5 Reasons Collectors Like Watches From Micro Brands

5 Reasons Collectors Like Watches From Micro Brands

5 Reasons Collectors Like Watches From Micro Brands Feature Articles

Before there was the Kickstarter revolution for micro brands, these tiny operations, spearheaded by single enthusiastic watch lovers, existed to bring small batches of typically well-priced watches to willing enthusiasts. Micro brands are companies that make watches which are even smaller than boutique brands. These hobby-style watch brands typically include one person or a small team and suppliers who produce their products for them. Right now they are experiencing a little bit of a golden age with consumers, and I felt it might be an interesting discussion to identify why watch buyers seem to swoon for these startups and cheer loudly for these little guys.

5 Reasons Collectors Like Watches From Micro Brands Feature Articles
Klokers Klok-01 "slide rule" watch.

It is hard to define exactly what a micro watch brand is, but I can give you a few examples of them. Say you are a watch lover that looks in vain for years for a particular watch design that appeals to you. After a failed search you decide to shift tactics and produce your own watch. You know that to fund the operation you need to make a few and try to sell them. So you set up a small micro brand that uses third-party watch manufacturers (of various quality levels) to produce your watches for you, using your designs and tedious feedback of course. You then go to your friends and the watch enthusiast community online to get feedback on your project and to look for buyers. That is the picture of many micro watch brands.

5 Reasons Collectors Like Watches From Micro Brands Feature Articles
Eone Bradley, designed with and conceived for the visually impaired.

Of course, anyone who seeks backers on a crowd-funding website like Kickstarter is also often times a micro brand. These companies usually outsource most or all production (which isn't a bad thing), and focus their efforts on overall design, marketing, and sales. These are also micro brands. Of course there are other examples as well, but for the purpose of this article those are the types of watch makers I have in mind when asserting the below.

5 Reasons Collectors Like Watches From Micro Brands Feature Articles
Casio G-Shock DW-6900 modified with a carbon case by Alvare.

At this point in the discussion it isn't even clear why these micro brands exist. If someone isn't going to wear a Rolex or other luxury name watch, they will just wear an affordable piece from one of the big names (like Seiko, Casio, Citizen, etc), or wear a smartwatch. You may agree or disagree with that statement but it is a common sentiment among marketers these days. Nevertheless, there is a boom among these brands, which I can personally attest to since many of them inform us of when they set up shop - and many never even have the awareness that they need to do so. A common claim among the brands is that they are seeking to offer "luxury at lower prices." They claim middle men and greed are what prevent them from being able to afford the best products from famous names. Of course some are more humble than that, but a common thread among many of them is that they feel they can offer a lot of the experience of a name brand watch at a lower price.

5 Reasons Collectors Like Watches From Micro Brands Feature Articles
Tempest Forged Carbon Diver – at a time of its debut in 2014, it showed a forged carbon case can be had for under $1k, not just at five-figure prices.

I actually disagree with that statement, but I can say that some of the work from these micro brands is actually pretty nice. What they lack in quality they often make up for in originality and character. Though I will also admit it is true that luxury watch prices include huge premiums over what micro brands can get produced from suppliers – mostly in and around China.

5 Reasons Collectors Like Watches From Micro Brands Feature Articles
REC 901 watch made from "upcycled" vintage Porsche car parts.

My feeling is that a huge number of companies that acted as OEM suppliers to fashion watch brands suffered from slower businesses over the last few years and shifted their focus to offer their services to smaller hobbyist project clients. This allowed people with relatively modest budgets to get competent (though not typically world class) watches produced in relatively low quantities. This is a very important point to make, because without this relatively robust Asian watch manufacturing infrastructure existing, almost none of these micro brands would be able to exist because producing watches would be much, much more expensive.

Micro brands that are successful usually find profit in channeling the taste of a spirited designer into a product that other people with similar tastes want to wear. There is no perfect formula, but below, I've discussed the top five reasons watch collectors who can typically afford a lot more, find a lot of enjoyment in watches from micro brands.

5 Reasons Collectors Like Watches From Micro Brands Feature Articles
Undone Vintage Urban Chronograph, looks and wears great for $265.

Affordable Artistic Appeal

Watches are undeniably about utility (telling the time), but they are also about aesthetics too, right? Most people would not wear a watch they did not find aesthetically pleasing. Thus, a watch is both a tool and a piece of art. That artistic side is the main reason we have such a variety of watches out there. It is also why most people who love watches today wear them: because they like how they look.

Most mainstream high-end watches are designed to appeal to a large number of people, and thus, have more conservative designs. Sure there are exotic exceptions which play artistically with innovative design, but those watches also come with extremely expensive prices. Good design costs a lot of money in the luxury watch world in most instances, so a lot of people simply can't afford cool artistic watches.

5 Reasons Collectors Like Watches From Micro Brands Feature Articles
Zelos Hammerhead Bronze Diver with a meteorite dial.

This hole in the market means that there are a lot of people eager to wear more artistic watches assuming they are affordable. In my opinion, the best micro brands are those which take artistic risk in design, that also make their prices more democratic given their status as a micro brand. Such brands tend to be well celebrated, enjoying hot periods of healthy business as design lovers flock to their products - until they are no longer trendy.

  • the #watchnerd

    Surprised to see Squale on that list.

    • dennis

      Squale has been around 50+ years, and i own the one pictured
      in this article, great watches, great value.

      • I think he means they should not be considered a micro brand, they are bigger than that 🙂

        • the #watchnerd

          Indeed. Squale would not be the first brand that sprang to mind if someone asked me to name a “micro brand”.

          • I owned a Squale and it was great. I’ll take Squale over Steinhart for example.

          • the #watchnerd

            As I’m sure many would. But let’s be clear: Squale is not a “micro brand”.

    • ??????

      I like Squale, but they are actually a microbrand. We call Chr.Ward or Stowa microbrands, but Squale isn’t much bigger than them, or even smaller. As far as I know they order their watches to be manufactured at Swiss OEM fabric – similar as many other micros like Farer or Steinhart.

  • ??????

    First of all, sometimes can be hard to tell which brand is micro and which is not. Is there a defined number of watches per year to tell that the watch brand is a micro? Is Stowa a micro? Squale? Fortis? Kentex? Did Ch.Ward become a macro brand?

    Personally, I find microbrands appealing because some of them are brave enough to try things which macro brands (Swatch Group/Seiko/Orient/etc.) would most probably never try. I’m talking about some really bold designs, sometimes (often?) on the edge of looking stupid.

    What I don’t like is copy-paste era. Ridiculous tons of “brands” ordering typical DW-style watch bodies from China with their logo printed on. Oh, well – and peppered with silly stories aka “I had a dream blabla.. Trio of friends blabla.. We bring it direct to you blabla”. Ridiculous tons of homage brands. Some are direct copies of popular watches with their logo on.

    To sum up – I think there are some diamonds among micros, but there are few. And you have to sort them from tons of junk brands.

  • Word Merchant

    And 5 reasons why they don’t:
    1. Most micro brand watches are utterly derivative – usually a sub or pilot ‘homage’ with a daft back story attached.
    2. No resale value whatsoever.
    3. No after sales service to speak of – customer support via the occasional tweet doesn’t really count. Kickstarter not always the most reliable way of purchasing something.
    4. Same old, same old cheap and tiny movements. Every time.
    5. Not always the value proposition they should be.

    • Number 2 is actually not necessarily true. Try to find a used MKII for less than 100% markup on retail. Or a Helson Sharkmaster 600 (ploprof) with less than 50% markup. Or an Armida A6. Or a Helberg CH1 which sells close to (or slightly above) retail. Or a Helios tropic etc.

      IMO they don’t have less resale value (among WIS obviously) than the average big brand watch. In both cases buying used is the way to go for me.

      • IG

        Yeah seems like lot of losers buy knock-offs.

    • Pistol Pete

      I think you should preface these comments with *sometimes.*

      *Some* are derivative. Some are truly unique.
      *Some* have poor resale. Some are in high demand.
      *Some* have great service. Some do not.
      And value proposition is subjective and true of any brand.

      As to #4, I’m not sure what’s wrong with the movements. Would you expect a micro that makes 200 watches a year to develop and produce in-house movements? That would turn a $400 watch into a $5,000 watch. There are no economies of scale for a micro. And what does “tiny movements” mean? Do you expect micros to use huge movements? What would be the purpose of that?

      • Word Merchant

        I’d assumed the ‘some’ was a given. As the article shows, some micro brands do indeed bring something interesting to the world. But so many follow the ‘two childhood friends dreamed of creating a homage to the watch they’d always dreamed of owning… the Rolex Sub…’ school of design and marketing. I am a particular fan of Schofield. They’re a brand that gets it right pretty much everywhere it’s important to.

        • Pistol Pete

          But you didn’t say some. Your statement was made in absolute terms.

          Thank you for clarifying.

    • Phil leavell

      My friend you must have more money than brains. Without Innovation and risk nothing’s ever getting

      • Word Merchant

        Calling people you don’t know ‘my friend’ is the hallmark of the very saddest sort of passive aggressive behaviour going. It might work for you in your life, but it doesn’t impress me.

        • Phil leavell

          There’s nothing passive about me. I’m just not melee mothed. There are A lot of the Innovations and creative products brought on kickstart people . It’s also a great way for young collectors in new collectors to get into the market at a reasonable price. And just like any Market sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. My love for the art of watchmaking started over 50 years ago

  • Phil leavell

    I don’t know what world world Merchant is it in. But there’s some very nice high quality reasonably priced and serviceable watches available on Kickstarter. I tend to watch it like a hawk. And to me it’s probably one of the hearts of true collecting. Alan something some of artfully and skillfully put together but if you bring it out of its box and show its people causes of clamor and in turn if you can sell it with a tidy profit it’s a win-win. Enclosing go kick Stones World Merchant

  • SuperStrapper

    A negative theme in commentary regarding micro brand watches is derivative design, but this is a problem that is just as prevalent in large and established brands. As this article clearly shows, some micro brandss take a design-first approach and produce some interesting and unique looks.

  • Alex Tan

    I have to say some of the micro brands have really unique & interesting dial design. They use reliable Japanese or Swiss movements which can be service by many watchmakers and they are usually pretty affordable. What’s not to like? The good thing is, most of these runs from hundreds to a few thousands pieces, unlike the millions some boutique brands are mass producing. I for one, appreciates a high quality, great design and affordable timepiece even if it’s some micro brands.

    • Saul Sloota

      Millions? Which boutique brand makes millions?

      • Alex Tan

        Rolex, Tissot…… if u are unaware.

        • Saul Sloota

          I wouldn’t call Rolex or Tissot boutique brands, but you’re right about their numbers.

  • Tony NW

    I like micro, and small, brands because they can and do take risks or cater to the niche. I’ve worked in a variety of large corporates where the bottom line isn’t even just, will we make money, but rather, if it’s not going to make $10M in the first year then it’s not worth it.

    How small is micro though? I have a very early Christopher Ward; when they started, were they micro?

    I would have appreciated a bit more attention to what micro-brands cannot provide. For example, cutting edge movements, colorful ceramics, often they can’t even do applied markers and hit a rational price point.

    • Bert Kanne

      I’ve had no problem finding ceramic bezels and outstanding quality applied markers in great microbrand watches. Cutting edge movements are a waste of development resources in most cases, imo.

  • Lincolnshire Poacher

    I like micro brands, and own a couple. The one distinction I make is the difference between ‘micro brands’ and ‘catalogue’ watches.
    A micro brand that is worth buying is an original design, using original parts designed by someone who loves watches and has a vision.
    A catalogue watch is where someone has gone to one of the Shenzhen watch mega factory’s, and just made a watch from off the shelf parts. It unoriginal and derivative.

    • ??????

      Excellent point on catalogue Legos.

    • DanW94

      Well said….

    • Ah, the typical Kickstarter watch – put your name on a slightly re-worked bauhaus dial from the stock stuff offered by a Shenzhen factory. Then have it wholly produced in China and distributed by a contract company. No need to ever physically touch the product yourself as a “watch brand”. Fortunately, that is not the model for the brands mentioned in this post.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    I like microbrands when they’re truly innovative and creative. Some of them are, others are just copying major brand watches. Throw at the wall and look what sticks. I would like to see a brand, that creates complications for a cheap price. Should be possible nowadays.

    • ??????

      Frederique Contant have set the current record for highest complication/price ratio IMO. Today you can have an inhouse flyback chrono for less than $4k and an inhouse error-free perpetual calendar for less than $6k. I wonder if any brand can beat this – it would be wonderful. Just imagine: a mechanical perpetual calendar a normal guy can get without selling his kidney.

      • Sheez Gagoo

        I’m sure it’s possible to build a perpetual calendar for less than $1000. Nowadays, you can get a tourbillon for $250 and a real good one for $1000. Both are Chinese but it shows the direction. 20 years ago, a tourbi under $100 000 was unimaginable. Besides FC and Heuer it’s not in the interest of major Swiss brands to build these “margin killers”. But as Marius once said: In times of hardcore automatisation, CNC machines, 3d printing and free internet porn it’s not really a technical achievement. Boarders are in often limited Swiss minds.

        • ??????

          Interesting time for watch industry indeed. May be devastating for some inert asses, who still think that they can still sell a $150 watch for $6000 today (Panerai, U-Boat, etc.). All the recent reports signal that the times have come to change. And Citizen Holdings reflect this: FC / Alpina / Arnold&Son are among the best offers in their category. Swatch Group, at the same time, believes they can still sell tons of heavily inflated Omegas…
          You and Marius are right. CNC + 3D printing + some smart materials like AgNW etc. are becoming more accessible and can totally change the game. Today, cases of complex geometry, dials with complex patterns, nanocoatings – all these can be done fast, cheap and in batch. So the major brands are so damn overestimating their qualities. Chinese factories show the real value of today’s watches. I personally handled a $128 Panerai homage of +/- equal quality as the original (I’m not defending fake watches, no). My colleague got an Android Virtuoso tourbillon for 400$ on sale – it is based on Sea-Gull. I must say she had no problems with it so far.

          • Sheez Gagoo

            I learned two things:
            1. It’s impossible to overestimate the inertia and arrogance of Swiss watchmakers. You wouldn’t believe.
            2. Even on this blog, the current crisis is seriously underestimated. The watchmaking sector has now the second highest unemployment rate of all sectors. Sometimes the highest, depends on season.
            The major brands are not willing? Others will do the job. It’s that simple.

      • Saul Sloota

        Isn’t FC owned by Citizen?

        • ??????

          Yes, it is. As well as Alpina, Arnold&Son, Angelus, Ateliers de Monaco, Bulova, Q&Q; + La Joux-Perret and Miyota movements supplied to 3rd parties.

        • Sheez Gagoo

          Yes, bought last year. Like Alpina and a movement developper. Maurice Lacroix is for sale as well.

          • ??????

            I remember ML was the brand which got back my interest for watches. I wasn’t a watch guy at that time, when I’ve seen some funky watch with rotating square gear on the dial – and I thought wow! watches are so damn cool stuff, I need to get a watch… you can imagine what happened when I dived into this 🙂
            P.S. So I feel sorry for ML’s situation. But I understand why the things are so bad.

          • Sheez Gagoo

            I kind of like ML. They have some masterpieces and some mediocre stuff. I guess you mean this one? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/10bcd3b406afdb30de91f4e172210a99814ad72f243e91ebef11dfc6553492a2.jpg

          • ??????

            Yes, this one 🙂 At that time I believed it’s uber cool. Until some guy on forums told me that ML just modifies stock 6497 calibers with funky gears and tries to sell them in semi-luxury segment. It cooled me down, but I still find these rather fun and unique in their own way.

          • Sheez Gagoo

            Still a beauty. My favourite is this one: Silicon escapment. One of my all time favourites. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e1a88dd6ff44cacabbee418f89a41967ffc0ace07322c5280adc01167ebbdbcd.jpg

          • ??????

            I like this. Even considering that I’m not fan of skeletone watches or other things that supress legibility – I still like this watch. I feel some Beguet Tradition vibe from this ML model, in a good way: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/51de4cebba67b98a4c63be7ed8c9972f06cb2a98a24324bee28eef2b5e7c229c.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ab4702c514d30d63739483ce850f41ae016abc6eeecbd2f667f1e3873ba8f373.jpg

          • Sheez Gagoo

            I think the most endangered brand for the moment is Eterna: I know them for quite a while. Long time ago, they were known for really innovative movements, later when firms were forced to include themselves into a kind of state controlled conglomerate, they made ETA powered Valiums. In the 2000s, when Porsche owned them, they heavily invested in a movement factory and in the brand. In the crisis 2008/9 they were sold to the Chinese Haidian (now Citychamp) Group. Then they replaced their whole staff and CEO all three months. The superdisaster started, when Mr Dreyfuss became CEO, the same guy that sold his “Dreyfuss Group” to the Citychamp Group before. This guy invested all the money to the Dreyfuss Group and was well of, when he said to Citychamp, there`s no money necessary to turn over Eterna, while bills of roughly 4 millions simply havent been paid. Then, almost everyone at Eterna (including Dreyfuss) have been fired and the CEO was Davide Traxler, which was also the CEO of Corum(part of Citychamp). After a few months, this guy has been fired as well and now all activities were transferred to Corum and just 7 watchmaker works in the After Sales Service. Tere are rumours around, that Citychamp will shut down Eterna as a brand. But they will probably keep the movement factory.

          • ??????

            Oh sh**! I have no words. I didn’t realize how bad the situation at Eterna is now. Eterna did so much great stuff, it almost saved the Swiss watch industry once and all this sh** is all what it deserves? No. I feel sorry for the brand and people (still) working at Eterna. I think they must get in hands of wiser conglomerate. Citizen, please take them under your roof! I don’t understand why Citychamp let do this to Eterna? Dreyfuss brand is actually crap compared to Eterna. Even if they had no feelings for Eterna (and they obviously didn’t) they could have seen that it’s much wiser to pump money into Eterna – since the brand is more or less well known, compared to Dreyfuss and even Corum. Eterna has some history and achievments they could play with and milk them. Omega is milking the hell out of Speedies, for instance. Why not take the KonTiki more seriously? Input some inhouse calibers, new materials, etc. etc. Making the Eterna constructor ebauche was a wise step, but why such arrogance for Eterna as a watchmaker?

          • Sheez Gagoo

            Citizen can’t save them all. Citizen and Seiko have difficulties as well, and a Swiss watch brand like Eterna is like a black hole. Porsche has thrown around 15 millions and Citichamp around 25 millions in it. With no ROI. Citichamp had losses over 200 millions last year. There’s a reason why Breitling has been sold to a hedgefund and not to Richemont, Swatch Group, Kering, LVMH etc. Watch brands are more toxic than a pollonium-dioxine sandwich. There are more brands willing to sell than buyers. Makes sense in a market with no signs of recovery. In fact there’s just a handfull of well performing brands around, almost all in the hands of Biver. Even Movado fired a quarter of their Swiss staff and gave up the Swiss Made Label.

  • BNABOD

    you just need to pick your micro carefully. some make very unique products but then so does Oris, Alpina and the likes. Funny though, as soon as the micro start getting pickier (see the last Halios for instance) prices start creeping up. They are selling the latest Seaforth with Miyota 90S5 for 700 bucks. You can get a Oris 65 for close to a 1000 bucks if you grey, you can get a Longines Hydroconquest auto for $900 a Hydroconquest chrono w column wheel for 1200 bucks.
    This is what makes going micro a lot harder for me when the big dog get within close range of micros or when grey market make it a much easier choice than going for a 1400 Farer GMT.

    • Pistol Pete

      I’m not sure why you’re comparing full price of a Halios to the grey market of Oris. The Seaforth will probably sell out in a matter of days. No need for a grey market. Oris sits on AD shelves for months, or even years, thus the need for grey market. Plus, you forfeit the manufacturer’s warranty with grey market. False analogy.

      • BNABOD

        The only analogy that matters to me is price so not a false analogy. I don’t care if the watch is grey or not. So I would take an Oris 65 any day of the week over a Halios regardless of the warranty.

        • Pistol Pete

          Which, even at grey market prices, is still much more expensive. Whether you value the warranty or not does not change objective realities. I understand that you are hesitant to pay “big brand” prices for a micro (although that’s not to say you can’t get a better micro), but that doesn’t change the objective realities that the Oris is more expensive, either way. And no, you cannot discount the lack or warranty (or at least one worth a hill of beans) simply because you don’t care, because that warranty is embedded in the price, just like the fact you’d pay more for a watch in better condition, or one with box and papers. It’s all part of the price. Whether you value one thing or another is irrelevant in market pricing.

          • BNABOD

            good thing it is only my opinion then

        • Garrett Hu

          I have had too many good experiences to go grey market. The warranty, your relationship with the AD, the Manufacturer’s events and parties you get invited to where they wine and dine you plus the really cool giveaways you can get from time to time really adds value to the fun and enjoyment of your timepiece.

          I had a Ball Engineer Master II World Time Diver that I used as a beater and 2 years past warranty it finally got beat, literally imploded and nothing worked, because I bought it from an AD, Ball decided to extend the courtesy and covered it.

          My JLC Master Control, date would not advance so a full overhaul and polish was performed free of charge under warranty.

          My friends, G.O. Senator Panorama Date,, deployant buckle failed. He would have been out $480 if he went grey market.

          My Chronoswiss, repaired under warranty when it would not wind.

          My Oris, same thing under warranty when it seized up.

          My Sinn EZM 10 when it was new had the same problem twice, all postage to Germany covered and they replaced the watch.

          So about $3000 savings for service and $5000 for a replacement watch. Without an AD warranty card I would be out all this money and stuck with a watch that would be flawed.

          To each is their own and you have to evaluate your risk tolerance. I don’t have money to burn so I need to make smart and safe choices.

          • BNABOD

            You must be sh&& out of luck my friend

          • Garrett Hu

            Lol if you’re a serious collector it’s bound to happen. Mechanical watches aren’t perfect. That’s the beauty of that.

    • Garrett Hu

      Micro brands that enjoy success will not stay micro for long, and this is first and foremost a business. If they can command a higher price that is a testament to their success until they can’t.

      I absolutely agree that you can be rocking the Oris or Longines, both great watches at not much of a difference in price but at the end of that day you would not be rocking that Seaworth.

      It’s not respectfully about what you could have for the money, but is being confident in what you really want.

  • It’s very interesting to see how the advent of online funding has given rise to a growth in the establishment of micro brands. I am personally excited by the trend. I like a lot of what I see (here and other places) coming from these startups. And I’m very happy to see them featured on ABTW. Nice inclusion of Mark’s “Crash” in this lineup. One of the better designs I’ve seen in the last few years.

    • And that’s an image of the prototype – the production “Crashes” are nicer. Thanks for the words of support Mark.

      • You are welcome Mark. Just an honest observation.

  • Andrew Hughes

    An inspired article… I liked the part about collecting micro brands… even if they are not valued the same as big name brands, that does not mean that they will not be almost as enjoyable. Even better, you don’t have to worry as much about wearing them casually as you might an investment watch!

  • funkright

    I loved my Tropic GMT from Squale, it just needed applied markers. If Seiko can give me those on the Turtle there’s no reason Squale can’t on a watch that retails for $500 more.

    • IG

      And they should put their name to the dial only once.

  • Bert Kanne

    Microbrands are here to stay. Direct customer contact and feedback, no brick and mortar overhead, the ability to build to order, manufacturing flexibility and the ability to offer far better value. And the best part is, access to all brands and models worldwide is at your fingertips immediately on the internet!

  • commentator bob

    Not sure what its current sales volume is, but Squale has a LOT more history than these other brands.

    https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/blood-in-the-water-water-in-its-blood-a-brief-history-of-squale

  • Thanks to a number of you who have kind words for the Rpaige “Crash of ’29” watch I designed and produce with my good friend Richard Paige. We still have some left in the limited edition run of 49 pieces. So, tell you what – for the next 30 days (Okay, call it ’til the end of June), I will offer Crash of ’29 watches to aBlogtoWatch regulars with the following discount formula:

    $2 off the retail price of $3500 for each comment you have made up to now (May 28th) with a maximum discount of $1000.

    So the more you have been a part of the ABTW community, the more you can save. And a number of you have 500 or more comments, so you can max out the discount. This offer is limited as we have sold the majority of the limited edition and 49 is the most that we will ever make of this particular watch. I think we have about a dozen available. Each one has a restored vintage American pocket watch movement (averaging 80 to 110 years old), so each watch is a bit unique.

    Contact me directly at: Mark AT MarkCarson DOT com

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fd84cf84964875bee2ad1a3d73bd8dd9ec6d4e4db3b7b5d7bd3a99bd7db68910.png

  • Ontos

    Thanks ABTW, I appreciate the write up on microbrands. My collection is mostly microbrands for the reasons you mentioned.

  • Larry Holmack

    I do like some Micro Brands, especially when they come up with unique designs. I am not fond of the ones that just sell knock offs of Submariner’s…sorry guys, everyone makes Sub knock offs….and it leads me to discount whatever else you might come out with later on.

  • Garrett Hu

    Thanks Ariel, micro brands can indeed fill a space that the big boys can’t inherently fill. From unique designs to a lower price points they offer tremendous value for the money spent.

  • egznyc

    I know I’m getting on this train a little late, but I really enjoyed this article. I’m a big fan of the micro brands for many of the reasons you noted. Some of these reasons are pretty obvious while some are non-obvious but just as true!