its cool honeycomb embossing. Powered by a workhorse Miyota movement and rated to 300m, it has everything a professional diver needs in a distinctly eye-catching package. Now to go and distract myself from nightmares of living at the bottom of the ocean…

Case/Dial: 41mm stainless steel case with 300m (30m) water resistance
Movement: Miyota calibre 9015, automatic, 42-hour power reserve
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: £442

Learn More

York & Front Burrard

York & Front Burrard

The York & Front team must have analysed watch media and case studies (pun intended) over the last five years, as the slim Burrard is pretty much a recipe for comfort. A matte black dial, sharp case and big crown gives it a mid-century military slant.

With its slim case, comfort and wearability comes on a soft two-stitch leather, and it’s slim enough not to bulk up on a NATO. There’s a double-domed sapphire crystal for those cool Instagram dial distortion shots, and this tough cookie will sit perfectly with anything from a Parka to a tailored suit.

Case/Dial: 38mm stainless steel case with 100m (10 bar) water resistance
Movement: STP 1-11 automatic movement, 44-hour power reserve
Strap: Calfskin leather
Price: $499 (approx. £365)

Learn More

Tsao Baltimore Legacy

Tsao Baltimore Legacy

Super compressors are cool. It’s a fact of life that we’ve all come to accept and, if you top one of those with a beautiful blue fume dial you have a winner – especially if you can get it for under £500. Enter Tsao Baltimore, proving that the stateside penchant for slick micros is an ever-present danger to your wallet.

The tonneau case is bronze because every heritage watch needs to patina like a vintage diving helmet these days, and combines the signature bidirectional inner bezel of a compressor with a sandwich dial and a solid 200m water resistance if you want to hurry that patina along. While the magenta is the most eye-catching of the four colours, the blue’s the most handsome. It’s just a shame there’s only 75 of each available… best get those pre-orders in.

Case/Dial: 40mm bronze case with 200m (20 bar) water resistance
Movement: MD-1 automatic movement, 42-hour power reserve
Strap: Light brown horween leather
Price: $670 (approx. £490)

Learn More

Studio Underd0g Chronograph

Studio Underd0g Chronograph

A proper dose of humour is needed in 2021, and UK microbrand Studio Underd0g pushes the grin button with their brash debut. Leaping out at us from the shots, the summer freshness of the Watermel0n is a well-deserved debut hit. Their twist on a Big Eye bicompax lends a 38mm flash of irreverent colour to your wrist, bright enough to cheer up any rainy day.

Turn it around, and you’ll be hit with the juxtaposition of the traditional Seagull ST19 movement, a manual wind chronograph movement based on a fifties Venus calibre. Cheekily bright with a traditional twist, and a very British piece of wrist candy. If Sir doesn’t fancy a slice of melon, try the Go0fy Panda or Desert Sky.

Case/Dial: 38.5mm stainless steel case with 50m (5 bar) water resistance
Movement: Seagull ST 1901, manual winding movement
Strap: Leather
Price: £370

Learn More

Sólás Starlight Silver

Sólás Starlight Silver

Looking for a smart dress watch with a glitzy edge? You’ll want something with an aventurine and, looking at the general prices of them elsewhere, you’ll want it to be the Starlight from Irish micro Sólás. Simple and elegant in a sharp, precise kind of way, it’s almost as pretty on the reverse with its microrotor-equipped Hangzhou 5000A on fully display.

Don’t get sniffy about the Chinese movement; it means that this incredibly handsome watch comes in at €549, a light price tag for what looks like heavy hitter, complete with a funky Irish salmon skin strap.

Case/Dial: 38mm stainless steel case with 50m (5 bar) water resistance
Movement: Hangzhou 5000A automatic movement, 42-hour power reserve
Strap: Irish salmon skin strap with Italian calf leather backing
Price: €549 (approx. £470)

Learn More

Baltic Aquascaphe White

Baltic Aquascaphe White

While we’re still holding out for a Baltic monopusher à la the microbrand’s ground-breaking induction into the Only Watch Charity Auction, in the meantime we’d settle for an icy white version of the French brand’s signature dive watch, the Aquascaphe.

The retro dive watch sits pretty at 39mm of Fifty Fathomsesque charm with a lovely grained finish to the snowy dial. Otherwise it’s pure Baltic fare, with a Miyota movement, 200m water resistance and the kudos of being one of the most successful micros around.

Case/Dial: 39mm stainless steel case with 200m (20 bar) water resistance
Movement: Miyota calibre 9039, automatic, 42-hour power reserve
Strap: Tropic rubber
Price: £498

Learn More

Between £501 – £1,000

Serica Watches 5303-1

Serica Watches 5303-1

With Serica’s new 300m diver’s watch, the design team have dialled up the tool factor a fair few notches, and it pays off in raffish style. You’ll recognize the monochrome aesthetic of the 4512, but after a month at a diver’s boot camp to toughen up, expanding from 37.7 to 39mm in the process.

With a new Swiss Newton calibre from Soprod, the case and bracelet design is complex yet balanced, with a legible yet whimsically busy dial. Top marks for to the bracelet, a charming twist on a Tudor P01-esque design. The solid end link mesh sits taperingly smooth between a brazen sweep of twisted lugs, yet another charming non-homage detail, and a very French one.

Case/Dial: 39mm stainless steel case with 300m (30 bar) water resistance
Movement: Newton (Soprod) automatic movement, 44-hour power reserve
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: $1,200 (approx. £875)

Learn More

Bravur Watches Bravur X Wingårdh

Bravur Watches Bravur X Wingårdh

A very Scandinavian look at watch design, and a collaboration with one of the architects at the forefront of new Nordic minimalism, there’s a strong focus on the details. Pièce de resistance? The limited number of the watch is marked by a dot on the silver Bauhaus minute track.

This is printed on a deep navy dial as sharp as a bespoke Brioni suit, aptly marked Swedish Soul – Swiss Heart. And has Sir ever seen a green-lined calfskin strap with an embossed fish scale pattern?

Case/Dial: 37mm stainless steel case with 100m (10 bar) water resistance
Movement: Sellita calibre SW300-1, automatic, 42-hour power reserve
Strap: Leather
Price: $1,290 (approx. £940), limited to 50 pieces per colour

Learn More

Isotope GMT 0°

Isotope GMT 0°

Quirky cool with one of the most unusual and legible GMT complications we’ve seen, the droplet-logoed Isotope is a sharp antidote should you have taken too big a sip of the vintage juice.

With a formal cool language all its own, the Isotope has a wealth of colours to suit its casual modernist demeanour, and our favourite is the rich dark satin of the navy dial, the duotone split design being a guaranteed ice breaker in even modestly design-focused company.

Case/Dial: 41.5mm stainless steel case with 200m (20 bar) water resistance
Movement: Swisstech S24-45, automatic, 40-hour power reserve
Strap: Cordura fabric
Price: £710

Learn More

Halios Universa

Halios is the Rolex of microbrands for value retention, and the dark blue dial Universa proves the point. The tool-tastic case has angular sweeping lugs, a svelte body and what might just be the best flat link bracelet this side of an Ed White. With the Zen of a manual Sellita SW210-1, the dial still steals the show.

I am a fool for deep navy sunburst, and the Bathyal blue lends the cool, square indexes a floating quality, Super-Luminova making them pop in the night. The bezel-less case design has a modern vibe that gets a distinct touch of vintage with an onion crown, and the finishing touch? The light blue pop of the seconds arrow tip.

Case/Dial: 38mm stainless steel case with 100m (10 bar) water resistance
Movement: Sellita calibre SW210-1, hand wound, 40-hour power reserve
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: $735 (approx. £535), small batch production

Learn More

Fine Watches Berlin Valentina Red

Fine Watches Berlin Valentina Red

This is an eye-catching, charity slanted number from German watch designers Fine Watches Berlin. Yes, the name’s not subtle but then neither is the watch. Based on their flagship Teufelsberg with its funky asymmetrical sub-seconds, this edition substitutes their usual Bauhaus slant with bright scarlet.

It’s already a decent amount of watch for the price, with a solid automatic movement, but the 100-piece limited edition is also raising money for Stiftung Valentina, a foundation for critically ill children. If that’s not a worthy cause, nothing is.

Case/Dial: 40.5mm stainless steel case with 50m (5 bar) water resistance
Movement: Miyota calibre 8218, automatic, 42-hour power reserve
Strap: Leather
Price: €698 (approx. £590), limited to 100 pieces

Learn More

Straum Opphav

Straum Opphav

With their elegant Opphav, Nordic brand Straum has managed the complex task toeing the line between sports and formality, infused with Viking-inspired Nordic roots and a Swiss heart. Confused? After a brief glance within, you might just be captured by a deep gloss darkness in green, blue or grey.

With a sharp mastery of brush and bevel, the 41mm case has a hint of a certain porthole-design, slender at 11mm, and resolutely modern of line. With beguiling dials and a soft vegetable tanned leather strap, this might be the strongest Nordic microbrand debut of the year. Now let’s petition them for an integrated bracelet.

Case/Dial: 41mm stainless steel case with 100m (10 bar) water resistance
Movement: Sellita calibre SW200, automatic with a decorated rotor, 35-hour power reserve
Strap: Vegetable tanned full grain leather
Price: €829 (approx. £710)

Learn More

EMG Odyssey Automatic GMT

EMG Odyssey Automatic GMT

By new we’ve seen pretty much every combination of blue, red, black and white on a GMT, enough that we’re crying out for some more eye-catching colours. Apparently EMG heard us as this ‘Sunrise’ version of their retro, dual-crown traveller’s watch is a stunner.

Split between a crisp white dial and a white and yellow inner GMT bezel, it’s a simple yet eye-catching twist on a classic design – especially in low light when the blue lume comes out to play.

Case/Dial: 40.5mm stainless steel case with 200m (20 bar) water resistance
Movement: Sellita calibre SW-330, automatic, 42-hour power reserve
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: $750 (approx. £545)

Learn More

Between £1,001 – £ 1,500

Ten Eleven Nine Researcher

Ten Eleven Nine Researcher

Germany does tool watches well but, while they do tend to be of the Flieger variety, fledgling micro Ten Eleven Nine has taken a more elegant approach. Founder Leif Henrik Osthoff’s eye for mid-century design is pretty self-evident in his brand’s first trio of pieces – the Minimal, Weltweit and Researcher – all of which riff off the same Explorer-adjacent vibes.

For me, it’s all about that latter version with the classic 12 and six with indexes everywhere else. It’s a tough yet minimal piece that hits the aesthetic sweet spot for an everyday watch with style.

Case/Dial: 38mm stainless steel case with 200m (20m) water resistance
Movement: Sellita calibre SW200-1, automatic, 38-hour power reserve
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: €1,649 (approx. £1,410)

Learn More

Kurono Tokyo Toki

Kurono Tokyo Toki

This might well be the best variation of a salmon dial this side of a vintage Patek Philippe, in Hajime Asaoka’s very Japanese interpretation of pitch-perfect Art Deco. With a black railroad minute track intersected by indexes resembling architectural edifices worthy of Frank Lloyd Wright, and a trio of silvered grooves framing the centre, this is obsessive three handed elegance.

With Kurono’s democratic view of their customer base and disdain of the grey market, you’ll feel part of a welcoming Japanese family culture the moment you click onto their website.

Case/Dial: 37mm stainless steel case with 30m (3 bar) water resistance
Movement: Miyota calibre 90S5, automatic, 40-hour power reserve
Strap: Leather
Price: $1,738 (approx. £1,266), limited pre-order

Learn More

The Sacred Crafts Hua Hin

Sacred Crafts Hua Hin

Part serious diving watch, part upcycled tour de force, the Hua Hin from eco-specialist watch designers Sacred Crafts is the poster child for sustainable horology. The 44mm bronze beast offers a satisfyingly chunky diving bezel along with 300m water resistance, with a dial and middle bracelet links made of reclaimed wood.

The result is a watch that has an inbuilt patina and one that will gather more with age as the metal matches the wood. It’s not for everyone of course, but it’s one of the most individual bronze divers out there.

Case/Dial: 44mm bronze case with 300m (30m) water resistance
Movement: Calibre ETA 2824, automatic, 42-hour power reserve
Strap: Bronze with the middle bracelet links made of reclaimed wood
Price: $1,599 (approx. £1,165), limited to 90 pieces

Learn More

Atelier Jalaper AJ002-B

Atelier Jalaper AJ002-B

The DB5 is one of the most iconic cars ever built and for good reason; it defined Aston Martin as the ultimate British motor. They’re also pretty damn rare, which makes Atelier Jalaper’s AJ002-B all the more impressive. It combines a dial made from the bonnet of an authentic DB5 with a layout taken directly from a dashboard and a black PVD case.

Sure, it’s a little on the nose but between the distinctive, industrial-automotive style and the historical slant to its materials, this is one plenty of petrolheads might want to invest in.

Case/Dial: 40.5mm stainless steel case with 30m (3 bar) water resistance
Movement: Miyota calibre 8285, automatic, 42-hour power reserve
Strap: Leather
Price: €1,150 (approx. £985), limited to 600 pieces

Learn More

CuleM Portal GMT Gold

CuleM Portal GMT Gold

While the not-so-humble world map is a staple of worldtimers, that doesn’t mean that the more pared-back GMT – arguably the more useful traveller’s complication – can’t make plenty use of it. Case in point, the Portal GMT Gold with its multi-layered map.

The Midas monochrome is plated rather than pure gold but the same luxurious vibe permeates, with a subtle day-night contrast and a standout red GMT hand. Paired with a tan strap, it definitely looks pricer than it is. Given that CuleM is a distinctly eco-friendly watch brand, owning one of these also goes a little way towards saving the very world on its dial. Which is nice.

Case/Dial: 40mm gold plated case with 50m (5 bar) water resistance
Movement: Calibre ETA 2893-2, automatic, 42-hour power reserve
Strap: Brown tan Italian leather with additional strap
Price: £1,195

Learn More

Monta Watch Noble

Monta Watch Noble

There is a good reason the blue fumé dial Monta Noble has appeared on a quite a few lists for Oyster Perpetual alternatives. It belongs there for the easy sliding clasp adjustment alone, smooth enough to make a few Swiss managers twitch.

The svelte case is an understated piece of classic elegance, contemporary but with that smidgen of sports we love the Swiss for. You will struggle to find a tighter-toleranced three-link bracelet, and the slender case is but a perfect frame for the deep blue dial art.

Case/Dial: 38.5mm stainless steel case with 150m (15 bar) water resistance
Movement: Monta calibre M-22, automatic, 42-hour power reserve
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: $1,760 (approx. £1,280)

Learn More

Over £1,500

Nivada Grenchen Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver

Nivada Grenchen Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver

While the name might sound slightly schizophrenic, as Swiss brand re-awakenings go, this is on the money, and to the millimetre. The second charm of their twin register formula is that NG caters to our desire for personalisation, with a wealth of choices in dial, hand and register colours, complemented by a delightfully wide array of straps.

The brash Orange Boy has a cool, maximalist sixties chronograph dial and tangy orange sub dials, making it stand out in a sharp portfolio of time travel from a reborn Nivada Grenchen.

Case/Dial: 38.3mm stainless steel case with 100m (10 bar) water resistance
Movement: Sellita calibre SW510, automatic chronograph movement, 48-hour power reserve
Strap: Beads of rice bracelet
Price: $2,154 (approx. £1,558)

Learn More

Schofield Watch Company Strange Lights

Schofield Watch Company Strange Lights

Giles Ellis of the Schofield Watch Company has created a small universe of very British perfection in Sussex, from wristwatches to accessories and straps. The Strange Lights SWC SL-1 is infused by an obsessive and thoughtful view of details, in the Schofield language of a sizeably ergonomic case. The SWC SL-1 has a British-made case of satin-smooth vapour blasted titanium, framing a luscious red dial.

The strong graphic language of SWC makes the Strange Lights collection delightfully hard to categorise. With the brushed gold hands and a burgundy outer track with red arabics lending a raffish elegance to the bold case, this might be a hard one to get your hands on.

Case/Dial: 44mm stainless steel case with 100m (10 bar) water resistance
Movement: Calibre ETA 2824-2, automatic, 42-hour power reserve
Strap: Your choice of strap (more information at Schofield Watch Company)
Price: £3,595, limited to 29 pieces in each colour

Learn More

Zero West H1-P3708

Zero West H1-P3708

Designed in a waterside studio in picturesque Emsworth on the south coast and boasting melted-down scrap from a WWII Hurricane downed on Essex’s Foulness Island, this is about as British as a watch can be. Inspired by the instrument panel of the titular fighter, the H1-P3708 is pure Zero West fare, separately forged lugs and all.

Powered by a Swiss-made ETA automatic – adjustable via a crown designed to imitate a joystick firing button – this is one for the mechanically obsessed. If you spend your weekends tinkering with vintage aircraft, this is a necessity for your wrist.

Case/Dial: 44mm stainless steel case with 100m water resistance
Movement: Calibre ETA 2824, automatic, 38-hour power reserve
Strap: Custom military and aerospace grade cross-linked fluoroelastomer rubber
Price: £2,995

Learn More

Zelos Mirage 2

Zelos Mirage 2

Catch the slightest reflection, and the Mirage 2 case will draw you in with its eclectic wood grain structure, the shimmering organic patterns appearing almost otherworldly. The bronze-yellow tinged metal is like nothing we’ve seen, a titanium damascus case based on a technique akin to the ancient art of forging swords.

In the dark skeletonised dial, a gold-filled Zelos logo at 3.30 pops deliciously, and there’s a red crescent marking the last day of the vast eight-day power reserve. The Mirage 2 represents a big step for the company while offering exemplary value for what is a unique calibre within the skeletonised pilot’s watch. The future of the pilot’s watch is from Singapore and it’s forged from titanium damascus.

Case/Dial: 42mm stainless steel case with 50m (5 bar) water resistance
Movement: La Joux Perret Twin barrel hand winding movement, 8-day power reserve
Strap: FKM rubber
Price: $4,900 (approx. £3,570), limited to 25 pieces

Learn More

anOrdain Model 1 Green Fume

anOrdain Model 1 Green Fumé

There’s a good reason anOrdain are one of the only brands outside of Switzerland or Japan making their own vitreous enamel dials; it takes a certain kind of madness to attempt.

Fortunately, it’s worked out and the Glasgow-based watchmaker has some of the finest dials around – including this painfully gorgeous watch in shimmering green fumé with funky gold indexes and minute track. The depth of colour here is sublime and where most of the value is, even if the rest of the watch is understandably streamlined. Stunning.

Case/Dial: 38mm stainless steel case with 50m (5 bar) water resistance
Movement: Calibre ETA 2824-2, automatic, 38-hour power reserve
Strap: Leather
Price: £2,100

Learn More

Brellum Duobox LE.8 Triple Calendar Moonphase Chronometer

Brellum Duobox LE.8 Triple Calendar Moonphase Chronometer

A microbrand watch at an accessible price with Breguet overtones sounds like a big ask, but it’s the bread and butter of Jura-based Brellum. While their debut collection, the Duobox was initially a no-nonsense chronograph, in the latest from the independent brand ups the ante with a full calendar.

It’s a serious piece of watch, with a beautifully decorated Valjoux 7751-based calibre, a DLC coating and an incredibly handsome anthracite dial, all for a price tag that shines a less-than-flattering light on similar, much pricier timepieces. The downside? There’s only 15 of these beauties worldwide.

Case/Dial: 41.80mm stainless steel case with 50m (5 bar) water resistance
Movement: BRELLUM BR-751-TCMP, automatic, COSC-certified chronometer, 46-hour power reserve
Strap: Leather
Price: £2,623, limited to 15 pieces

Learn More

Horage Tourbillon 1

Horage Tourbillon 1

A tourbillon? In a microbrand guide? Are we mad? Well, when it comes in well under the 10K mark, I reckon it qualifies. If you’re expecting cheap Chinese tat here then you’re in for a surprise as the movement at the core of the Tourbillon 1, the K-TOU, has a full five-day power reserve, a silicon escapement more efficient than the usual Swiss brands and a 43-piece cage weighing just 0.29 grams.

In fact, the calibre’s specs are almost too good to be believed. Pair that with a partially skeletonised grid dial and plenty of customisation options (including COSC certification), this is one of the most exciting microbrand projects we’ve ever seen. Put simply, it’s nuts. Unfortunately, by the time you read this, Horage will no longer be taking orders. Will it return? Fingers crossed.

Case/Dial: 41mm stainless steel case with 100m (10 bar) water resistance
Movement: Horage K-TOU, manual-wind, COSC-certified chronometer upgrade available, 120-hour power reserve
Strap: Leather
Price: £5,975 (VAT not included)

Learn More

Neucarl Sept Mai Platinum

Neucarl Sept Mai Platinum

Precious metals and microbrands don’t often go hand-in-hand; the prices tend to be a touch to prohibitive. And yes, while the Sept Mai from Neucarl is certainly expensive, $49,000 (approx. £35,808) for a full platinum, 41mm watch.

It’s not just the price that’s refreshing either; while the Sept Mai is definitely a dress watch, it’s sectioned dial and retro-futuristic style aren’t the sort of things you’d normally see at a gala. But they should be. Paired with a COSC-certified ETA 2892 movement, it’s one of the few platinum-cased watches out there that feels… well, fair.

Case/Dial: 41mm platinum case with 50m (5 bar) water resistance
Movement: Calibre ETA 2892, automatic, COSC-certified chronometer, 50-hour power reserve
Strap: Leather
Price: $49,000 (approx. £35,808)

Learn More

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get the latest watch and luxury lifestyle news straight to your inbox