Uhuru is an South African brand created by Nick Warner who later moved to New Zealand. Warner who was born and raised in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, took design cues from his native land to make his first watch. Uhuru in Swahili means “freedom” and the logo is a raised fist for freedom. Uhuru watches successfully raised enough funds through Kickstarter to start selling their watches directly to consumers.
316L stainless steel case
44mm diameter case (excluding crowns)
Miyota 8215 movement
Exhibition sapphire crystal back
Double domed sapphire crystal with anti reflective coating
Internal rotating bezel operated by the 9H crown
Super Luminova hands
20 ATM water resistance
Uhuru watches was one of the first Microbrands I found on Facebook. At the time it was only a concept and the watch has come along way from the original design concept to the present finished product. Kickstarter is a popular way to start out your watch company with limited funds. I have seen the Microbrand world blow up in recent times. The amount of Kickstarter watch campaigns have increase so much that it’s tough to cover each one. This is why I tend to weed out the common pieces that look the same and choose to cover the truly original designs. The Uhuru Impi is certainly a piece that is unusual and different from any other watch I have covered. The Impi was name after a Zulu warrior armed with an assegai spear and a large cowhide shield. The curves of the case and the strap design of the Impi Automatic draw on the shapes and textures of the shield. The assegai can be found in the shape of the spearhead hands. The watch features a unique double crowns with the one at 9 o’clock operating the internal rotating bezel and the one at 3 o’clock sets the date and provides hand winding.
Uhuru features a 44mm case, Miyota 8215 movement, and double domed sapphire crystal with anti reflective coating. The watch also feature double crowns with internal rotating bezel, 316L stainless steel case, Super Luminova hands and 20ATm Water resistance. The Uhuru double crowns at 9’oclock crown used for the internal bezel that rotates and the 3’oclock crown that sets the time and date as well as provides a hand winding option. The 200M water resistance should provide ample protection for swimming, showering and scuba diving. I prefer Uhuru’s matte finish case to polished steel as fine scratches are less visible. I normally prefer watches with a 40-42mm case but the 44mm wears surprisingly well. I also own a Panerai watch with a 44mm case and like the solid wrist presence of a larger watch. The Uhuru feels solid on the wrist and has a bold design that differentiates itself from other Microbrands watches on the market. The dial comes in black or ivory and the one in this review is the ivory which is a yellowish-white matte finish color. The ivory color dial is a nice change of pace from the usual black/blue/white dial divers. The lume on the watch could be a little better although I had no issue reading the time at night.
When I first got a hold of the Impi watch I was impressed with the level of craftsmanship that the watch offers. I compared it to higher end Microbrands such as Magrette and Lum-Tec. I have recent timepieces from both companies and the Impi compares well with these brands. Kickstarter is a great place to find new watches but when all the watches look the same I get bored and it’s refreshing to find a uniquely designed watch like the Uhuru Impi. Overall the Uhuru Impi is something special and a great first watch from Nick Warner. If I had to pick just one watch to introduce someone to the Micro Brand Watch World it would be the Impi.
Great backstory behind the brand
Nice premium leather strap
Superb customer service
Great wrist presence
May be too large for some
Some would prefer a 9015 over the 8215
The Impi Automatic is available now in Ivory dial with brown strap for $349 HERE
Nick Warner is working on his next watch release for Uhuru Watch Company as well as founding Microbrand Watch World, a community focused site that promotes crowdfunded watch brands and the blogs that review them. Check out MBWW HERE
Disclosure: Manufacturer supplied review sample for the review