Virata Watches will debut it’s first line this summer with a preorder starting May 1st ,2016. The new line was created by Engineer Patrick Wacks from Canton, Ohio who was inspired by race cars. The watches feature an innovative edgy design that you normally won’t see from other MicroBrand watch companies.

The Virata watches VRT Series will come in six different configurations that include different dials and case finishes. The watches share features such as 44mm case, 22mm lugs, leather strap, Miyota 9015 automatic movement, Sapphire Crystal, and 100m water resistance.



VRT 1.1

44mm width case excluding crown
22mm lug width
316L Stainless steel
Leather, perforated strap
Miyota 9015 Movement, 28,800VPH
Sapphire Crystal with AR coating
See-through Sapphire Crystal caseback
100M Water Resistance
One Year Limited International Warranty
Date function at 4:30
Bead Blast Case
Black Dial, White Numbers
Super-Luminova Numbers, Hour markers
Retail price $645 Preorder price $545



VRT1.2

44mm width case excluding crown
22mm lug width
316L Stainless steel
Leather, perforated strap
Miyota 9015 Movement, 28,800VPH
Sapphire Crystal with AR coating
See-through Sapphire Crystal caseback
100M Water Resistance
One Year Limited International Warranty
Date function at 4:30
Bead Blast Case
Silver Dial, Black Numbers
Super-Luminova Numbers, Hour markers
Retail price $645 Preorder price $545



VRT1.3

44mm width case excluding crown
22mm lug width
316L Stainless steel
Leather, perforated strap
Miyota 9015 Movement, 28,800VPH
Sapphire Crystal with AR coating
See-through Sapphire Crystal caseback
100M Water Resistance
One Year Limited International Warranty
Date function at 4:30
Bead Blast, Black PVD Case
Black Dial, Yellow Numbers
Super-Luminova Numbers, Hour markers
Retail price $695 Preorder price $595



VRT1.4

44mm width case excluding crown
22mm lug width
316L Stainless steel
Leather, perforated strap
Miyota 9015 Movement, 28,800VPH
Sapphire Crystal with AR coating
See-through Sapphire Crystal caseback
100M Water Resistance
One Year Limited International Warranty
Date function at 4:30
Bead Blast, Black PVD Case
Black Dial, Orange Numbers
Super-Luminova Numbers, Hour markers
Retail price $695 Preorder price $595



VRT1.5

44mm width case excluding crown
22mm lug width
316L Stainless steel
Leather, perforated strap
Miyota 9015 Movement, 28,800VPH
Sapphire Crystal with AR coating
See-through Sapphire Crystal caseback
100M Water Resistance
One Year Limited International Warranty
Date function at 4:30
Bead Blast, Black PVD Case
Black Dial, Grey Numbers
Super-Luminova Numbers, Hour markers
Retail price $695 Preoder price $595



VRT1.6

44mm width case excluding crown
22mm lug width
316L Stainless steel
Leather, perforated strap
Miyota 9015 Movement, 28,800VPH
Sapphire Crystal with AR coating
See-through Sapphire Crystal caseback
100M Water Resistance
One Year Limited International Warranty
Date function at 4:30
Mirror-polished Case
Silver Dial, Black Numbers
Super-Luminova Numbers, Hour markers
Retail price $709 Preorder price $609

Check out the official site HERE
and Facebook page HERE

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Founder Samuel Tay based out of Singapore launch a new Micro Brand Reverie and first model called the Sea-Spirit. The company skipped the crowdfunding route and is selling the watch directly to consumers in a limited 125 piece Edition. The two models you can choose have either a black dial or blue dial watch. The nautical inspired timepiece sells for $420 and comes with a 1 year international repair warranty.





The Sea-Spirit is presented in a nice leather gift box and the watch includes an extra black sailcloth inspired watch strap. The Sea-Spirit comes with a brown leather strap with butterfly clasp. Both straps include convenient strap-change (CSC) design function for effortless changing of straps. I am a big fan of quick changing straps as the spring bar tools tends to damage the watch case and strap. The convenient strap-change makes it easy to swap straps in seconds for a new look.



The watch features a unique Guilloché dial inspired by sea waves. The Guilloché dial transforms under different lighting conditions. As the dial hits the light it’s almost looks like the dial is moving in a wave-like matter. The squarish cushion case measures 41mm diameter with 47mm lug to lug. I found the watch to be a perfect size for my 7 inch wrist. The polished and brushed case is full of nice angles that show off the polished and brushed metals.



The white numerals is highly readable with a small seconds hand offset to the 5. You will find a date window at 3 o’clock with thick hours and minutes hands that are lumed. The Sea-Spirit also features Sapphire crystal with inner anti-reflective coating, Automatic Miyota 8218 movement, and 10 ATM water resistance.


The Reverie Sea-Spirit was one of my favorite watches released in 2015. The limited edition timepiece is a must have for any watch collector. The unique sea wave dial alone makes this different from any Micro Brand I have reviewed. At $420 you are getting a great value for watch that only a few will have a pleasure to own.

Positives
Sea Wave dial
Rich blue dial
Watch that looks good in all angles
Perfect everyday watch for casual and formal wear

Negatives
Would prefer 9015 over Miyota 8218


Buy this limited edition blue sea wave dial 125 piece watch HERE




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


Belmoto is the spin off brand from Dion McAsey, the founder of Magrette Timepieces. McAsey wanted to create a new brand that focuses on the era of race car driving and motorcyling. The same precision and craftsmanship from Magrette is transplanted to Belmoto. Belmoto first collection is the Track-Day & Tourer collection that features Mecha-Quartz Chronographs priced at $500 and the Automatic collection priced at $700.

The Belmoto Collection is rebirth of the modern gentleman. This is for the modern gentleman that has a passion for racing and fast cars. The watch features Automatic and Mecha-Quartz movements, Sapphire Crystal and custom and hand-stitched leather bands.

Check out Belmoto Collection HERE



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



John JY Lee is back with his 3rd Kickstarter campaign. The new Crossfire 500M features a bold new take on the California Dial. Cobra de Calibre Crossfire 500M will have a depth rating of 500M and run the reliable Miyota 9015.


Other specs include

42mm External Bezel case in 316L Stainless Steel Case with Sapphire Crystals Top & Bottom

Miyota Calibre 9015 with Smooth Sweeping Second Hand

Custom Rotors with Beautiful Geneva Stripes

Swiss Super-Luminova on Dial & Hands

Soft Genuine Leather Bands with Signed Matching Buckle


The project is fast tracked for a February 2016 shipping date with prototypes already made and the factory ready to start production.


Check out the campaign HERE



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.


The latest prototype shot of the Grey Seal Series Watch with navy dial and mesh strap. The watch will feature Miyota 9015, sapphire glass with inside AR, rotating inner bezel, stainless 316, case 44mm, mesh bracket 22mm + leather NATO strap. Price about 300-350 euro with shipping anywhere in the world. The current target is for a January 2016 release.

Check out their Facebook page HERE for updates


Bernhardt Watch Company is bringing back the Globemaster watch to the market. You can presale the new Globemaster for $574 shipped in US(add $30 for International). To be paid in full to paypal ID: bernhardtwatch@aol.com

Pre Sale ends midnight October 11, 2015
Regular Price: $ 674 plus shipping
Delivery approximately 4 months

Bernhardt Watch Company is offering a pre sale of the Globemaster ll.
Limited edition of 500 pieces!
Specs: ETA 2836(modified for GMT)
42 mm(excluding signed crown)
Water resistant to 200 meters
Sapphire crystal
316-L case and bracelet(sized with screws)
Finish(all brushed)
2 year warranty
Zippered travel case
Color options:
Black dial/ black 24 hour bezel
Blue dial/ orange & blue bezel
Black dial/ green & silver bezel
Black dial/ blue & black bezel

via Watchuseek forums HERE


Helm Watches Vanuatu 300m Automatic diver is now available for sale. Buy it now for $350 plus $45 worldwide shipping HERE

WHAT YOU GET:

Vanuatu 300m Automatic Watch

Stainless Steel Bracelet
NS1 Nylon Strap (your choice of 4 colors)

CASE:

Brushed 316L Stainless Steel
Integrated Crown Guards
Screw Down Caseback
Diameter (12H to 6H): 42 mm
Diameter (9H to 3H, with crown): 45.75 mm
Lug to Lug: 50 mm
Lug Width: 22 mm
Height: 14 mm

CROWN:

Brushed 316L Stainless Steel
Screw Down
Position: 3 o’clock
Diameter: 8 mm

MOVEMENT:

Seiko Instruments NH35 (Automatic Mechanical)
Hacking and Manual Winding Functions
Accuracy: -25 ~ +35 seconds/day
Beats Per Hour: 21,600
24 Jewels
Power Reserve: 40 Hours

DIAL & HANDS:

Dial: Matte Black with Luminescent Hour Markers (off-white body color with blue afterglow)
Hands: Luminescent Hour, Minute & Second Hands (off-white body color with blue afterglow)
Date Window: 6 o’clock

BEZEL:

316L Stainless Steel
Diameter: 43 mm
Stainless Steel Insert with Black PVD Coating
Markings: White Oil + Luminescent (at 5 minute marks)
120-Click, Unidirectional Rotation

CRYSTAL:

Flat Sapphire with Internal Anti-Reflective Coating

BAND:

Stainless Steel Bracelet and Folding Clasp with Brushed Finish (22 mm Bracelet Tapers to 20 mm at Clasp)
NS1 Nylon Strap with Brushed Stainless Steel Buckle and Keeper Rings

WATER RESISTANCE:

300 m / 30 atm / 990 ft
Tested in accordance with ISO 6425:1996

WEIGHT:

With Stainless Bracelet (full length): 225 grams
With NS1 Nylon Strap: 120 grams

ACCESSORIES:

The LS1 Leather Strap and LS2 Leather Strap pictured at left are available separately, and at a discount when purchased with a watch.