5 Covetable Watches from Indie Brands You Probably Don’t Know

Independent watchmakers get off the ground with good ideas. Their passion and innovation, in style and technology, keep them going — building loyalty among watch enthusiasts — even when their marketing budgets are relatively small. Here are some companies that make intriguing mechanical products beloved by serious watch afficianados.

1. Christopher Ward C60 Trident COSC 600 Chronometer


Housing the brand’s first in-house-made movement — a Swiss automatic with five days of power reserve — the C60 Trident COSC 600 Chronometer is probably the nicest dive-style sports watch that this Internet sales-focused UK watchmaker has produced to date. And, yes, that’s saying something. $2,275

2. Squale Professional 1521-026 Ocean Blasted


Italian Squale has been making professional products as an affordable treat for watch hounds, serving up classic styles, high performance, and some amazing colours. The Professional 1521-026 Ocean Blasted comes with a bright blue dial and bezel, 500 metres of water resistance, and an “ocean” camo rubber strap. $1,195

3. Dietrich OT


“Organic Time” watches are a relatively new collection from small watch brand Dietrich. Designed in Europe, with Japanese movements, these highly original timepieces may have an intentional science-fiction theme, but that doesn’t mean they are toys. $1,600

4. SINN 103


Based in Frankfurt, Germany this maker of professional watches crafts some of the toughest and most legible timepieces around. They have a keen understanding of style, exemplified by their retro-themed military watches, like the 103, which is both reliable and perfect for daily wear. $3,330

5. Ball Engineer II Magneto S


You want innovation? As a means of protecting against the damage of magnetism, the Ball Engineer II Magneto S has an iris style closing shield over the otherwise displayed mechanical movement. It’s a fun way to enjoy a useful complication. Ball isn’t exactly a tiny brand, but it is lesser-known among mainstream consumers. $4,400