25 of the Best Boutique Watch Companies

Micro-Brands discussed here

25 of the Best Boutique Watch Companies

Postby koimaster » January 3rd 2019, 11:57am

James Stacey, in an excellent essay published on Hodinkee in August of 2018, laid out a conundrum in the watchmaking world: watch fans want to buy “microbrand” watches, yet brands hate the moniker.

“[Microbrand] operates as a blanket term for small watch brands that operate online, which lumps quality producers in with scam artists and get-rich-quick schemes,” Stacey wrote, while at the same time, insisting that it was a useful term (legitimate enough to be found on Wikipedia) that could be applied to quality brands.

So what is a “microbrand”? We can likely agree on several parameters: It’s a brand that is independently owned, often run by a single person or a team of a few people; that produces watches in small batches, at a rate of several hundred to several thousand a year; that often outsources at least one significant part of its watches to be made elsewhere, whether in Asia or Switzerland; and that “cuts out the middleman” by selling its watches online, straight to consumers (though some will also sell in retail locations).

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