Micro Tournament Round 1 Day 4: Baltic Vs. Atelier Wen

Rules: - Voting is based on the overall brand, not the individual model or sample photo. - There are no rules on how you should choose, but you are welcome to civilly debate quality, value, heritage, etc. - Voters are encouraged to look at the hashtags for threads on individual brands or visit their sites. - Poll closes apx 11PM ET 6/24. - Be respectful of all the brands and members, even if the vote does not go your way. This is meant to be lighthearted fun to raise awareness of 32 microbrands. - Ties will go to the brand with the most unique user-owned photos of their watch. - Good luck and have fun! All posts and results will be under #microtournament

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Sorry for the typo, this poll is live through apx 11PM ET 6/25.

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My gut tells me Baltic wins this matchup because of brand awareness, but Wen is doing something absolutely special; dials, cases, and trying to put China on the map movement wise. Two completely different approaches.

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I own and love my Baltic, but I feel like Wen wins out for sheer haute horology.

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tesseraic

I own and love my Baltic, but I feel like Wen wins out for sheer haute horology.

They certainly are two different pieces. I love the Baltic MR01 calatrava-inspired design, but Wen is certainly doing something special. 

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Wen is producing some amazing looking watches, they totally deserve my vote. Unfortunately they don’t have any actual watches for sale, so that’s a no-go. Baltic should win by virtue of making some really nice watches at nice prices, and actually allowing you to buy them. 

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thekris

Wen is producing some amazing looking watches, they totally deserve my vote. Unfortunately they don’t have any actual watches for sale, so that’s a no-go. Baltic should win by virtue of making some really nice watches at nice prices, and actually allowing you to buy them. 

To be fair to Wen, he sells his watches in batches.  Whereas most of the stuff anyone wants from Baltic is sold out.

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AllTheWatches

To be fair to Wen, he sells his watches in batches.  Whereas most of the stuff anyone wants from Baltic is sold out.

I see the MR01 is out of stock, but all the Aquscaphes seem to be available.  In fact, I don’t see anything else they’re out of right now. 
 

I guess the batch argument makes sense, but it’s pretty annoying. I’m just getting tired of all these companies showing off watches then telling you they can’t provide them to you. I start to suspect some of them are taking a page out of the Rolex playbook.  The fact that you can’t have it makes you want it more. 
 

I’m trying to be fair and understand these companies are just getting started, but everybody being out of everything starts to seem fishy to me. 

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thekris

I see the MR01 is out of stock, but all the Aquscaphes seem to be available.  In fact, I don’t see anything else they’re out of right now. 
 

I guess the batch argument makes sense, but it’s pretty annoying. I’m just getting tired of all these companies showing off watches then telling you they can’t provide them to you. I start to suspect some of them are taking a page out of the Rolex playbook.  The fact that you can’t have it makes you want it more. 
 

I’m trying to be fair and understand these companies are just getting started, but everybody being out of everything starts to seem fishy to me. 

There’s a big difference between companies like Ming, Wen, Furlan Mark, and even Kurono are doing Vs Rolex or Patek. Those shops are truly micro. You’re talking a very few people making something special, often times by hand vs. strategic distribution control. Wen can physically only make so many watches, so to do so, launches are limited. They don’t have the luxury of massive resources. 

Some “micros” may do very little actual work and rely on private label manufacturers to help them with full logistics. Nothing wrong with that, so I don’t want to call any of them out, but it happens a lot. I always try to support those brands trying to do something special, which may mean limited releases because that’s all they are capable of doing vs. having a private label manufacturer kick out a bunch of generic watches with basic movements with dials/cases that strangely look similar to other brands.

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AllTheWatches

There’s a big difference between companies like Ming, Wen, Furlan Mark, and even Kurono are doing Vs Rolex or Patek. Those shops are truly micro. You’re talking a very few people making something special, often times by hand vs. strategic distribution control. Wen can physically only make so many watches, so to do so, launches are limited. They don’t have the luxury of massive resources. 

Some “micros” may do very little actual work and rely on private label manufacturers to help them with full logistics. Nothing wrong with that, so I don’t want to call any of them out, but it happens a lot. I always try to support those brands trying to do something special, which may mean limited releases because that’s all they are capable of doing vs. having a private label manufacturer kick out a bunch of generic watches with basic movements with dials/cases that strangely look similar to other brands.

That’s a fair point, I shouldn‘t compare these companies to Rolex. I’m sure most of them are doing the best they can, but still. If it’s not a watch I can buy, what’s the point?  I’ve already got Patek to make beautiful watches I can’t have, what do I need these micros for?  
 

I should be clear that I love that these companies are doing new and different things. I love that they provide watchmaking at a price the big guys can‘t or won’t. I love that they take chances, and o don’t want to discourage that. 
 

But it very frustrating as a consumer to be told “here’s this great watch, you can’t have it”. The bigger issue to me is, how can I judge you as a watchmaker if your watches aren’t even available?

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The thing is you can get them. they have release schedules and if you follow them you end up with brilliant watches. Many of these small companies operating in they $2k-$5k space are making pieces others would charge triple for. Others like Dornbluth and Sohn or Santory are making pieces built to order. It’s all about scale when you’re producing so few pieces.

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This is a tough match 😫

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Poll closed for the tournament. Congratulations Baltic!