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Category: Microbrands

Scurfa Watches Diver One

Several weeks back a reader emailed me asking if I’d ever seen a watch from Scurfa Watches hands-on. Scurfa, a microbrand based out of the UK, is owned by Paul Scurfield. A North Sea pressure diver, Paul created Scurfa in order to build dive watches that gave divers high-end capability… but at an affordable price.

Scurfa is a two-person brand – my favorite kind of company – and so I decided to buy a Diver One Blue and get my feet wet. Let’s dive in.

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Undone Urban Tropical Sahara

UNDONE is an independent brand that has taken a unique approach to their watches: customers can customize their watch – changing cases, dials, casebacks, and even engraving initials – via UNDONE’s website watch builder. Fans of customization rejoice!

Priced at $345, the Urban Tropical Sahara is within the scope of what most would consider a “nice watch”. This is the first UNDONE I’ve seen hands-on, so let’s not waste any time in having a closer look.

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DuFa Aalto Regulator Hands-On Review

Those looking for historical horological significance will likely overlook DuFa. Deutsche Uhrenfrabrik – aka, DuFa – is a brand that has flown underneath the radar, as they compete in a sea microbrands and Kickstarter success stories. In today’s environment, it’s difficult to differentiate yourself and there are a lot of up and coming indie brands out there. But DuFa stands out, and so do their watches.

Take, for example, the Aalto Regulator I have here. The German roots of its style are undeniable – clean shapes, a bold face, and minimal distractions – and the mechanical heartbeat, care of the Miyota 8217 automatic ticking within, is found in hundreds of watch models the world over. A blend of sophisticated style and practical engineering- very German.

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Hands-On With the James McCabe Heritage Retrograde

Six weeks back I received an e-mail from Drew Meyer, who represents several watch brands. Among them is James McCabe, a highly-stylized microbrand that is doing what brands like Lucien Piccard should have done. Not long after that e-mail, the Heritage Retrograde arrived at my doorstep – courtesy of Drew – and it has commanded my interest ever since.

As the photos within this review will undoubtedly show, the Heritage Retrograde – a sub-$300 quartz casual watch – is among the most excellently styled (and stylized) watches I have come across in a good long time (if not ever). The real question is: is it a good watch? I suppose you’ll have to read on to find out.

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Brand Feature: Jones New York

A month or so back, CWT sent me four watches from their exclusive brand, Jones New York. JNY is a brand of inexpensive quartz timepieces with a focus on fashion and style. As such, watches themselves are fairly standard quartz timepieces: they are powered by Japanese-sourced quartz movements and are made of standard materials.

I put them behind my lens and started snapping. As you can see, they’re very photogenic and I got some really excellent shots. Check them out below, with Melissa’s opinion on them.

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Mileneal Classic Hands-On Watch Review

Ahh, that new watch smell- gotta love it! Here on my desk is the Mileneal Classic Rose Gold White, which is – you guessed it – a classically-designed watch in rose gold and white. Smartly dressed, affordably priced, and available for pre-order now on Kickstarter, you may be asking yourself: is this micro worth my money? Is it it a smart buy? Why should I buy it? All good questions, and ones I hope to answer in this hands-on review.

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Oath Black Tie Review

In a price point dominated by the Weekender, Seiko 5, and other affordable heavyweights, it’s easy to overlook the microbrands out there offering something different for the same money. You’d be forgiven for doing so, but the omission can be a real shame. Take this Oath, for example: currently on sale for $50 (shipping included, $110 regular), it’s an ultra-affordable quartz that’s definitely worth your eye.

In true WYCA fashion, I warmed up the Tamron macro and got to shooting. Let’s check it out.

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Dan Henry 1970 Review

The limited edition 1970 by Dan Henry is a surprising piece. While it has some minor quality control items (I must stress that they are minor), the rest of the watch is composed and well executed. I’m a big fan of its looks, and I love how the theme has touched every part of the watch in a subtle, classy way. It’s a stand-out piece, especially when you consider its $250 price tag. This is as great watch that’s worth your consideration.

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