Microbrands are causing a lot of turmoil in the watch scene. From crazy experiments in lume, to reimaginations of classical pieces, and of course the trusty bronze focused Pontvs, microbrands are slowly crafting a small space for themselves within the watch community. In this article we will explain you what is a Watch Microbrand and why you should support them if you enjoy watches.
What is a Watch Microbrand?
A microbrand is a small company (usually 1 – 3 people are part of the team), which designs and then outsources the construction of some products, and of course handle the delivery. There are microbrands for everything! Clothes, shoes, knives, you name it.
Why are Watch Microbrands appearing just now?
One could argue that microbrands have always existed. However, due to recent developments in technology, it is now possible to:
- Outsource a new design to a manufracturer from abroad and keep good touch to guarantee the quality of the new product.
- Sell it through an online store and have it delivered safely.
This has allowed small teams of enthusiasts and designers to dip their toes and try to produce new products for rather competitive markets. Watch microbrands are no different, and are taking advantage of niche communities online, as well as new marketing techniques – such as social media and search engine marketing –, to make their products known to the world.
Aside from this, microbrands have also benefited from crowdfunding platforms such as kickstarter. It is now common to find many watches being listed for crowdfunding campaigns with great success. Our very own Pontvs Acheron was the product of a successful kickstarter campaign.
Most of the time they fill an interesting role within their own sector, providing unique, daring designs, ones that old big companies wouldn't even dare to consider. Usually you'll find them making watches for the mid - tier In overall, while small in scale, they are healthy for their respective industry and, from what we've seen so far, their presence will continue to grow.
Are watch microbrands good?
Ok, this is a more tricky one. Of course we have a favorable opinion of the watch microbrand scene since we are a microbrand ourselves, but the real answer to said question is that it can vary, a lot. Unlike big watch brands, with history, reputation and a big sales department backing them up, dealing with microbrands can be a bit more difficult. Sometimes you'll be speaking directly with the manager!
- Juan Pablo is the one answering the inboxes by the way -
However, what we've seen is that, unlike fashion watch brands, microbrands do not act on bad faith, and will be completely transparent on their products specifications. The final quality of their watches will always vary, but most of the time they make a very good bang for buck ratio. Nevertheless, such as all other brands, they can make mistakes
Should you buy from a watch microbrand?
Yes! Here are some reasons why you should go for one:
- Unique design: this is understated. We live in an age were several uncreative brands are just playing it safe with homages of all kinds, replicating well known designs with minor changes, doing victory laps over and over again. Use your money to further the hobby ahead!
- Small run, coveted piece: microbrands will usually run small batches of their own models. This means you’ll end up with a pretty special item. And while strange, it might even go up in value over time!
- Bang for buck: as stated above, the only way this microbrands can compete is by making a compelling product. While design takes an important role, they also tend to pack up their models with above-average specs for the price they are asking. This can include, a very good case design, movement or crystal. As an example, our Pontvs Hydra includes a very good water resistance rating, sapphire crystal and a case made out of naval grade brass for less than 400 USD.
Of course, what Microbrands are lacking is heritage. Part of the appeal of owning a watch is in owning a timepiece with a history of its own. That's why people are drawn into vintage watches, very rare models, or ones that have had an iconic place in history.
Nevertheless, if you are looking for value above everything, and would like to splash your collection with something new and unique, look out for microbrands!