Unbiased watchmaking has all the time performed an necessary function in MONOCHROME’s content material. Whereas we have a look at your complete spectre of the (largely mechanical) watchmaking business, we all the time had a bent to like what inventive and indie watchmakers produce. Unique, totally different, advanced and soulful, it’s certainly one of our most necessary matters. So, when the editorial workforce needed to agree on what had been the very best watches offered by impartial watchmakers in 2021, consider me, it hasn’t been straightforward. However, right here we’re, after fairly some discussions, with our favorite watches of 2021 from the indie scene.
Editor’s observe: this checklist displays the preferences of MONCHROME’s editorial workforce and outcomes from an inner vote. This checklist is, after all, non-exhaustive and stays subjective. If there are different watches by impartial watchmakers launched in 2021 that made an impression on you, be happy to share your ideas with us within the remark part.
Bernhard Lederer Central Impulse Chronometer
To cite one of many feedback relating to this watch, one of many “most spectacular casebacks within the enterprise.” And, to be sincere, we received’t even attempt to argue with that… Merely have a look at the motion aspect of this Bernhard Lederer Central Impulse Chronometer and also you’ll perceive. Intricate, architectural, ultra-detailed, but in addition extremely advanced, with a mixture of two barrels, two impartial gear trains, two remontoires, two escape wheels and a central impulse escapement. Now in its closing type, Lederer’s watch additionally turns into visually extremely engaging, and whereas sustaining a sure toned-down look dial aspect, the motion stays a real piece of mechanical artwork. We may go on for hours about this watch and its motion, however you may learn all the small print in our in-depth article right here. The Central Impulse Chronometer deserves a spot of alternative on this checklist.
Fast info: 44mm 18k white gold case – guilloché dial with two circles interlocked in a figure-eight – calibre 9012, in-house, hand-wound, 42-hour energy reserve – two barrels, two impartial gear trains, two remontoirs d’égalité, central impulse escapement – restricted editions of 25 items per color (silver and blue) – CHF 128,000
Czapek Antarctitique Rattrapante
Czapek has grow to be in just a few years certainly one of THE impartial watchmakers to observe. Not solely the idea behind the model was correctly fascinating, however the creations to return out of this manufacture are, definitely, greater than notable. The most recent watch to floor is combining many engaging options. First, it’s primarily based on the Antarctique, the model’s (excellent) imaginative and prescient of a luxurious sports activities watch with built-in bracelet. Second, it inaugurates a completely new motion developed with Chronode, an automated split-seconds chronograph (usually thought to be the head of chronograph know-how), and a motion that has been developed upside-down, with all of the chronograph elements – gears, levers, column-wheels, rattrapante clamps – completely seen by way of the opened dial. So, sure, the Czapek Antarctitique Rattrapante is without doubt one of the most tasty watches of its variety in 2021. Extra particulars in our hands-on article right here.
Fast info: 42.5mm metal case – sapphire crystal glass-box – waterproof to 120m – openworked dial with blued sword hour and minute palms – proprietary calibre SXH6 (made in partnership with Chronode), automated split-seconds chronograph, 4Hz, 60h energy reserve – built-in chrome steel bracelet – restricted version of 77 items – CHF 46,000
De Bethune DB Type of Two Tourbillon
De Bethune is the brainchild of one of the vital prolific watchmakers of his time, Denis Flageollet – a person usually thought-about as a genius, with all the pieces it implies. We’ve seen a number of new DB watches launched this 12 months however probably the most spectacular one is, definitely, this “Janus” watch, the “Harvey Two-Face” of horology, the DB Type of Two Tourbillon. A watch that mixes previous and future, it’s outfitted with a reversible case exhibiting an ultra-classic aspect and, turning it round, a extremely fashionable and technical face. The up to date aspect reveals many of the motion, with its quick 30-second tourbillon with all of DB’s know-how and patents, and the model’s typical high-end ornament. An outstanding demonstration of all of the savoir-faire of Flageollet and his workforce. Extra particulars to find in our article right here.
Fast info: 42.8mm grade 5 titanium reversible case with floating lugs – two dials, one fashionable with blued titanium hour markers and palms, and 30-second tourbillon; one basic in silver with guilloche sample, blued titanium palms – calibre DB2579, in-house, hand-wound, 5-day energy reserve, ultra-light De Bethune 30″ tourbillon in titanium, De Bethune stability spring and titanium stability wheel – CHF 215,000 (excl. tax)
Garrick S4 Mannequin
Being produced by small groups, in small portions, watches by impartial watchmakers are sometimes fairly costly (to say the least). However, wanting a bit deeper, you may as well discover good-looking watches with soul and a spotlight to element for a similar value as a Rolex. Nothing incorrect with the latter, however let’s agree that these are fairly generic. Garrick, one of the vital lively watchmakers from Nice Britain, has just lately offered the S4, a typical British watch with a extremely upgraded Unitas motion (there’s not a lot left of it…) completed with hand-engraved elements, frosted surfaces and a really private design. The watch itself can also be extremely engaging, particularly probably the most accessible of all types, the current frosted dial with utilized chapter ring. Virtually all of the elements are executed within the UK, by hand, with satisfaction. And the consequence, at simply shy of 5K kilos, could be very rewarding. Extra particulars in our article right here.
Fast info: 42mm metal case – multi-level dial with frosted central half, utilized chapter ring brushed with ink-filled numerals, hand-turned guilloché small seconds, heat-blued palms – calibre BF03, extremely modified ETA 6498 hand-wound motion, hand-crafted three-quarter plate and hand-engraved barrel and crown wheel cowl, 50h energy reserve – non-limited version, customizable – from GBP 4,995 in metal with frosted dial
Moritz Grossmann Tremblage
If the identify Moritz Grossmann is without doubt one of the most necessary within the historical past of German watchmaking, the model to bear this identify is reasonably younger. However the watch to return out of this small atelier of Glashütte are pleasant, particularly the model’s newest creation, the Tremblage. Based mostly on the basic Benu watch, Grossmann right here delivers a dial with a singular texture named “tremblage.” Achieved by hand, it consists of making use of minuscule indentations on a metallic floor, leading to a tremendous, detailed texture – that right here embellished a German silver dial with numerals, tracks and logos engraved in aid. Intricate but discreet, and largely stuffed with allure, this new watch can also be equally engaging on the motion aspect, with its superbly embellished in-house motion with hand-engraved captions and frosted surfaces. Extra particulars in our introducing article right here.
Fast info: 41mm metal case – German silver dial, hand-engraved with tremblage approach, Arabic numerals, tracks and logos engraved in aid, hand-made and hand-polished blued metal palms – calibre 100.1, in-house, hand-wound, hand-finished bevels, engraved floral decorations, polished chatons and frosted floor – 42h energy reserve, handbook winder with pusher system – out there from the model’s on-line boutique – EUR 31,000 (excl. taxes) in metal
Urwerk UR-100 Full Titanium Jacket
The great thing about impartial watchmaking lies in how various the scene is. Transferring from the ultra-classic Grossmann to this sci-fi Urwerk is an ideal demonstration of this range. The most recent creation of Frei and Baumgartner is called the Full Titanium Jacket, and is predicated on the UR-100 assortment. However what’s most notable is the coherent, monochromatic look that has lengthy been a part of the model, already with the UR-210 Full Metallic Jacket. And sure, it’s a watch that we all the time cherished at MONO and we’re actually glad to see it again! The remainder of the watch is all the pieces the model stands for; a show primarily based on hours with rotating satellites and retrograde minutes, mixed with spacetime indications with distance travelled on Earth’s equator in 20 minutes, distance Earth travels across the Solar in 20 minutes… Extra particulars about this watch to find in our article right here.
Fast info: 41mm width x 49.7mm size sandblasted titanium case – monochromatic dial and show with hours with rotating satellites, retrograde minutes, spacetime indications with distance travelled on Earth’s equator in 20 minutes, distance Earth travels across the Solar in 20 minutes – calibre UR 12.02, automated winding system regulated by Urwerk’s proprietary Windfänger system – restricted to 25 items – CHF 55,000