North is the first watch from Forest Time Co. that is debuting on Kickstarter. The brand was started by two young Montreal-based designers that wanted to create a watch that was simple and timeless.

The stylish 36mm watch could be worn by either men or women. The watch was designed with minimalism in mind. It feature high quality materials, stainless steel and brass cases, and genuine leather straps. The watch sells for a mere Early Bird price of $99 CAD/$75 USD.

36mm Diameter
10mm Thickness
Stainless Steel or Copper Plated Case
Stainless Steel Caseback
3ATM Water Resistance
Genuine Leather Wristband

The company went with a Japanese Quartz Miyota movement that will provide great accuracy and years of use without maintenance other than changing out the battery every couple of years. The watch size is perfect for men who hate the trending large watches and for women who like a slightly larger case. You can choose from colors for dial, case and leather band that you prefer. The case it a bit taller at 10mm and lugless design gives it a minimal design.

Two years in the making, the North by Forest Time Co. is available now for preorder at Kickstarter HERE Expect to see the watches to start shipping in December 2016.

Boldr Watches is back with a new meca-quartz timepiece that can follow your journey through life. The new watch is from the same team that successfully launched the TRAVISLEON Heirloom mechanical timepiece.

The BOLDR Journey is a vintage, aviator-inspired watch with a mecha-quartz movement inside. The mecha-quartz movement gives you the smooth sqeeping hand of a mechanical watch with the precision of a battery powered quartz.

The BOLDR watch will feature a limited-edition art piece on the caseback that will be created by Malaysian tatoo artist Kevin Tan. The microbrand watch company under the new banner BOLDR Supply Company, the team behind the TRAVISLEON Heirloom and BOLDR Voyage created the BOLDR Journey as a timepiece that represents their trials and tribulations in setting up a microbrand watch company.

BOLDR Jorney blends the old and new into a timepiece that will have watch enthusiast impressed. The BOLDR Journey Chronograph starts at an early bird price of $162 USD with a September 2016 delivery.

Preorder the BOLDR Journey on Kickstarter now HERE

Reviewed by K.C. Kim
$295 with free world wide shipping(through December)
Helm Watches appeared to come out of nowhere and release it’s first watch to the market. The company is based out of Hong Kong and released the Vanuatu fairly quickly for a new startup. Although it may seem to be rushed to the market this watch was years in the making. And the company worked hard to create a watch that would be well received by the watch community. Helm Watches skipped Kickstarter and other crowdfunding routes to sell directly to the consumer through preorder. When I first heard about the watch, there was already a buzz on internet watch forums like WatchUSeek about the Vanuatu. I had a chance to go hands on with this new budget diver watch and here are my thoughts.



Vanuatu 300m Automatic Watch
Stainless Steel Bracelet
NS1 Nylon Strap (your choice of 4 colors)


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


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


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: 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


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


Flat Sapphire with Internal Anti-Reflective Coating


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


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


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

Helm Watches is considered a budget diver as it’s price is under $500 and this is where good value comes in Microbrands as they sell direct to the consumer and cut the middle man out of the equation. The first thought I had when opening the box was the quality of the timepiece as it had a nice heft and solid build quality. I believe at the price that this is selling at it can’t be beat. The Helm Watch comes with both a bracelet and Nato strap with options for a leather strap options sold separately HERE. I had no problems swapping out the Nato strap and attaching the bracelet onto the watch. You can purchase a spring bar tool from the company for $10 with the watch or $18 by itself HERE.

Named for the South Pacific island nation famous for its coral reefs and a WWII shipwreck, the HELM Vanuatu epitomizes rugged functionality. The Vanuatu features 43mm case, 300M Water Resistance, Sapphire Crystal, Seiko NH35 movement, and each was is tested according with ISO 6425:1996. The 43mm case is a good size for a watch without being too over-sized. The Seiko NH35 is a workhorse movement that keeps the price of the watch lower than other movements. I like the fact that each and every watch is tested for water resistance under strict standards. Some MicroBrands have started selling bracelets separately from their watch, yet Helm Watches includes the bracelet for free plus a Nato strap. I know there was some talk about a loose bezel but the bezel on my Vanuatu had zero issues and had very little play when rotating the bezel.

I believe the Helm Watches Vanuatu offers great value and rivals higher end divers. The Sinn-like style of the hands and the overall look of the watch makes this a perfect tool watch. If you like a diver with German styling and rugged no nonsense look then the Helm Watches should be on the top of your search list. The current holiday special that makes this watch only $295 with free worldwide shipping takes this watch to the next level. At $295 shipped you are not going to find a better diver watch anywhere.

Great price
Solid build quality
300M water resistance
Every watch tested for WR
Includes both bracelet and Nato strap

bezel spring ring causes a slight backward movement that some have reported as loose bezel

Helm watches is currently offering a special $55 discount and free worldwide shipping making this watch only $295 with free shipping. If your looking for a Christmas gift for yourself or someone else do take a look at the Helm Watch Vanuatu which you can buy HERE

Disclosure: Review unit

Minuteman Watches has teamed up with Lum-Tec founder Chris Wiegand to design and manufacturer Minuteman’s latest collection. The Minuteman Independence series will come in either PVD or stainless steel versions. The black PVD will retail for $309 with a special $275 preorder and the stainless steel version will run $309 with a special $250 preorder price. Each Minuteman Independence model will be proudly assembled in Mentor Ohio USA by Wiegand Custom watch company. The watches will come with a 5 year limited warranty and free lifetime battery replacement.

Independence PVD
Assembled in the United States of America.
40mm case width without crown.
Sapphire crystal with anti reflective coating on the inside.
Ronda 515 Swiss Quartz movement.
Water resistant to 100 meters.
Black PVD finish.
Individually serial numbered.
Free lifetime battery replacement.
5 year limited warranty.
Luminous hands and markers.
$275 for a limited time HERE

Assembled in the United States of America.
40mm case width without crown.
Sapphire crystal with anti reflective coating on the inside.
Ronda 515 Swiss Quartz movement.
Water resistant to 100 meters.
Stainless Steel case and crown.
Individually serial numbered.
Free lifetime battery replacement.
5 year limited warranty.
Luminous hands and markers.
$250 for a limited time HERE

25% of the profit from our net annual sales of Minuteman products goes to charities assisting veterans & their Families. The new Independence line will be the lowest price yet for Minuteman while still offering better case finishing with Lum-Tec/Wiegard Custom Watch Company behind it. And I’m sure with all Lum-Tec watches, you will get excellent lume with this watch as well. Here is your chance to get an American made watch for an incredible low price. Compared to other American made watches, Minuteman stands alone as the best bang for your buck watch in terms of features and styling.

Check out the official site HERE and order your very own Minuteman Independence series watch


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.

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

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.

Unique design
Great backstory behind the brand
Affordable price
Nice premium leather strap
Quality timepiece
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

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

Itero Watches a new microbrand is launching on Kickstarter the second week of October. The company was founded by two watch enthusiasts that is offering modern pocket watches.

Our time has to be valued more and we should by no means be slaves of
the hectic lifestyle and technology. The name Itero comes from Latin and
means »to do a second time, to renew«. And that is what we wanted to do
– to bring the appreciation of time and tradition back to life. With
Itero Watches, you carry an important piece of the past in your pocket
and value yourself and your time more.


Case diameter: 44 milimetres
Thickness: 8 milimetres
Case material: 316L stainless steel
Dial window material: Sapphire crystal glass
Movement: Swiss Ronda Quartz
Water resistant: 3 ATM
Keychain: 25 centimetres
Keychain material: PVD plated brass

The Itero pocket watches will come in Midas gold, Midnight Rose, and classic silver cases. The pocket watch will feature a Swiss Quartz movement, sapphire crystal, and minimalist design. Every other company is making traditional watches while Itero watches is bringing back the pocket watch design. Prices start at $89 and more information can be found at the official site HERE you can also follow the company on Instragram HERE

We will update this post once the campaign goes live.

Update: Kickstarter campaign now live HERE

Parr & Co. Watches has launched their first timepiece that rivals luxury brands. The company focuses on minimalist design and superb fit and finish. The cases are super slim and come in gold or silver plated 316L surgical grade stainless steel. The case measures 40mm by 7mm and the watch face features sapphire crystal.

The watch is powered by a gold-plated Swiss Ronda 1069 movement with six jewels. The watch also features a remote sweep second hand placed 6.3 mm from the center. The clean white face is paired with Roman numerals and French Losang style watch hands. The watch comes in both gold and silver with bands of black, brown, red, blue and gray in leather, silicone or herringbone with a butterfly clasp. A 20 mm lug makes setting the watch easy. Parr & Co Watch is water resistant to 5 ATM.

The watch can be purchased for as low as $140 on Kickstarter HERE

A new startup, Tulipe Noire is re-imagining women’s watches with it’s first watch model. The Tulipe Noire Mechanical Diamond Watch features genuine diamonds, mechanical movement, mother of pearl dial and leather strap.

Bracelet 18mm wide stainless steel 5-row individual link and “butterfly” double-deployment clasp with side pushers, sizable between 195mm and 125mm

Case Polished stainless steel with 4-screw case-back, logo stamped on the case-back and anodized aluminum insert. Dimension: 38xmm wide x32mmx10mm thick
Limited edition and individual serial number engraved on every watch

Crown 8mm stainless steel with color anodized aluminum inserts

Crystal – Anti-reflective Mineral (K1)

Dial Mother of pearl and applied indexes, contrast colored hands and double pendulum style second-hand Medallion in the center of the dial in stainless steel and prong set diamonds

Diamonds Clarity: VS1 cut: brilliant-full color: white (D-G) 1mm, 1.3mm and 1.5mm and black diamond: 1.5mm Total carat weight varies per individual style

Leather straps Vegetable Tanned Natural calf leather(100% made in Italy), genuine Crocodile, Lizard, Ostrich when applicable on selected models, perforated leather lining, stainless steel 18mm thorn buckle

Miyota by Citizen Caliber 8N33 Mechanical Skeleton 17 jewels hand-wind >40h power reserve after full winding

316L surgical grade stainless steel, nickel-free and non-allergenic

5ATM – 50 meter: suitable for light swimming (leather straps are not water resistant)

Head over to Kickstarter for the campaign HERE