Micro- brands...love them or leave them? - Seiko & Citizen Watch Forum – Japanese Watch Reviews, Discussion & Trading
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Micro- brands...love them or leave them?

A while back Chris Galbraith posted a pic heavy thread on his new aquisition of an Armida, Helson and Zixen divers. It peaked my interest in micro brands and led me to many other, fairly recently started companies like SAS, Prometheus, Irreantum, Halios to name a few. I know about worries concerning the staying power of the little guys competing against the giants...the extremely small runs on certain designs, which make finding replacement parts in the future virtually impossible... being aware of all that I am finding it really difficult to talk myself out of buying a few of those really spectacular, IMO, pieces. I think you get a lot of bang for your buck...
Not a lot is being said about the micros (at least not on SCWF) My interest in them is very recent, my watch collection is purely Seiko and Citizen, but not for much longer...
What 's your take on the micros, guys? love them? leave them?
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Micro- brands...love them or leave them?






I usually refer to them as boutique brands but micro works for me. They can be pricey for what you get and in my experience, resale value is terrible.


There are just so many micro brand divers out these days and a large amount of them are derivative of other brands and really don't have their own personality.


I prefer to stay with the mainstream brands for ease of service, resale value and overall cache.


My two cents.


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Old 04-22-2012, 04:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Micro- brands...love them or leave them?

I love em, and if money was no object I'd have a dozen or so .here's my helson
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Micro- brands...love them or leave them?

I like some of them. But you already stated the obvious, future parts...etc...


also, many of them have high WR ratings, yet how these rating are given remains a mystery.
for example, the Armida A4 has a WR of 2000 meters. The watches are not ISO certified, so how does one know if it is really a 200m watch or a 2000m watch? ???
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Micro- brands...love them or leave them?

I'm quite happy with the two I currently own, a MKII Kingston and a Helson Skindiver. Both scratch the respective vintage Rolex and Blancpain itches. No worries about spares for the Kingston, as the spare parts package available to the plank owners contains everything to make another watch minus the case back, movement and movement holder. The Helson has a standard ETA 2824-2 movement, so as long as the gaskets are standard size I should be ok for a while.



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Old 04-22-2012, 11:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Micro- brands...love them or leave them?

Of course we all like the micro brand called "Tsunami" and where will we get parts for them in years to come
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Micro- brands...love them or leave them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Time
I like some of them. But you already stated the obvious, future parts...etc...


also, many of them have high WR ratings, yet how these rating are given remains a mystery.
for example, the Armida A4 has a WR of 2000 meters. The watches are not ISO certified, so how does one know if it is really a 200m watch or a 2000m watch? ???
I was wondering about the ratings...quite a few timepieces with a 1000m rating in the $500 - $600 range, which is not bad , but unlike the tuna or the ecozilla ,I dont see a design that would support such a claim.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Micro- brands...love them or leave them?

One positive though is in many cases these watches are low production pieces and the QC is far better than the mass produced stuff coming from some of the big and high end houses. Outfits like Lumtec where every watch is timed at the factory and my Ninchritz and UTC pieces are examples I have that arrive working the way they should and that is refreshing.

Most of these use standard mvmts so parts are not an issue.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Micro- brands...love them or leave them?

parts are ok, but what about the "mine is bigger that yours" contest with the WR on these? ???
2000 meters with no proof... come on...

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Old 04-24-2012, 08:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Micro- brands...love them or leave them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Time
parts are ok, but what about the "mine is bigger that yours" contest with the WR on these? ???
2000 meters with no proof... come on...

I think they are just betting that the average diver will not go below 50m anyway....They might as well put 5000m on the dial.
aesthetically I really like a few, good AR sapphire crystals, triplocks, some goodies like a few different straps, not a bad package, average but reliable movements... some are IMO a little overpriced (based on the movements used) but there are a few that are a decent buy.( if they are as good as they look) Bonus- supporting guys that take their love for watches to a whole new level.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Micro- brands...love them or leave them?

I Love them, in most cases they have ETA Movements/Miyota movements, parts for these will be available for 100 years to come hands are off the shelf and the watch case in most cases are generic through watch wholesalers so for me if I had the cah I would have half a dozen.

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Old 04-25-2012, 10:02 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Micro- brands...love them or leave them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martog
I Love them, in most cases they have ETA Movements/Miyota movements, parts for these will be available for 100 years to come hands are off the shelf and the watch case in most cases are generic through watch wholesalers so for me if I had the cah I would have half a dozen.

Cheers
Mark.
Agree 100% (and +1 for stating it so well)
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:22 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Micro- brands...love them or leave them?

Speaking aboout "other" brands than Seiko/Citizen.... I was looking for some time at the Tauchmeister T95



It has a Myiota movement with a retrograde GMT or 24 hoours indicator. It is claimed to be 600meter Diver watch. Has anyone tryied this one one yet?
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:02 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Micro- brands...love them or leave them?

I like this micro. Kind of unique




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Old 05-06-2012, 12:08 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Micro- brands...love them or leave them?

Most of us will never ever go 1000m below sea level so I'm wondering if paying a premium for a watch (including maintenance) that has a proven 1000m depth rating without really going down to that depth will ever justify the purchase...with the exception of the professional deep sea diver of course. Nevertheless, I'd probably consider the Helson skindiver one day as I am a fan of the Fifty Fathoms.
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:12 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Micro- brands...love them or leave them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LES2900
Speaking aboout "other" brands than Seiko/Citizen.... I was looking for some time at the Tauchmeister T95

[img]

It has a Myiota movement with a retrograde GMT or 24 hoours indicator. It is claimed to be 600meter Diver watch. Has anyone tryied this one one yet?
Les

Yes I have owned 2 in the past very well made and one of the watches had a ETA 2824 movement onboard and kept time to around 6 seconds per day, very impressed they are still available with ETA movements but you need to look hard.

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Old 12-04-2012, 09:51 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Micro- brands...love them or leave them?

All these brands seem so similar. Are they all Fricker cases with slighly different dials? Jay
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:52 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Micro- brands...love them or leave them?

It piqued( ) my interest too.
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