Your Favorite Independent Watch Brands, in Their Own Words

The creators and designers of today's most influential (and obscure) microbrands tell their stories.

indie watch maker interviews
Courtesy

Some of our favorite watchmakers are little more than one-man operations. Others might be a small team, but what they have in common is that many have built companies from scratch around their unique visions. They have freedom to think outside the box and make their ideas real, and their influence on the watch industry is more significant than many perhaps realize.

Independent watchmakers, startups, microbrands or whatever you'd like to call them have proliferated over the last decade. The convenience of sourcing parts and labor as well as the chance to connect directly with watch enthusiasts thanks to the internet has created new opportunities for ambitious entrepreneurs. Part of what characterizes many of these brands is their ability to avoid many costs that bigger, older brands often face and offer previously unheard-of values.

These indie brands are far from uniform, however: they range from one-man shops that make their own parts like Schon or Pelton to bigger/older companies with their own movements like Yema and Damasko. The people behind these companies have often incredible stories and insight.

Below, you can hear directly from the creators and designers at these brands. Whether you're interested in understanding your favorite watchmaker's background or getting some entrepreneurial wisdom, they're all inspirational and well worth a read.

Schon Horology's Ian Schon

schon machining
Schon Horology

We interview Ian Schon about what it means to maintain an artistic vision while single-handedly running a complex pen and watch manufacturing business.

LEARN MORE

Yema's Christopher Bôle

yema interview
Yema

French watchmaker Yema's Managing Director discusses growing up with horology, in-house movements and more.

LEARN MORE

Pelton's Deni Mesanovic

how one man designs and sells watches gear patrol lead full
PELTON USA

Deni Mesanovic studied audio engineering, but his widespread interests lead to his designing watches, sunglasses, microphones and more.

LEARN MORE

Eone's Hyungsoo Kim

this watch is made for the blind gear patrol lead full v2
Zen Love

Creator of a unique watch for the blind, Eone CEO Hyungsoo Kim discusses designing products for the disabled and how he built his company.

LEARN MORE

Damasko's Konrad Damasko

damasko watches
Damasko

The founder of Damasko Watches discusses his approach to engineering, design and what makes a solid German tool watch.

LEARN MORE

Monta's Justin Kraudel

monta watches profile gear patrol founders
Courtesy

We sat down with Justin Kraudel (right) to discuss Monta, the state of American watchmaking, and what’s next for the brand.

LEARN MORE

MkII's Bill Yao

mkii watches profile gear patrol ambiance 2
Courtesy

Mk. II makes modern versions of classic military watches long since unavailable.

LEARN MORE

Unimatic's Giovanni Moro

minimalist italian watch company unimatic gear patrol lead full
UNIMATIC

Unimatic co-founder Giovanni Moro discusses his brand’s design philosophy, minimalism, and a certain pineapple-dwelling sea creature.

LEARN MORE

Autodromo's Bradley Price

autodromo gear patrol lead full
Andrew Connor

How a passion for cars fuels a beloved watch brand.

LEARN MORE

Brew Watches’ Jonathan Ferrer

5 questions with brew watchess jonathan ferrer gear patrol lead full
Courtesy

We sat down with Jonathan Ferrer to discuss his roots, his design influences and why making an affordable watch is important.

LEARN MORE

Ikepod's Emmanuel Gueit

ikepod watch interview gear patrol lead full
Courtesy

Watch designer Emmanuel Gueit discusses his plans for the Ikepod watch revival.

LEARN MORE

Halios' Jason Lim

jason lim halios interview gear patrol inline 2
Courtesy

We speak to the founder of Halios about his love of watches and why he isn’t necessarily trying to revolutionize timekeeping.

LEARN MORE

Orion's Nick Harris

interview with nick harris gear patrol lead full
Courtesy

We speak with Nick Harris about his origins as a watchmaker, the state of his company, Orion, and taking on the big boy boutique brands.

LEARN MORE

Oak & Oscar's Chase Fancher

oak and oscar watches gear patrol ambience2 slide 1
Courtesy

Chicago-based Oak & Oscar is constantly innovating, delivering some of the finest watches to come from the microbrand movement.

LEARN MORE

Nodus' Wesley Kwok and Cullen Chen

nodus watches profile gear patrol lead full
Courtesy

We sit down with Nodus Watches you two co-founders to get the inside scoop on their affordable wares.

LEARN MORE

Lorier's Lauren and Lorenzo Ortega

lorier watch profile gear patrol lead full
Courtesy

Lauren and Lorenzo Ortega’s Lorier Watches is crafting some of the best values in mechanical tool watches in the U.S.

LEARN MORE

Bravur's Magnus Äppelryd

bravur watches interview gear patrol ambiance
Bravur

Swedish microbrand Bravur Watches’ co-founder Magnus Äppelryd talks about his design background, how Scandinavian design affects his watches, and more.

LEARN MORE

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Interviews