“In Today’s episode: A watch inspired by the romantic 1980’s racing culture, a watch which takes inspiration from one of the greatest and a watch that was inspired by the brave and selfless healthcare community on the frontlines of COVID-19”
As promised, here is Part 2 of the Microbrand series. If you didn’t get a chance to check out the first part, where I go into a little more detail regarding microbrands overall, click here. But let’s get started with today’s top 3 Microbrand watches, that I have picked out for you.
In Today’s episode: A watch inspired by the romantic 1980’s racing culture, a watch which takes inspiration from one of the greatestand a watch that was inspired by the brave and selfless healthcare community on the frontlines of COVID-19.
Autodromo Group B Series 2 Automatic
Autodromo first introduced the Group B series way back in 2015, and it quickly found a way into the hearts of countless watch enthusiasts around the world. The philosophy behind the unique design of the Autodromo Group B Series originates in the 1980’s– which is considered the romantic era of motorsport with unfettered technical ingenuity, space age exotic materials and turbo-boosted horsepower. And the design of the Group B combines all those aspects in one handsome watch.
After the original Group B series was sold out, the founder of Autodromo, Bradley Price, introduced a new version of the watch. They came up with a super creative name for it: The “Group B Series 2”. Jokes aside, why change a winning formula.
The Series 2 was introduced in 2018 and has been a big hit ever since. From a technical perspective, this watch is very similar to the original watch that was released back in 2015. Like the original piece, the updated version has a lightweight 39mm titanium capsule which houses a Miyota 9015 automatic movement.
The big difference comes with the strap. The original Group B had fixed lugs and only came with one fixed strap. With the new Group B Series 2, Autodromo has changed up the lugs and added traditional spring bars, which will now enable you to change the straps. But the cool thing is, that you don’t have to miss out on an integrated bracelet. The Series 2 comes fitted on an interchangeable stainless-steel bracelet that, when fitted, looks completely integrated into the case.
I have to admit that I’m a big fan of the Group B. I love the conservative proportions, the clean dials, and the lightweight steel/titanium cases. Also, as a fan of classic cars, the philosophy behind each watch is just something that speaks to me. The thought of having a part of motorsport history on my wrist is so cool.
The Autodromo Group B Series 2 comes in 5 different designs and will set you back a good $975. You can purchase one right now on their website.
I’m not sure if you would consider Pelton to still be a Microbrand since the price of their watches is quite high for a microbrand. But since the brand was founded in 2016, I decided to add them to the list. The watch that I will talk about today is their Perseus model, which comes in at a hefty price of $2,999. I just wanted to get this out of the way, since this is a lot of money for a smaller watch brand.
For that amount of money, you can get into some Vintage Rolex Datejust’s or even brand-new watches from the like of Tudor or Omega. So, I wouldn’t be mad if you would skip this part and continue with the third watch, which will cost you significantly less. But for those of you that are the same as I and were intrigued by the Royal Oak like design and the story behind the watch, please enjoy this article. And now, let’s finally get to the interesting part.
Pelton was founded in 2016 and is an US-based watchmaker. In their Detroit based facility, they make their own cases, crowns, and bracelets in-house, which is very impressive for a brand that was founded quite recently.
The Pelton Perseus model was released in 4 different color ways – dark grey, deep blue, white and rusty-orange. When it comes to dimensions, Pelton has decided to go with a very conservative case size, which I highly appreciate. The watch comes in at a diameter of 39mm and a case height of only 9.6mm. Speaking of the case, it’s made completely from 316L stainless steel and every single case gets a hand finishing at their facility in Detroit, before the watch gets sent out.
At the heart of the Perseus is a top-grade ETA 2824-2 automatic movement, which has a power reserve of 38 hours. Seen through the sapphire crystal caseback, the movement has a beautiful finish, so you can proudly look at the soul of your watch, when you once again feel like nerding out.
And now to the secret star of the Pelton Perseus, the bracelet. The bracelet, again, has a very strong sent of Royal Oak to it. Just as the case, the bezel, and the hands, you can’t help but notice some strong similarities between the two. But that is not particularly a bad thing, especially in the case of the Perseus. The quality of the bracelet is outstanding. The integrated design creates an effortless transition into the watch case – continuing the distinct brushed and polished surfaces featured throughout the watch. Fun fact, did you know that the bracelet consists of 131 individually finished pieces? You have to admit, this is pretty impressive.
Overall, I’m quite impressed with the amount of quality you get for the price of nearly $3000. Honestly, when I first saw the watch, I just thought, that this would be another homage to the Royal Oak. But when I learned what the watch has to offer in regards to the movement and the finishing, I was impressed.
Sure $2,999 is a lot of money for a 5-year-old watch brand, but I think that this brand is worth your money. So if you are in the market for a cool timepiece with a swiss movement and that wears the label “Made in the USA”, then go for it!
Boldr Field Medic
And now to a watch, which I am very excited to tell you about. Presenting: The Boldr Field Medic series. Boldr made a medic-friendly chronograph inspired by the selfless actions that health care workers from around the world performed (and still are) during the COVID-19 Pandemic. How cool is that?
The Boldr Field Medic comes in 5 different variants. Ranging from the Field Medic I to the Field Medic IV and a special version in camo green. Every variant is built the same and are therefore all priced at the exact same price point of only $299.
The watch features an ultra-tough & super light 38mm titanium case. The case houses a SII VK64 Mecaquartz Chronograph movement, which is a good choice, taking the very modest price tag in consideration. To complete the tough exterior of the watch, Boldr uses a sapphire crystal to protect the detailed dials. The watch itself is also water resistant up to 200m. As you can see, this watch was built as a tool and is meant to be used that way in real life. Speaking of tools, the Field Medic also features a pulsometer and a respiratory scale, which make the watch even more special.
To make the watch to an even more useful Tool, Boldr decided to deliver the watch on a durable NATO Strap, which suits the overall look and feel of the watch perfectly.
Overall, Boldr did a great job with this piece. The inspiration behind the watch is of course very admirable, but it’s not only that. For a price tag that is just under $300.Boldr managed to pack a lot of punch into this very modest sized package. Also, I like that they engineered the watch with the intend for it to be used a real tool in real life. They don’t just use this tool slogan for marketing reasons, they really meant it. And this is very admirable.
You can now order the Boldr Field Medic in one of the 5 mentioned variants on their website.