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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, why do you guys like micro brands ?
What micros do you have and why have you bought them ?
For me the answer is very simple, as I am by all means a budget collector. I bought the micros I have for the good value they offer, well above the price tag. I also like them because they have unique designs or at least an unique aproach on a classic design. I want diversity in my colection, and that means diversity of materials as well. Actually, three out of the four micros I have I bought because I wanted a watch made from a certain material (Reise Resolute-titanium, Zelos Hammerhead 2-bronze, Ventus Black Kite-carbon) and those were the ones I liked most, within a certain budget. I bought the fourth one(Albert Villa Jazz Age-Brodway) because I wanted a red dial and it was really hard to find one that I liked and I could afford, so when this showed up on my radar, I was absolutely delighted .
Cheers !
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I like them inasmuch they offer something I can't get from larger brands, but I don't think I have a general attitude towards them. For the most part, it seems to me that whatever passion big brands may lack, they make up in professionalism, and then it's only a question whether I like what either have on offer.
 

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I’d never heard of Microbrands before I joined WUS, as living in the UK I was brought up on mall watches.

So when I heard about Helson, Maranez, Ancon etc, I filled my boots and I loved the quality and originality that came at the bargain basement prices, Helson bronze case anyone 😍

Not so keen on the raft of “Homage” micros that all seem to base everything on the Rolex Submariner, Steinhart anyone 🤔

But as my nan used to say, you pays your money and makes your choice.
 

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I dropped a decent chunk of change on a zelos I was impressed with online, but when it came in was extremely underwhelming.

I spent around $4k on the 8 day titanium azure, and there's nothing wrong with it, it's just kind of flat and dull. Upsetting that I could have gotten a seamster or a seiko spring drive for the same price.


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Same here. I love the variety, different materials and unusual designs.

Some examples from my collection:

Maranez Layan, brass
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Prometheus Poseidon, bronze
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Gorilla Fastback, forged carbon
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Geckota K3, a great basis for hand engraving
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Werenbach Leonov, dial made from used Soyuz rocket booster material
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Genesis Aura, no special materials, but designed and made by Christine Genesis here in Hamburg, she's just a fantastic and charming person
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Archimede Outdoor, hardened case, found its way to me after a pass-around organized by Mike Stuffler and Lisa Ickler (head of Archimede)
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Alexander Shorokhoff Neva, PVD blue case, amazing guilloched dial
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In addition to the great value and variety these brands offer, I've also found these brands super accessible for questions. It's just not some anonymous million dollar enterprise, you actually get in contact with the people who are directly involved with the making of these watches. With most of the brands shown above, it was even direct communication with the brand owners themselves.

I have huge respect for people who take the risk and start their own watch brands in this competitive market. That requires a lot of dedication and enthusiasm for watches, so buying from them and helping them to grow their business feels a lot better than paying the Swatch Group, at least to me. There's just a lot more personal involvement.
 

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Somehow I managed to leave out the picture of only micro-brand watch I own, which illustrates my point - this is the only 1940s-style quartz chronograph that I was able to find, at least with a competent movement. It's nice, though a bit on the flimsy side, and with only 30 m water resistance. It's also my only watch with an acrylic crystal. It's only really got one fault, and that is that the hour and minute hand are a bit too similar in length (you couldn't tell from the picture, but it is a problem in actual use), but it's not a dealbreaker and I do enjoy wearing it - the movement is what I require and it's aesthetically very pleasing to me.

Watch Analog watch Clock Rectangle Font
 

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So many reasons to love the micro brands...design, value, the passion of their creators. Weiss, Scurfa, MKII, Cincinnati Watch Co...these are my favs so far.
 

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Yes, same here, collection diversity and affordability are among my main goals.

Because I wanted but can never afford or want to maintain a real 1960's Omega or Heuer racing chronograph - so Dan Henry 1964 it is:
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Then I saw this non-homage retro-modern racing inspired sports watch with original style and sapphire crystal for under $200 USD, so had to get this Roue SSD for more casual outings:
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And another microbrand will be on the way in October . . .
 

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I had one, a Berhardt Binnacle, and didn’t care for it. I’m toying with a Weiss, so I haven’t totally given up on them, but we’ll see.
 

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No general attitude about them. My experience says they can be great and a super value but also can be as overhyped as any other watch company’s offerings. Plus, they can be excellent at CS or just as likely abysmal at it. Like most things it’s a one by one decision.
 
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I don't know why micros are associated with budget watches - micros, like macros, span the gamut of price ranges.

My collection almost entirely consists of micros because I generally look for made / assembled in the USA watches, and only RGM approaches the ability to be defined as a macro. Micros are also more adventurous in their designs - they aren't tied to just one look or model, and can branch out with different styles.

I own a Marathon and a Sinn, both superlative watches, but with micros I can get immediate customer service and generally talk directly to the owner. In that vein, Ronald (RGM), Chase (Oak & Oscar), Patrick (Detroit Watch Company), and Thomas (Minuteman) are friendly, helpful, and provide excellent customer service. I'd recommend their watches to anyone.

Of course, not all micros are like this: Kobold is an outright terrible company, and their owner is trash.

Now, onto the glamour shots:

Smith & Braley Ambush: I'm hanging out the right window of an HH-60 Pavehawk.

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Lum-Tec Combat Bronze B: I skied out to a glacier in Alaska. I should have worn the nylon NATO band, but I was a fan of the leather.

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RGM Model 222: out to a classy dinner.

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That's the biggy. Buying a watch and the company goes out of business. Hopefully they use standard size crystals. Stem diameter. Movement fit. Otherwise if it breaks. It's done. Unless you do the same and make the 'custom' parts. From a treasure to a project.
 

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I blow hot and cold on them. I own a few I like, but I can't say I love them. Some have interesting dials or innovatively-designed cases or something else about the design that piques my interest, and I'm drawn. But there are limits, because they all use the same basic movements, don't invest in innovation (aside from looks) and most probably are produced by the same Asian factories.

Still, if I ever buy another quartz watch, it'll probably be a Dan Henry. So go figure.
 

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That's the biggy. Buying a watch and the company goes out of business. Hopefully they use standard size crystals. Stem diameter. Movement fit. Otherwise if it breaks. It's done. Unless you do the same and make the 'custom' parts. From a treasure to a project.
...no company that I've bought from has gone out of business.
 

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Small scale production makes for more interesting designs and material choices. Lack of shareholders gives the micros the freedom to experiment in a way that the larger and more established watchmakers never could.
 

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More than half of my watches are from micros. I appreciate the willingness to take chances and be innovative by the best of the lot. And in my experience, most (or at least a lot) of the micros take pride in nicely finished, well executed product. Also, it’s the only way to get made in the USA - or designed and assembled in the US - watches.
 

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I enjoy some with unique styles and some for their low price.

This is an Oak and Oscar flyback chronograph



Kurono toki



RZE titanium



Undone





Ming



Vertex



Smiths



Anicorn



And three more on the way







Yes I like micros and I have several from independent's. I'm a fan!
 
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