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.

Positives
Unique design
Great backstory behind the brand
Affordable price
Nice premium leather strap
Quality timepiece
Superb customer service
Great wrist presence

Negatives
May be too large for some
Lume
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



A new brand of affordable dive watches is coming out the Netherlands with the release of the Van Speyk Dutch Diver. The watch comes in 3 variations with either blue, brown or gray dial. The watch sells directly from Van Speyk for around $300USD and is a nice diver for the money. I chose the blue dial variation that has white indices and white hour and minute hands with yellow seconds.


Japanese Miyota 8215 automatic movement
Beats per hour (BPH): 21,600 BPH
Stainless steel case and bracelet
Jewels: 21
Case size: 42mm
Bracelet diameter: 22mm
Power reserve: ±40 hours
Screw down crown
Blue dial
Sapphire glass
Water resistant: 200 meter / 20 ATM
Uni-directional bezel
Luminova






Van Speyk Dutch Diver features 42mm case, Miyota Automatic 8215, 200M water resistant, and Sapphire glass. Other features include Stainless Steel case/bracelet, 22mm bracelet width, Uni-directional bezel, and Luminova lume. The Uni-directional bezel has a firm clicking motion without no play in the bezel. The company is backing the watch with a 2 year warranty.



The Dutch Diver comes with a stainless steel bracelet that is less common in Micro Brands these days as they are usually sold separately. The bracelet is very good quality and adds to the value of the watch. The workhorse movement Miyota 8215 is rock solid for years of accurate time keeping. While some may prefer the Miyota 9015, the 8215 is still a reliable and dependable automatic movement. The case at 42mm is the perfect size for a guy as it’s not monstrous or too small for most wrist. The Sapphire glass is a must in a quality watch and Van Speyk features a quality one. The Vany Speyk has a very nice blue sunray dial with white hour and minute markers and a yellow seconds. The Uni-Directional bezel has no play and works as advertised. The 200M water resistance allows me to swim, shower, and weather the elements.



At only $300 you are getting a lot of watch for the money with the Dutch Diver. The watch is solidly built and has attractive style and great function. I really love blue dial divers and the Dutch Diver stands out as a great choice for an affordable dive watch. You will be hard press to find another entry level dive watch with the features that the Dutch Diver has. Van Speyk is certainly getting noticed with it’s new diver watch with great style, features, and price. While you can find many Swiss Made watches, you will find very few Dutch Made ones as nice as the Dutch Diver.

9.5 Out of 10

Buy it now HERE

Disclosure: Review unit



AVI-8 is a brand of watches inspired by the machines of some of the most significant periods in aviation history. The watches pay homage to the brave men who flew the iconic aircrafts. Each and every timepiece is designed with the innovative spirit that permeates the world of aviation.

Brand AVI-8
Model number AV-4040-03
Glass Type Mineral
Display Type Analog
Clasp Buckle
Case material Stainless steel
Case diameter 47 millimeters
Case Thickness 11 millimeters
Band Material leather calfskin
Band length Men’s Standard
Band width 24 millimeters
Band Color Blue
Dial color Blue
Bezel material Stainless steel
Bezel function Stationary
Calendar Date
Movement Japanese automatic
Water resistant depth 165 Feet






AVI-8 offers a whole lot of watch for the money. The company produces watches with a vintage appeal and big modern case. The is a big pilot watch with a 47mm case diameter. I was at first taken aback by the size of the watch until I tried it on and how great it look on the wrist. The watch nicely hugs the wrist and at 11mm thickness it is very wearable even on my 7 inch wrist.






The AV-4040-03 features a Japanese Automatic movement, Mineral Crystal, 50M water resistance, and leather strap with additional Nato strap. The large dial is highly legible with over-sized o, 3, 6, and 9 numerals. The leather strap with nylon inset is a nod to the ribbons and awards pilots of today and yesteryear receive for outstanding service. The date windows features an extended five day window with red marker pointing to today’s date. Rather than go with a sunburst dial, AVI-8 went with a matte finish blue dial that is easy to read in direct sunlight.


AVI-8 produces exceptional affordable watches with great aesthetics and function. While the watch originally retailed for $680, the AV-4040-03 can be purchased for a reasonable $188.52. At less than $200, the Hawker Harrier II is great value for anyone looking for an everyday watch.

Positives
Great price
Red, white and blue
Well made
Automatic
Under $200 on sale
Easy to read
Classic design
Military pilot style watch that is bold and stylish
Proven Citizen Miyota 8215 Workhorse movement
Two straps included(Leather with Nylon and Nato strap)

Negatives
May be too big for some

Buy it now here
AVI-8 Men`s AV-4040-03 Hawker Harrier II Analog Display Japanese Automatic Blue Watch

Disclosure: Manufacturer supplied review sample. Affiliate link.


http://vanspeyk-watches.com/
I am always on the lookout for an affordable diver that offers a lot for the money. Van Speyk, a brand that I first learn about from Watchuseek in 2012 has a new diver being released to the market.


Before we get started with the new diver watch, let look at a little history of the brand. Van Speyk watches is named after Jan Carel Josephus van Speyk, a Dutch national hero.

In the Golden Age the current Kingdom of the Netherlands occupied a global perch in terms of Trade, Science, Art and Military Power (especially at sea). This period of time formed an important part of the foundation of the wealth, both economically and culturally, that we in present time Netherlands find ourselves in.

Economic decline and turbulent years is what The Netherlands in the 18th century had to endure. Amidst this social rumble Jan Carel Josephus van Speyk was born in Amsterdam on the 31st of January, 1802. Although educated as a tailor, Van Speyk was fascinated by the adventures that go with the life of a sailor. He followed his heart and in the years that followed, he became a marine lieutenant and conducted many naval trading- and combat missions across the globe and even acquired the “ridderkruis der vierde klasse van de Militaire Willems-Orde”; the Dutch equivalent of the Medal of Honor.

On the 5th of February 1831, Van Speyk (29) became a Dutch national hero when he headed for the Antwerp harbor in Belgium to examine shiploads. A year prior, the Belgium Revolution led to the dissolution of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and the proclamation of an independent Belgium. Upon arrival in Antwerp, a furious party of Antwerp workmen boarded Van Speyk’s gunboat “No.2”. Van Speyk then spoke the legendary phrase: “…and going down in history as an infamous Dutchman? I rather blow this ship and myself to smithereens, than surrender”. By throwing a lit cigar into a barrel of gunpowder in the ships armory, the ship exploded. Van Speyk did not survive his act. Because of his reluctance to comply and as a result of his display of devotion to his flag, he is considered an important hero in the history of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. He inspirited the Dutch civilians.

Today, more than two centuries hereafter, we follow our hearts in the spirit of Jan Carel van Speyk by manufacturing these splendid Van Speyk watches. Van Speyk precisely unifies the feeling of a majestic Dutch history and our national pride. A watch brand with an international allure, as well as an undeniable Dutch identity.


Now that we learned a little history of the brand, let look at the specs of the new Van Speyk Dutch Diver. The Dutch Diver features a reliable Miyota 8215 automatic movement along with a 42mm Sandwich dial case made of stainless steel. The dive watch also features a sapphire crystal, unidirectional bezel, 200M water resistance and a screw down crown. The watch features SuperLuminova on the hands and hour markers. The bracelet is stainless steel with brushed and polished links to offer a sophisticated classic look.


Tech Specs from Van Speyk

Made in the Netherlands (Dutch Made)
Miyota 8215 automatic movement
316L Stainless steel bracelet (logo engraved); 22mm
316L Stainless steel case (logo engraved on backside); 42mm by 13mm thick
Sapphire glass
Water resistance: 200 meter
Screw down crown
Uni-directional bezel
SuperLuminova
Double layer dial
Available in: black, brown, grey, white and blue (dial color)
2 year warranty
Wooden watch box & certificate
Price: 329,00 euro incl. VAT = 272,00 euro excl. VAT (incl. worldwide insured shipping).



The Van Speyk Dutch Diver will be shipping this month with a price tag of around $300 (excl. VAT, incl. shipping). The Dutch Made watch has already received a fair amount of press from the watch community and it is almost all positive. Those that want to preorder the Dutch Diver can contact the company through the official site HERE.

http://vanspeyk-watches.com/

via WristwatchReview


Zinvo Blade is the only watch with a 1-second-spin Turbine. The dial spins every second, non stop, as it replaces the seconds hand. The watch features a Miyota 21 jewel 8215 movement, 44mm case and 10ATM water resistance.

316L stainless steel case
Italian leather strap and steel buckle
44mm wide
13mm thick
50mm lug to lug
24mm lug width
101.3 grams total weight
Miyota 8215 automatic movement
10 atm water resistance
Price $199.00

Buy it now HERE


Zelos second timepiece has launched on Kickstarter. After successfully funding the Helmsman, Zelos announcing a new line of watches with the Chroma and Chroma skeleton. The Chroma actually reminds me a bit of the Xetum with both featuring minimalist designs and no lugs.

The Zelos Chroma features a rounded case, lugless on leather strap, and 8215 Miyota movement. The Chroma is a must have watch that you should very much pledge to get. The modern and minimalist design is a work of art on your wrist.

Check out the Kickstarter page HERE