Category Archives: Micro Brands

Creux Automatiq V3 Ghost: Batch Three, Limited Run

Creux Automatiq in Australia have an extra run of their Ghost V3 skeleton watch on pre-order and it looks good.

Quick spec check? Certainly, it has a sapphire crystal, ETA movement, 45mm 316 grade stainless steel case, deployment clasp, plus its a limited edition, with just 70 pieces worldwide.

Nice screwdown crown and case protector details surrounding the crown too. The crystal has an AR coating and we like the seconds wheel, which sorta floats there. It’s a pleasing design all round and as the watch is assembled in Switzerland you are getting quality for your $2950(US) or about £2215 in Sterling, plus VAT/ import duty blah blah.

On the downside it only has 100m water resistance, but still a real alternative to many Swiss brand skeleton watches. Delivery is expected April 2022 by the way.

More here.

 

Boldr 40mm Freediver: Three New Colour Options

The latest from Boldr Supply, who have additions to their Freediver range;

Building on the Odyssey Freediver 40mm series, three brand new Freedivers have arrived in strikingly fresh colors as the world gets ready to return to pre-pandemic life. Available in Citrus Orange, Mint Green, and White Frost, these Freedivers are eye-catching & packed with dive-ready specifications. They are also lighter on the wrist and more affordable than existing Odyssey Freedivers thanks to new quick-release EPDM rubber straps.

The company created the three new variations to invoke a feeling of self-confidence and assuredness in its wearer. “That is the key factor we are going for in this new series – how wearing a Freediver makes our customers feel. By coupling a quality dive watch with a bold aesthetic, we’re telling our fans to wear it loud and wear it proud”, says Leon, founder of BOLDR.

The idea behind creating the Odyssey Freediver series stems from the discipline of freedivers who train exhaustively to enhance their breathing capabilities, eventually leading to a freedom & depth of character which carries over to their day-to-day lives. With three new colors in the mix, the Odyssey Freediver line-up is set to inspire its wearer while catering to varying tastes.

Each piece comes with a refined case detailed with a polished strip to accentuate its angular lugs. The dive-friendly unidirectional bezel is made from quality stainless steel, coupled with a durable EPDM rubber strap.

A faithful companion to those who take on deep blue adventures, the svelte 40mm case fits a wider range of wrists and is rated for 300m water resistance. The dial is designed to be highly legible underwater with clearly marked indexes and luminescent hands, shielded by a flat sapphire crystal lens.

The watches are available for immediate shipping only on BOLDR’s website.

The Baltic Aquascaphe Dual Crown is Back

The word from Baltic, who have revived the handsome dual crown Aquascaphe dive model. Fair play.

Our diving watch Aquascaphe Dual-Crown is back on our website.

It is with great pleasure that we can now announce the return of the Dual-Crown in our permanent catalog. It retails at £650 by the way which NWC mag thinks is very reasonable for a compressor dive watch made to this standard.

The high activity of the moment forced us to postpone the assembly of this model later than planned in order to meet the demand on our other ranges.

You can pre-order this model now to ensure and secure a delivery between December 13th and 17th.

Yep, the blue dial variant is the winner.

Ming 37.05 Is Just Pure Stealth Technology

Here’s the latest watch from Ming, who have created a minimalist watch with some interesting features. What we love about this moonphase is the dedication to being differnt, creating something unique and understated, that marries old school tech with an almost smartwatch dial.

Here’s the press kit blurb;

A moon-phase is an old complication, and perhaps one of the least useful for modern life, yet one that still holds a special place in the hearts of collectors for reasons we’re not quite sure of ourselves, despite owning several. A date is at least a bit more useful. We opted to combine the two and keep the old-school whimsy going by opting for a manual wind movement – once again, offering the enthusiast more opportunities to interact with their watch.

Love that sliver of light moonphase detail.

NOT YOUR NORMAL MOONPHASE WINDOW

Our continuing use of multi-layered sapphire dials offered a solution: the apertures for date and moon lie in the lower layer dial, which is metal, textured and carries a midnight blue to black
gradient reminiscent of the night sky, with a seamless sapphire dial above that carries the hour indices (laser etched, and filled with HyCeram) and a central mask for the moon to mirror our peripheral ring forms.

A full moon thus forms a complete ring, which is luminous, with partial phases being portions thereof.

The date window preserves symmetry at 6 o’clock, and is as subtle as possible with a background color-matched to the dial, and our usual font in light grey. The net result can be seen in the accompanying images and is one of the most dynamic dials we have ever created: it inverts completely from a seamless silver mirror to a solid blue-black
with moon and date displays. The transition is gradual and most of the time, the watch presents a bit of both: a calm, reflective serenity above and a lot more visual texture below.

We knew we didn’t want the semicircle moon aperture, but what we had in mind would require a centrally-driven moon disc to offer a sufficiently large display to allow the ring display to work. Only a custom module or the Sellita SW288 offered this possibility, and
selection of the latter allowed us to improve overall accessibility of the watchl.

But to make it worthy of a display back, it was then further reworked in a similar style to the 7001.M1 as used in the 27.01 and 27.02; it is skeletonized, matte-blasted and anthracite coated, with a
contrasting portion on the main train bridge in circular-brushed rhodium.

Creating the next generation

The 37-series case family will form one of our core product lines, spanning from entry level to Special Projects and everything in between. It has a flexible architecture that can accept a wide range of movements, is scalable to thickness, and can be produced in a wide range of materials.

At the same time, it is a highly refined case design that has complex compound curves – such as the line from case side to lug tip – and multiple finishes. We have also increased the visual presence of the case with a significantly larger dial opening than the 17- series and domed front and rear crystals. However, wearability and comfort for a wide variety of wrist sizes is maintained with the same 38mm maximum diameter and 20mm lug width.

In short: it looks bigger than a 17-series, but feels the same on the wrist. We of course continue our partnerships with Manufacture Schwarz-Etienne for construction, production and assembly; Jean Rousseau Paris for straps, and Studio Koji Sato for the pouches.

Can lugs be sculpture? Yes they can.

One last thing: no more keepers. The 37.05 will be one of our first watches to be offered on a keeperless buckle system that tucks the unused hole portion of the strap underneath the opposite end. By doing this, a given strap length works for a wider range of sizes because the unused portion effectively increases the diameter of smaller wrists. We find the overall configuration to be neater,
more comfortable, more secure and more visually harmonious.

Finally, the buckle also has built in microadjustment simply by moving the middle springbar.

Pricing and deliveries

The MING 37.05 is priced at CHF 4,950 and will be available exclusively at www.ming.watch. Existing customers will be allotted preferential access to 150 pieces at 1PM GMT on 25 November 2021, with the balance of 350 pieces available to the general public at 1PM GMT on 26 November 2021. A 50% deposit is due at the time of order, with the balance on delivery – expected to begin July 2022.

Aragon’s Divemaster II Says Go Big, or Go Home

Indie watch brand Aragon has launched its Divemaster II model just a few days ago. This model features some very tasty superlume on the dial, plus a wide range of dial colours; blue, orange, white, asa well as abalone and meteorite designs.

With a 200m depth rating, steel case, heat-treated K1 crystal and a supersize 45mm or humungous 50mm case diameter for those really big wrists, this watch makes quite a statement. Especially as we spotted it online for just $129, plus shipping. I mean, how is that possible?

Yep, it’s that Black Friday discount thing, so don’t fight it.

More here. 

Vario To Offer Shrapnel Covers For Their Trench Watch

Vario are working on ofering shrapnel protectors for their vintage 1918 Trench watches. The cool covers look like mini hubcaps and the Vario brand are also toying with the idea of making a batch of polished brass covers too.

There is a thin rubber coating underneath so it doesn’t mark the crystal by the way. The covers will retail for around $30.

The brand has a year-end sale on right by the now, with up to 30% off.

More details on Vario watches here.

Autodromo Vic Elford Chrono: Fire Up Your Motors

Those motorsport fans at Autodromo watches have a stunning chronograph just out, the Vic Elford special edition. Just 350 pieces will be made, retails at $775. Here’s the word from Autodromo;

Vic Elford is a living legend of motorsport, celebrated for his outright speed as well as his mastery of the world’s longest and most challenging race courses such as the Nurburgring and the Targa Florio.

His name is inextricably linked with the Porsche marque, as he won many significant races for Porsche throughout the 1960s. He was the first man to campaign the 911 in rally events, eventually winning the Monte Carlo rally for Porsche. He was also at the wheel of a Porsche when he crossed the finish line first at the Daytona 24 hours, winning Porsche’s first ever 24 hour race. In the 908, he won the Nurburgring 1000km race a total of 3 times.

Elford won the Targa Florio and Sebring for Porsche as well. In the fearsome 917 langhek, Elford dominated the 1970 Le Mans for 18 hours until his car broke. Elford’s extraordinary versatility led to a rich and diverse career, encompassing Rally, Endurance Racing, Road Racing, Formula 1, Trans Am, Can Am, NASCAR, and even the Paris Dakar Rally.

Autodromo has collaborated with Vic Elford a second time to create this limited edition timepiece to commemorate Vic’s epic, yet un-sung drive to finish 2nd at the 1969 Targa Florio race in Sicily. After a stunning win against all odds the previous year, Elford nearly repeated the feat in 1969. After setting fastest time in practice (35m 54.7s) Elford looked to be the favorite for back to back victory.

However, soon after the start of the race, a failed alternator belt forced Elford to limp back to the pits losing 6 minutes to his team mate Gerhard Mitter in an identical Porsche 908/02.

Elford chased Mitter, shaving an entire minute off his lead each lap, setting new lap records each successive lap, ultimately taking 46.5 seconds off his own qualifying record. After a small incident with Alfa Romeo’s Nanni Galli, Elford knew his charge would fall short of victory, but continued driving as fast as possible. In the end, he finished 2 mins and 49 seconds behind his team mate, having yet again set the fastest laps ever driven on the Sicilian mountain circuit.

We always remember those epic drives that end in victory. With this watch, we celebrate the story of Elford’s determination, guts, and sheer driving brilliance, even when he knew it was unlikely he could win.

With a dial inspired by the colorful paintwork on Elford’s Porsche 908/02, this special edition is limited to 350 numbered pieces. The caseback features a map of the Targa Florio circuit, which wound through the villages and mountain passes of Sicily, as well as Elford’s practice lap record and race lap record. The Vic Elford Prototipo comes in special edition packaging along with an illustrated booklet, and signature card hand-signed by Elford himself. Original artwork commissioned by Autodromo from renowned automotive illustrator Dwight Knowlton graces the cover of the booklet and signature card.

William Wood: Triumph Editions, But Not The Motorcycles

The latest watch from William Wood has real appeal for motorsports fans. Although the fire service theme continues with the `Break Glass’ caseback, the dial now features dashboard style clocks for the sub-second dials. Nice design, Sellita movement and a WW watch purhase can help the UK Firefighters charity too. Here’s the word;

Triumph Collection – our most prestigious watch yet. A fully stainless steel Swiss-Made Chronograph series equipped with a Swiss Sellita SW510 2-eye chronograph movement, push button stop watch and 6pm date window. Available in 3 outstanding colours; Heat Edition (Red), Oxygen Edition (Blue) and Fuel Edition (White), which together create the 3 elements needed to start a fire.

With sub dials that take inspiration from the dashboard gauges within a fire engine cockpit. Reminiscent of pressure pumps, the sub hands are finished in red, blue, or gold to match the main chronograph stopwatch hand in all colour variances, shaped in the style of a vintage fire bell chime.

The chronograph stopwatch and 30-minute sub dial are operated by the antique brass finished buttons located on the side of the case designed to match the crown which is forged from an original 1920’s British brass firefighters helmet.

We have created a one of kind custom caseback inspired by a fire alarm. With a look through viewing glass, custom red SW510 movement and sandwhich plate reading ‘In case of fire break glass’, this is one of our proudest inventions yet.

Each watch is engraved with a limited edition caseback engraving between 1 – 250 so that you know you are the owner of something special indeed. Plus, the Swiss-Made authenticity markings are etched into the caseback ring and printed on the dial located at 6pm.

It retails at £2495 and there’s more info at the WW website.

New Watches: RZE Fortitude Pilot Due 6.12.2021

RZE has a new model due to release on December 6th. The Fortitude has a titanium case, with anti-magnetic properties, so your watch shouldn’t be affected by being close to smartphones, digital devices, or er…large magnets at the scrapyard.

It’s a dive watch with a little bit of pilot style in the mix. Date window at 6pm, range of white/green/black dial colours and a red indicator sleeve on the stem so you can make sure the crown is fully wound down.

RZE promise plenty of BW9 grade superlume, for that night time glow that lasts.

You can subscibe for launch offers at the RZE site by the way.

A Watch With Black Lume? Leon Can Help You Out

Here’s a thing we spotted on Kickstarter, a watch with black lumed indices and hands. The Leon dive watch project, which is live on Kick now features an orange dial with black markers and hands. Looks sharp to be fair and if you like a more conventional dive watch there is a bright blue version as well.

Here’s the spec;

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Stainless steel case 42mm
  • AR Coated Sapphire Glass
  • Quick Release 20mm rubber strap
  • NH35 Movement
  • Manual Pressure Release Valve
  • Super Luminous, Dial, Bezel and date window

So these are decent value at £250 on pre-order, with a special buy two for £400 looking like excellent value.

There is a high target of about 20K on this one, and it’s only 8% funded right now, so it might take off, might not. Definitely different and for UK watch fans, this is a Leeds based enthusiast designing & building this batch, so no import duty on top.

More here.