Watch Microbrand Showcase Event Round-Up
Last night we held a virtual event exploring some of the amazing microbrands that our members own, or would like to own. If you want to learn more about these small manufacturers of interesting watches, we have written a variety of blogs. You can read about what Microbrands are here, the different types here, some from large watchmaking nations here, and from unusual locations here.
Hamish, our CEO and Co-Founder, has been tempted to buy some watches from microbrands in the course of writing our blogs over the past month. Last night he showed off the first one that he bought - the Undone x Popeye watch. This watch has quite a few notable features. The case is bronze, with a combination of matte and brushed finishes. This will start to patina, or age, as soon as you take it out of the box. The crown is on the left hand of the watch – which is quite rare. Instead of traditional watch hands, the time is displayed by Popeye’s arms. A clear case-back allows you to see the automatic movement. This is a visually striking, fun and well-designed watch – which Hamish has been wearing almost constantly since it arrived. To make that arrival even more special, the watch came packaged in a tin of “spinach”, green paper shreds, as a homage to Popeye’s favourite food.
Undone x Popeye "Destro"
Ed, our Co-Founder talked about a microbrand that he has owned for 5 years – Gorilla. This brand was set up to make hardy watches influenced by the designs of motor racing. This watch is a Fastback – the first model that the brand made. The case is made from carbon fibre, and the bezel is ceramic – both tough materials. The numbers on the dial are inspired by Nascar racing, but he finds the combination of skeleton hands, on a dial with lots of swirls makes it a bit difficult to read the time. However, he wears this watch whenever he is hiking and on holiday, as despite its large size, it is very comfortable to wear.
Paul, who joined us from the US, shared a very beautiful watch with the group – Kudoke 2 Grüner Wald Sonderedition. Kudoke is a high-end microbrand from Saxony, in Germany, which hand-makes watches in very small limited editions. This watch has a unusual and stunning 24-hour day-night indicator at the 12 o’clock marker. This little hand-hammered globe rotates with the time – with a little golden triangle indicating whether it is day or night. On the picture below you will see the time is 10.10pm, and the little gold arrow is pointing to 22 hours, and the silver night scene is on-top of the sunny gold scene. The green dial represents the Grüner Wald forest that surrounds the Kudoke manfacture. We are excited to start events in person again to see this watch in real life.
Kudoke 2 Grüner Wald Sonderedition
The final part of the call was spent discussing some of the Co-Founders dream microbrand watches. Having spent a lot of time researching Japanese microbrands, Hamish has fallen in love with Minase. This company makes every part of the watch, excluding the movement, by hand. This includes hand-stitching the leather straps! There are some very special features on this watch – including floating indices. This means that the indices that mark the hours are attached to the case, rather than the dial, which they float above. The metal bracelet, case and dial are finished to the standard that you would find on a swiss watch costing 4 or 5 times as much – this watch fantastic value for the money. Hopefully you will see one in his collection before long.
Ed’s dream watch from a microbrand is a GoS Skadi. Named after the Norsk Goddess of Winter, the dial has a striking ice-blue dial, the back of which is painted with luminescent paint so that the whole dial glows like ice under moonlight. The watch is also covered in Damascus steel – which is folded on itself many times during the forging process. This makes the steel incredibly tough, and results in a rippled effect. You see this steel used in expensive Japanese kitchen knives. Ed thinks the watch is a very unique take on Norsk mythology and watch-making – two of his favourite things.
The Watch Collectors’ Club aims to make the watch world simple and accessible to our members, and these virtual events are a great way to explore the variety of the watch world. Our events are designed so that members can share their passion, and hopefully learn something interesting. Make sure to keep reading our weekly blog so that you don’t miss out on our next event.
If you know anyone who might be interested in learning more, or has some great watches to share, please let them know about us. Communities are always better when they have lots of members.