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In the international realm of microbrand watches, several nations reign supreme in terms of sheer numbers. Not surprisingly, the proudly entrepreneurial Americans lead the way, with scads of intrepid merchants churning out countless designs each year. British brands large and small (at least on the microbrand scale) also put on a good show, making up a good portion of commerce. Long the silent partner, even Chinese brands have recently begun stepping out of the shadow, with several putting forth original designs. Meanwhile, plucky Singapore leads the world in microbrands per square mile mile with dozens – possibly hundreds – of outfits churning out innumerable watches annually. Yet while these hotspots make up a large portion of the microbrand landscape, large swathes of the map are dark. Belgium, for example, has been a surprisingly dormant region, only popping up on most collectors’ radar with ultra-high-end Ressence and fashion-brand Komono. Into this gap steps Parterra, a collaboration of two enterprising business graduates with big ambitions and bold designs. Its debut timepiece, the Ultimate All-Terrain collection (henceforth, UA-T), arrives on Kickstarter on November 7, promising to bring fine Swiss watchmaking to the wrists of high-performance outdoor enthusiasts.

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In the tradition of its Belgian brand brethren, the Parterra UA-T is far from conventional. With integrated lugs, sharp case geometry, and a screwed bezel that isn’t quite screwed (at least in the traditional sense), the UA-T is evocative of high-end timepieces costing many multiples more. There’s no denying the watch’s exterior looks rugged — a conscious design choice made in service of, as Parterra says, creating “the ultimate luxury watch that withstands any terrain.” The trick of the design is in matching the tough case styling to a decidedly more refined dial concept. Here, purely “outdoor” features like Swiss BGW9 Super-LumiNova markers meet aspects more commonly found on “indoor” watches like a skeletonized calendar. It all comes together in an intriguing way that leaves us ready to strap up a UA-T and put it through its paces on a spelunking expedition.

Adventure-oriented as it is, the UA-T’s specs meet the criteria for a field-ready timepiece. The scratch-resistant sapphire crystal is a must-have, while a Grade 5 titan case construction is a surprising achievement for Parterra’s first-ever watch. The default FKM rubber strap is tear-resistant and perfect for aquatic endeavors, but for something less sweaty, each piece also includes a fusion leather strap. Both straps are secured with an unfussy pin-buck. Water resistance of 10ATM ought to be sufficient for most above-water excursions, as well as many sub-aquatic ones.

More than anything, what makes the UA-T so much fun are the four variants available at launch. The most striking is what Parterra calls the “Lengai Black” version. Named for Ol Doinyo Lengai (a Tanzanian volcano), the all-black watch is brightly punctuated by a six-color rainbow rehaute. Finely detailed with quarter-minute markers, the eye-catching shades make for a fun experience on the wrist. In addition to Lengai Black, the brand also offers Bwindi Green (named for a forest in Uganda), Palawan Blue (after a Filipino island), and Hoggar Brown (a remote mountain range in Algeria). Sporting monikers of these far-flung places, it’s hard not to get wrapped up in the romance of adventure. It’s fitting that the brand’s name breaks down to “par terra,” French for “by land.”

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Housed within each UA-T is a collectors’ favorite tried-and-true movement, the ETA 2824-2. This version comes via Swisstech, sporting the designation S24-SK8. As such, it plays the hits, featuring 36 hours of power reserve while powering a creatively-styled small-seconds indication at 9 o’clock. Viewed from the exhibition caseback, a custom-cut rotor enhances visibility through the timepiece while remaining utilitarian in appearance. Controlled by a large, color-matched screw-down crown rubberized for added grip, the heart of the UA-T is easily serviced thanks to its popularity among watchmakers, reducing cost of ownership in the long run.

Like many that have gone before, the launch of the UA-T on Kickstarter favors early adopters. Committing in the first two days of the campaign locks in Super Early Bird pricing of €1,850. The next five days see the price rise to €1,950, and after that, the price level ascends to what the brand hilariously calls the Regular Bird tier: €2,100. Once the UA-T becomes available outside of Kickstarter, it will retail at €3,500. However, since each variant is limited to a conservative 250 pieces, there’s no telling how long each colorway will be available. Another interesting wrinkle to Parterra’s rollout is the brand’s use of Pledgebox. Like a pre-Kickstarter Kickstarter, backers can pledge €100 via the Parterra website to lock in their choice of watch before the campaign officially goes live. This also secures some key extras like an extended international warranty (5 years), custom caseback engraving, choice of serial number, and a contrast-stitched travel case. The Parterra UA-T goes live on Kickstarter on November 7th at €1850. Learn more at the brand’s website and on Instagram at Parterra_Watches.

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Brand: Parterra
Model: Ultimate All-Terrain
References: Lengai Black (black titanium), Bwindi Green (grey titanium), Palawan Blue (blued titanium finish), Hoggar Brown (bronze titanium finish)
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Case Material: Grade 5 Titanium
Crystal: Sapphire with anti-reflective coating
BGW9 Swiss Super-LumiNova
Swisstech S24-SK8 (Hours, minutes, small seconds)
Power Reserve: 36 hours
Strap: Color-matched FKM rubber strap with pin-buckle, plus fusion leather with pin-buckle
Price & Availability: Starting at €1850 via Kickstarter on November 7, 2023. Additional benefits are available now via brand’s website.


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