Up and Coming Microbrands

I have an interest in Microbrands and was just curious what people think are the best up and coming Microbrands?

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I know you used the hashtags, but definitely recommend scrolling through. Also look at the #microtournament hashtag for lots of content from last year's tournament. 

As for me, there are veterans killing it:

  • Monta
  • Farer
  • An0rdain
  • Oak & Oscar 
  • Fears

Up and coming:

  • Baltic
  • Studio Underd0g
  • Serica
  • Atelier Wen
  • Brew
     

I could easily add 10 to each but will leave space for others to chime in. There is no shortage of quality microbrands that are putting out competitive products with reliable and easily serviceable movements. 

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Former and Christopher Ward have almost ascended above the level of microbrand. 

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We really shouldn't be putting Fears in any microbrand discussion. It's older than many of the big Swiss brands. 

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Here’s a few more to think about from my own collection. 
Clemence Watches

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Very new to the scene currently just doing this range of Photic Divers, but they are very good. The owner Tom takes a lot of pride in their British made watches and they’ve been talking about doing a Field Watch. 
 

E. C. Andersson 

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A small Swedish made brand based in Gothenburg. They make small runs generally just 270 of whatever sports watch their making.  They start selling at their lierat price, which rises till their gone. They make slightly more unusual sports watches.  
 

Malm

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Another Swedish microbrand who specialise in pilot watches. 

Echo/Neutra 

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These guys are new for me and actually have a few nice watches for sale. Here’s their Big Moon Field Watch but they also have some divers. 
 

Borealis

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Husband and wife team out of Portugal. This is my Sintra, which I liked so much I pre-ordered their dive gmt watch, which I should be getting in April. 
 

Last but not least Spinnaker 

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British Microbrand specialising in divers. 

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Tikkaspecial

We really shouldn't be putting Fears in any microbrand discussion. It's older than many of the big Swiss brands. 

I hear you, but when the current business was started from scratch, as a new company in 2016, not hitting full swing until 2020, they are firmly in the micro brand camp to me. 

I think it is a different story had remained in business during that 50-year gap. What I will give Fears, that I do not give others similar credit for, is there is a genuine lineage from Nicholas to the original Fears company. His story is very cool and in having briefly met him, I truly appreciate the passion. 

Make no mistake though, they are an upstart playing in the micro space, albeit one with greater heritage than others.

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AllTheWatches

I hear you, but when the current business was started from scratch, as a new company in 2016, not hitting full swing until 2020, they are firmly in the micro brand camp to me. 

I think it is a different story had remained in business during that 50-year gap. What I will give Fears, that I do not give others similar credit for, is there is a genuine lineage from Nicholas to the original Fears company. His story is very cool and in having briefly met him, I truly appreciate the passion. 

Make no mistake though, they are an upstart playing in the micro space, albeit one with greater heritage than others.

And also pioneered the cushion design that Panerai adopted. The lineage, both personally through the family and their designs themselves means that they deserve to be considered differently to those new brands birthed through Kickstarter (of which I own a couple and love btw). 

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Tikkaspecial

And also pioneered the cushion design that Panerai adopted. The lineage, both personally through the family and their designs themselves means that they deserve to be considered differently to those new brands birthed through Kickstarter (of which I own a couple and love btw). 

The current company did not pioneer the cushion case. We have to remember he did not even know any of the family members who original ran Fears, they passed before he was born. It is not as if there was a familia passing of the torch. He discovered his family once had a watch company and decided to revive it, which is awesome.

I’m not sure if any, but certainly not most, of the brands I mentioned were started via kickstarter, so not sure of the confusion.

Dead brands are being bought and revived a lot now. I do not associate a revive with the original, even if by a great family member. You may, which is fine, in which case it’s okay to disagree.

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AllTheWatches

The current company did not pioneer the cushion case. We have to remember he did not even know any of the family members who original ran Fears, they passed before he was born. It is not as if there was a familia passing of the torch. He discovered his family once had a watch company and decided to revive it, which is awesome.

I’m not sure if any, but certainly not most, of the brands I mentioned were started via kickstarter, so not sure of the confusion.

Dead brands are being bought and revived a lot now. I do not associate a revive with the original, even if by a great family member. You may, which is fine, in which case it’s okay to disagree.

Thank you for your permission to disagree. 

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Genuinely not the intent, we all have different perspectives which makes the discussions interesting. Countless threads on here with folks going back and forth on what warrants a micro. 

As a newly revived company competing with veteran run brands, the work Nicholas and co do is great.

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AllTheWatches

Genuinely not the intent, we all have different perspectives which makes the discussions interesting. Countless threads on here with folks going back and forth on what warrants a micro. 

As a newly revived company competing with veteran run brands, the work Nicholas and co do is great.

@Tikkaspecial, Steve, what is your take on brands like Nivada Grenchen or Smiths? Both dead brands with the rights bought by non family members/outsiders (so different than Fears), which like Fears run very much like a micro brand in terms of production and distribution? Not asking flippantly, genuinely interested? 

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To be honest, I'm not a watch expert by any stretch, so won't insult you by comparing to the brands you mention. However, the Fears story really intrigued me, so I looked into it further and I love that they are reviving a family brand and, importantly, doing that in a way that respects and continues the legacy by leveraging original designs. I think the fact that it's the same family makes it a better story, but not essential. 

MG is a traditional and famous British car brand. I truly dislike seeing the crap driving around now because a company bought the name. However, there are several traditionally British car companies that are now owned overseas where they produce cars that are true continuations of the brand's heritage. 

I think that as Fears are doing the latter, it does them a disservice to not view them as a continuation of the original brand. 

I'm also happy for you to disagree 😉

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Tikkaspecial

To be honest, I'm not a watch expert by any stretch, so won't insult you by comparing to the brands you mention. However, the Fears story really intrigued me, so I looked into it further and I love that they are reviving a family brand and, importantly, doing that in a way that respects and continues the legacy by leveraging original designs. I think the fact that it's the same family makes it a better story, but not essential. 

MG is a traditional and famous British car brand. I truly dislike seeing the crap driving around now because a company bought the name. However, there are several traditionally British car companies that are now owned overseas where they produce cars that are true continuations of the brand's heritage. 

I think that as Fears are doing the latter, it does them a disservice to not view them as a continuation of the original brand. 

I'm also happy for you to disagree 😉

Excellent call with MG and all the bought and sold car brands. Really is sad to see a great brand like turned into what it is today. Flip side, I drive a Mini and honestly, while it isn’t so mini anymore, I’m glad it exists because there are too many boring boxes on the road now for daily drivers.

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100% and is why I make that distinction with Fears. I agree about Minis being not so mini any more, but they are still smaller cars that are nimble and fun to drive, so from that perspective I believe BMW have maintained the essence of the original really well. My first car was a Mini 1100 in the late 80s. Loved every part of that awesome little rust bucket. 

Maybe we need a CarCrunch for these discussions? 😂