I just can't seem to get into micro brands

No matter how many times I see a new micro brand watch that looks attractive or gets a good review, I cannot find it in myself to give one a go.

If I am just another 'watch brand snob' - I'll own that, but I'm wondering if others have similar hang ups about micro brands, and if through intensive personal therapy they have identified what holds us sceptics back.  

Thoughts please watch people.


@KiwiWayne You like what you like - you shouldn’t feel like you have to/should like anything you don’t like. I daresay there’s ultra high end Swiss brands that you may not like but that doesn’t make you ’wrong’. They’re just not for you.

I think it’s what makes seeing other collections so much more fun - you learn why others like/love their watches/brands


I can understand where you're coming from. For me to really love a watch it has to come with some history or credentials to make it a complete package, and this is something micro brands can lack at times. But I do try to remember that all brands had to start somewhere and maybe that little micro is the Seiko of the future.


I think I sympathise, and I did express some thoughts on this in the controversial opinions thread a little while back. I appreciate that this is a very subjective response, so please feel free to discount as much as you see fit.

I see a lot of very similar watches with very little in the way of a USP, which is a turn off (for me). I would consider something I think is different, such as a Vero or an anOrdain, as I also think these have some excellent specs and interesting design choices at acceptable prices. I think with a microbrand watch >$1500 then there needs to be something about it to really set it apart (new or tuned movement, special dial, different materials, etc…),  otherwise to me I feel I could could score something awesome on the grey market for that money (and I will accept that might be more down to my behaviour and collecting style/go to over the years, before this huge influx of microbrands) rather than take a risk on something that I know little about.

I am not a huge fan of homage or clones, but there have been a couple I could consider for the price and effort (Seestern Sub 300T for example, just need to choose a colour).

Kickstarter campaigns are a risk, so I would avoid. 

Some brands and models just hold a place in my heart, and I would rather have those. It’s probably the most subjective responsive here on the list, but I will not lie.


The interesting part is microbrands can cover a very wide range of the cost and quality spread. No shame in not wanting to take a risk on an unknown with your money. I start with Bulova but quickly went to microbrands early on... The costs are what pulled me in coupled with the designs. I've since bought vintage Omega and Indy from   Nomos. While I have another micro on preorder, I have sold off some of the mircos. I also find myself looking at higher end brands far more now than micros.. JLC has always been a grail brand for me, but now I'm looking at Cartier, Grand Seiko, Breguet... Micros just can't touch the quality, finishing or history. Although being able to directly communicate with a brand founder/owner does have some merit to it. 


Everybody has their own preferences, and microbrands aren't to everyone's tastes. 

I started out looking at micro's as a "value" way to get great specs for little money, but found myself disappointed in the cheap watches that ticked all the boxes, so I stopped buying micro-brands for a bit. Since then I've only picked up one more microbrand, a Vaer D4 Atlantic, and I've been impressed by it. It's not as well finished as some of my other watches, but it's also about half the price of some of those watches. 

What I find amusing is when people refer to a brand like CW as a microbrand, they sell ~ 20K watches a year... That's not terribly "micro". 


It really depends on the finishing of the watch for me. If the micro brand is not trying to sell an inexpensive version of a popular design, but comes up with something attractive with a standard movement I can get easily serviced or replaced, then I have absolutely no concern about micro brands.


Not sure if Steinhart still counts as a micro. Not sure if Dan Henry does either. I have both and the Steinhart is my favorite watch. The Dan Henry I got won me over with its Top Gun look but I have a hang up about WR less than 100m, so its 50m still annoys me. That’s not the fault of the watch or Dan Henry, it was clearly stated, I just wanted it too much and it’s not let me down.

For me it was about finding both a watch and a brand I liked. With Steinhart and Dan Henry I found both. My recommendation would be to make sure that you like them for what they are and what they can do. I wouldn’t really recommend buying a watch, any watch, only as a substitute for another watch. Micros are meant to get it “just right“ for you. That’s what they are for.


I used to agree. Now I see them as a breath of fresh air, agile and and able/willing to take risks the legacy brands won't. They've also shone a bright light on the ridiculous prices of most legacy brand watches.


Don’t think you are a snob. I been stuck in vintage land for years. I have over 200 watches.

i do own two stratons because of the 70s vibe.  More recently because of my YouTube channel I have been offered watches to review (I mainly do restoration videos)  I was interested to see new watches and to be honest I have been extremely surprised and now things have moved on. Finish and build on some are just superb and some of the more modern movements, whilst not pretty, are performing very well. Seems 28,800 VPH are becoming the new norm!

also some of the sizes are more normal like between 38-40mm rather than the huge monstrous things have have been made previous.

either way stick to what you like and maybe dip your toe in the water when the right one catches your eye.


I'm pretty much with you. I have purchased exactly two microbrands, and one is already out of business. I cannot fathom buying a watch from a Kickstarter come-on. Who are you dealing with? They're usually not watchmakers, I can tell you that with certainty. Also, I've picked up new watches with NH35s for 75 bucks - why on earth would I spend 400 smackers for one?

I've been saying it for years: Microbrands are the answer to the question that nobody asked in the first place.

I do understand there are many in the hobby that are price-first buyers who simply don't want to spend a lot, and for them, have at it. I get that. For me, the tried and true are the tried and true because the quality has always been there. But then again, for the most part, I'm old school: I'd rather buy watches by walking in to an actual watch store. Yeah, some of us still exist.