Watch purists admire globally renowned labels extolled for their sheer brilliance in watchmaking and the ability to bring aesthetics with functionality. While a diligent shopper longs brands with an immense presence in the global markets such as Swiss or Japanese watch companies; others look for comfort and affordable options with a local appeal. These brands often referred to as veritable options to prominent monikers in the watchmaking industry, are more congenial. With e-commerce platforms, the watch micro brands are booming, and their demand is surging day by day. These timepieces are modern in appeal and lighter on pocket compared to the big names that carry a hefty price tag. Before we proceed and discuss some of the best micro watch brands available on the market, let us first understand how they separate from revered names in the industry. The micro watch brands do not manufacture products on a large scale as compared to the companies with a long history of watchmaking. Here are some of the traits of a micro-watch brand that will help us understand better.
The micro brands are
-Independent companies with value-models.
-Source parts from vendors in other countries and assemble locally in their workshop.
-Are mostly accessible on the e-commerce platforms for retail.
-Tastefully styled, aesthetically appealing timepieces.
These timepieces are no less than the heritage models; however, the micro watch brands are more lucrative options, which is one of the reasons for its commercial success. The list below collates 25 best micro watch brands in 2020 with unique designs and progressive mechanics, have a look.
Established in 2014 by Elshan Tang, the brand from Singapore offers watches with avant-garde designs using high-quality materials such as carbon fiber and bronze, etc. The timepieces are manufactured from scratch, implying supreme quality. Made from ground up, these timepieces feature unique styling and designs, which set them apart from other models. Elshan’s fascination for mechanical watches grew into his passion for classic timepieces, and he finally launched his watch brand in 2014. The brand has rolled out 3 model since 2014 including Helmsman, Chroma and Abyss.
Rooted in Switzerland, known for its rich watchmaking heritage, the newly founded watch brand lives up to the legacy of the Swiss watches. The brand, established in 2015 was founded by a bunch of friends, Justin Kraudel, Michael DiMartini and David Barnes. It promises high-quality craftsmanship and quality, akin to other big Swiss watch brands. The timepieces from Monta come equipped with the high-quality and reliable movement for accurate timekeeping. Currently, it offers four watch collections-Oceanking, Atlas, Triumph and Skyquest.
BOLDER Supply Co
The BOLDER Supply Co based in Malaysia and Singapore caters to the watch enthusiasts with an inclination for timepieces with the urbane appeal. It specializes in manufacturing timepieces and watch gear that brings together style with functionality. These super-tough wrist-wears designed for the adventure enthusiasts marketed as readyforadventure have the endurance to survive in challenging conditions and are ideal for outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, hiking and much more.
Farer combines the fineness of Swiss manufacturing with the excellence of British design. It is one of the best boutique watch brands creating out-of-the-box models since its inception in 2015. The timepieces from Farer derive their names either from some iconic vessels or globally acclaimed explorers, which defines the brand’s inspiration behind creating these timepieces. It takes inspiration for its models from horology’s halcyon era and strives perfection in its craftsmanship and styling.
Hailing from Italy, the emerging watch brand started its journey in 2015 when Giovanni Moro and Simone Nunziato laid the foundation for the brand. It specializes in manufacturing diving timepieces, highlighted by bold colour schemes, minimaist dial and a sturdy body built to handle tough situations with ease. These timepieces sport rugged military designs, matching with their resilience and durable construction. Most of the Unimatic models have resistance in water up to 990 feet, ideal for use by divers.
Based in Switzerland, recognized for some of the best watch brands globally and excellent timekeeping, Gorilla Watches was established recently in 2016 by Octavio Garcia and Lukas Gopp. The timepieces built on the horologic design pedigree reflect a passion for cars. Use of stringent materials in these timepieces lend strength as well as rigidity to survive challenging conditions. Swirly dial apertures give them a unique identity, and track-inspired accents emulate the passion for motorsport. It is slowly expanding footprint in countries like Indonesia, Singapore, UAE, Bahrain, Mexico, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Japan with standalone stores.
The New Zealand (Auckland) based watch brand specializes in manufacturing boutique dive and sports timepieces. These watches built on the ‘stay minimal be bold’ design principals features oversized dials and thick bands made with fabric, silicone and other materials. Founded in 2007 by Dion Wynyard McAsey, it also specializes in engraved timepieces hand-crafted meticulously by Andrew Biggs. McAsey’s interest in watches began at the age of seven when she received a white watch with a white rubber strap as a birthday present from her mother. Years later, McAsey launched her watch brand which continues to cater to people with a zest for bold and functional timepieces.
Steve Laughlin, the owner of Raven Watches LLC started the company in 2008 after acquiring a BFA degree in Visual Arts in 1999 from Kansas State University. He takes a keen interest in the production of these timepieces with close involvement in the designing, photography, marketing, maintenance, shopping, sales, website development and even email communication for the company. Laughlin’s passion for watches began at the age of ten. The designs of Raven watches take inspiration from travel, photography and adventure.
Christopher Ward was started by three friends in 2008. The idea for establishing a watch company came to Mike France, Peter Ellis and Christopher Ward (the founders) while floating down the Thames, and they launched the brand within four years in 2008. It is one of the most popular micro watch brands available on the market. The company markets and distributes its products directly to the shoppers, which allows incorporating top-notch Swiss components in these watches.
Weiss Watch Company
The Weiss Watch Company derives its name from the last name of the founder, Cameron Weiss, a master watchmaker. The brand came into existence in 2013 and since then have been involved in creating timepieces using components made in America, such as cases, spring bar tools, dials and packaging. These timepieces are designs with mechanical movements, handcrafted in Los Angeles, California. Every Weiss watch is assembled individually in America using a combination of historical and modern techniques.
The American brand launched in 2002 by Bill Yao. It pioneered in offering custom services to major watch brands including Seiko and Luminox. MK II specializes in bespoke Swiss, and Japanese made tool timepieces. The micro-brand committed to expert design produces ready-to-wear and bench-crafted timepieces that are aesthetically appealing and functional at the same time. The bench-crafted collection exhibits American craftsmanship and Swiss precision. Besides, each timepiece is hand-assembled in the USA.
Baltic, an emerging boutique watch brand, was started in May 2017 by Etienne Malec. The Baltic timepieces feature neo-vintage designs, powered by the mechanical movement. Each model is hand-assembled individually in France by a team of established professionals. Baltic is known for creating toolwatches along with three-hands and chronograph timepieces. The founder inherited an envious vintage watch collection from his photographer father who had a penchant for watches. He decided to take the legacy forward with his brand which he started recently in 2017.
Autodromo is another emerging American watch brand founded by Bradley Price. It specializes in motorsports themed watches, featuring designs inspired heavily by some of the known European watch brands. While some models take design cues from retro dashboard gauges used in cars during the 1960s and 1970s. These timepieces are quite popular among car enthusiasts, especially those with a penchant for motorsports. Also, these watches are relatively affordable compared to the big European brands.
Based in Los Angeles, the American watch brand started its journey in May 2016, helmed by founders, Cullen Chen and Wesley Kwok. The brand manufactures sports and utility-focused watches, featuring classic designs with a quintessential twist. Built with high-strength materials, the timepieces from Nodus have high endurance against challenging situations. Besides, these have impressive visual appeal, which makes them a perfect wear for every occasion.
Hailing from Hong Kong, the micro-brand was established in 2014 by Michael Young. The brand, known for top-notch quality products offers a wide variety of personalization options, which makes it popular among shoppers. That said, it lets you add a personal touch to almost everything to the core watch, to customize it per your convenience. These timepieces exhibit bold styling and rugged designs, available at value-pricing in comparison to the known European brands. They personally assemble your watch and then individually test it. Most brands only pull a few off the assembly line to batch test. UNDONE take good care of everything and doesn’t let anything slip through the cracks.
Oak & Oscar
One of the best micro-watch brands to leave a mark among consumers and watch purists alike with its stand-out designs is the Oak & Oscar, started recently in 2015 by Chase Fancher. With a vision to build a watch brand determined to create stylish and functional timepieces, Chaser left a career in the corporate world to materialize his dream of owning a watch company. With him at the helm of things, Chase takes a keen interest in several departments such as planning, designing and managing the team.
Founded in 2016, the watch brand hails from America, where each timepiece is hand-crafted in Detroit. The company, owned by Deni Mesanovic, also retails sunglasses and premium leather goods. With the Perseus, this young American brand offers an affordable steel sports model with the typical characteristics of industry classics: an integrated steel band, a combination of satin-brushed and polished surfaces, and a nautical case design. Mesanovic forayed into watchmaking intending to produce quality watches, manufactured 100 per cent in the USA. Currently, it offers limited edition watches, Perseus collection starting from a whopping $2,999 and Sector priced from $1,499. The timepieces from Persus feature stainless steel body with a minimalist dial and a traditional three-hand analog display along with a date window.
The American watch brand was founded with the aim of time-telling for the visually impaired. In 2011, the company started its journey, which continues to serve the blind with its timepieces, a cross between intrusive talking and tactile watches. Hyungsoo Kim, a graduate from MIT, collaborated with designers to create timepieces to be used by both blind and sighted. These timepieces are available in a variety of colours with raised hour markings on the dial for time reading along with two magnetized ball bearings. The brand offers several designs, but they’re all basically the same in concept each is dedicated to an exceptionally inspirational individual who is either blind or living with visual impairment.
Based in Canada, Halios was established in 2009 by Jason Lim. The microbrand produces premium diver watches priced under $1000. It runs on three principals, first to offer quality watches with high resistance in the water, second a supportive aftersales service and third to design watches that become the next watch icon. It started the journey on online forums committed to diving watches and gradually expanded as an independent micro-watch brand. With brand’s manufacturing partners based in Asia, most of the production takes place there, and final quality checks are done in Vancouver, Canada. The continuous evolution of Halios’ design philosophy and build quality and has made some forays into more general sports watches such as the bezel-less Seaforth, and over the years the watches have been getting smaller; the Seaforth.
Creux Automatiq, a Swiss watch brand founded in 2009 by Dane Rumble, an expert in the luxury diamond cutlet jewellery, specializes in creating high-performing luxury watches at affordable prices. After researching copiously for two years about the nuances of watch-making and watch parts, the first batch of models was rolled out in 2009 featuring avant-garde design. Brand’s signature Ghost case shape was first shaped in 2009, at Dane’s workshop at home. Since then, it is used as the base guide for acquiring the right component manufacturers and movement. The watches are very comfortable on the wrist and also the size of the links and the degree of articulation is near perfect.
The Scotland based watch brand created mechanical timepieces with enamel dials. The team of 10 designers (including eight trained designers) works tirelessly at the Glasgow Tempelton Building where everything is scrutinized with precision from designing to assembly and production. These timepieces fuse contemporary design with the conventional craft. It offers a single model, christened Model 1, which comes in a variety of colours, featuring enamel dial and powered by the high-quality Swiss movement for accuracy in timekeeping. This brand is deliver clean designs with a sensible case shape and unique typography inspired by a vintage map of the area around Loch anOrdain in northern Scotland.
The American brand specializes in automatic mechanical and self-winding timepieces. These watches, built for adventurists feature aesthetically appealing designs which reflect sophistication. The high-end, high-quality multi-functional watches are tailored for the active lifestyle. With the brand’s focus on accuracy and style, it produces timepieces with high durability and reliability. That said, the Ocean Crawler watches, as the name suggests, are designed to withstand extreme conditions. These go through a series of ten different shock tests before they go out for retail. The top collection of Dive watches are a favored creation of the indie crowd, and for good reason they are the top notch makers for that. For starters, there is always a popular design. No matter if you are not into dive its more than the timepiece looks that is something about the idea that the watch can handle more than reasonably throw at it is compelling.
Gruppo Gamma began its watchmaking story in 2013 with the intent to create watches with soul. It aims to redefine tool watches by modernizing them and adding a new dimension with progressive manufacturing practices. These timepieces take cues from the traditional models that chronicle the events of the 20th century. Owing to state-of-the-art timepieces, the brand rose to fame within a few months of launch, and soon an owners’ club was created by the shoppers that have grown leaps and bounds with dealers, customers and supporters joining the platform. They have added great build quality watches to the section and this new movement choice really kick things up. If you like what you see go check them out at.
Manufacktur was formed in 2015 by Manfred Starck Uhren Gmbh, a Swiss watch designer who envisioned to created high-end automatic timepieces. Gmbh, who hails from Pforzheim, a city in South-West Germany known for watchmaking industry and jewelry (nicknamed ‘Goldstad’) put his experience of Swiss watchmaking together with the high-tech German watch manufacturing to create extraordinary mechanical timepieces. Each timepiece is assembled by hand at the brand’s workshop. In 2017, Manufaktur started a campaign on Kickstarter to raise funds, ensued by another on Indiegogo.
Waldhoff watches taking the extra mile to assure their quality is the best above all other and they can provide affordable watches options to there coustomers, even if that means its less profit for them and, more watch for your bottom dollar.
Straton Watch Co.
The Straton Watch company was started in 2015 by a watch designer with a penchant for classic cars, watches and racing. He combined his love for horology and automotive history into creating timepieces with an essence of car racing and automotive industry. The company’s slogan ‘Style created through passion’ reflects the same. Ever since its launch, Straton has created and delivered a plethora of watches worldwide, and it continues to roll out a new collection every year. These timepieces made with top-notch material quality feature a vintage case and designs.