There seem to be several micro brands that have been able to garner enough hype to put their offerings in the collector spotlight. I'm thinking of watches such as those from brands like Furlan Marri, Ming, Kurono Tokyo and Studio Underd0g. I’m sure there are more, but these ones came to mind immediately, and this post was prompted after viewing a recent YouTube video regarding the Studio Underd0g Waterlemon, which, for reasons I can’t quite explain, is a watch that I really want to add to my collection. Each of these brands have created what many people, myself included, seem to feel are compelling designs, and have been able to create enough hype that their offerings sell out so quickly that they trade above retail (often significantly) in the secondary market. This seems to be driven primarily by their design, as they all utilize somewhat pedestrian movements (Seiko VK64 mechaquartz, Selitta SW201-1, Miyota 90S5, Seagull ST19) normally found in less expensive watches.
I’m not suggesting that these offerings aren’t worthy of the hype, but I really wonder whether or not they represent a fundamental shift in the world of watches, or if they will be looked back on in years to come as design oddities, similar to many of the weird and wonderful designs from the 1970s. The great book “Retro Watches” by Josh Sims and Mitch Greenblatt features many watches from that era that look somewhat absurd today, but which may have held the same appeal as these modern micro brand offerings currently do, focusing on the style trends of the day.
What's your take? Are these just a current fad, or a sign of things to come?
I've worn a watch for as long as I can remember, but I didn't become interested in watches until 2018, when I bought my first decent mechanical watch. Shortly after purchasing it, I joined a local wat...