http://foresttime.co/


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.


Airspeed offers cutting edge new design in the world of watches. The company CJR watches has previously launched a successful Kickstarter campaign in the past and is promoting it’s latest new watch, the CJR Airspeed. The CJR Airspeed offers up curved glass that goes all the way to the edge. The curved casing is made from Hesalite crystal, a robust, and shatterproof material. The great thing about Hesalite is that it reduces smudging and the dial has a warmer look.

The Airspeed is powered by an Automatic 21 jewel 21,600 BPH Miyota 8219. The Miyota 8200 series is considered a workhorse movement and should be reliable for years to come. The watch comes in black which is considered the Pilot watch and the beige dial Vintage style timepiece. The markings on the dial and the hands are coated in in Super-LumiNova. This should make for easy readability at night.

Case Diameter: 43.0 mm
Case Thickness: 10.0 mm
Lug Width: 20.0 mm
Case Material: Hesalite Crystal
Movement: Miyota Caliber 8219
Dial: PVD Coating with Super-LumiNova (Pilot Ver. Only)
Water Resistance: 3 ATM (30 m)

The CJR Airspeed features a first curved regulator watch. The regulator complication first appeared in the late 17th century and was used by watchmakers for verifying the rates of their creations. The basis of a regulator dial is the second, minute and hour hands are separated into sub-dials. The black dial Airspeed includes a black genuine leather strap and the beige dial watch includes a light brown genuine leather strap.

CJR Airspeed watch is truly innovative and futuristic watch with a little vintage thrown in as well. The curved glass dome shape draws in light and reflects the internal fluorescent blue(black dial model)/fluorescent red(beige dial model) ring. Pricing starts at an incredible $329 and can be preorderd on Kickstarter now HERE


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



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


Minuteman Watch Co. has announced a new watch that is now available for preorder on Indiegogo. The Independence Watch is inspired by patriotic American heroes both past and present. Minuteman has a large following former and or active duty military. And that made them decide to create an updated version of a classic Hamilton W10 military watch circa 1970’s. The new series is available in a black canvas strap with black dial and natural stainless steel case finish or in a black canvas strap with black dial and military grade black PVD finish.

Watch Specifications

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.
316L Stainless Steel case. Black PVD finish optional.
Individually serial numbered.
Free lifetime battery replacement.
5 year limited warranty.
Luminous hands and markers.


Lum-Tec founder Chris Wiegand through his team at Wiegand Custom Watch LLC will assemble the watch. The Minuteman watch co Independence Watch will be assembled in the United States of America In Mentor Ohio by Chris Wiegand. Lum-Tec has always been a favorite of watch collectors and we can expect the same quality to transfer over to the Independence line of watches.

Minuteman Watch Co. raises funds for great causes such as The Gary Sinise Foundation, Special Operations Warrior Foundation and now Fisher House. The company is offer a Independence watch in Stainless steel for $250 or one in PVD for $275. This is great prices for a quality watch that will likely cost more once it is release at retail price.

Check out the Indiegogo watch 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



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


Minuteman Co. is looking for input on a name for it’s upcoming Swiss Automatic Watch. The company is currently taking a poll on Watchfreeks with the winning poll leader the likely choice. The selection of names includes Minuteman Eagle, Minuteman Field Auto, Minuteman Independence, and Minuteman Commander. Take one minute of your time and vote on your favorite name on Watchfreeks HERE


Hastings & Co offers up a timeless classic minimalist dress watch that is a mere 6mm thick. In comparison it is 1mm thinner than the Rossling & Co quartz watch. The watch size is a perfect 40mm that should fit your dress shirts rather easily. Hastings & Co created the perfect watch to wear on special occasions, the office and on dates.



The Hastings & Co is a beautiful watch that weighs almost nothing and has the feel of luxury. The watch has a rose gold plated case and rose gold indices with a white dial. The second hand is black and the watch features a premium genuine leather embossed crocodile strap. The company opted for a scratch resistant Sapphire Crystal instead of the cheaper Mineral crystal found on other watches. The Hastings & Co Rose Gold Classic Edition Watch is powered by a Swiss Quartz Movement.






The watch can easily change straps from the calf crocodile straps to the Nato strap options. You can order additional straps directly from the site HERE Hastings & Co offers a Rose Gold case and Silver case with options for crocodile leather strap, genuine leather straps in black or brown, or two Nato strap options.



The Hastings & Co classic edition watch can be dressed up with crocodile or genuine leather straps or worn casually with the Nato options. The watch is a perfect everyday watch to wear at the office, special occasion or just hanging out with friends. Everyone needs a nice slim dress watch in their wardrobe and this is perfect for the recent graduate, young professional, or groomsmen to wear. An affordable timepiece that I am glad to have in my collection.

Positives
Premium looking dress watch
Minimalist
Rose Gold case
Crocodile embossed calfskin strap
Sapphire Crystal
Slim

Negative
Maybe too plain for some people’s taste

Buy it now HERE

Disclosure: Manufacturer supplied review sample for review