Alternative Watch Brands – Cool watches that you might not have considered before
While it may be easy to go for the mainstream brands because they are what everyone knows, sometimes, we want something a little off-beat, and more in tune with our unique personalities. However, one needn’t expect a large price-tag to acquire something different, as there are quite a few affordable options when it comes to alternative watch brands that merit consideration. Here's an introduction to a couple of notable independent watch brands that one might consider for something that is unique and yet reliable enough for everyday wear.
Tutima is a German brand from the fabled watchmaking town of Glashütte. While Tutima is known for making practical, tough and good-looking sports watches, they have among their collection, a few watches that are slightly more elegant in design.
Case in point, the new Sky collection, with the vintage inspired Sky Automatic that comes in a range of three dial colours - blue, green, red/maroon - and offered on a Milanese bracelet. The design is meant to evoke the spirit of the 70’s but reinterpreted in a modern way, with a large, but not too large, 41mm case that ensures good wrist presence, and a decent 10 ATM water resistance that makes it a watch that you can wear for work and play.
Like the design but want something a touch sporty instead? How about a different variation of the same watch, but this time, coming with a fancy green dial inspired by pilot’s watches from the 1940’s and mounted on an oyster style bracelet? The aesthetics of this Tutima Sky are more masculine, but this is counterbalanced by an elegant dial that transitions from deep to midnight green from the centre to the edge.
Of course, if you’re more inclined to pure performance, you can look at a watch that represents what Tutima does best. The M2 Seven Seas might be a large 45mm sized diving watch, but it is made in full titanium for easy wearability due to the lightness of the material. With its 500 metre water resistance and robust build, this is a watch that can easily handle whatever life throws at you.
On the topic of sporty watches, another brand that merits attention is Unimatic. This is a brand that offers vintage military style watches that are made to the highest modern standards, yet offered at an affordable price point. The watches are distinguished by their design, which strips away the extraneous, leaving behind only the essentials for ease of use and performance.
The result is a range of three base models in the brand’s portfolio that are extremely good looking, essentially taking the prototypical elements of the genre it comes from.
Each of three models offered by Unimatic comes in a range of colours that vary in their dial, case treatments and straps, meaning that there is one for every taste. However these watches tend to sell out fast due to the limited edition nature of each variation, so it's worth snagging one quickly if a particular model appeals to you.
The models offered are easy enough to remember. The Modello Uno, or U1, is the brand’s most popular model, a classically styled diving watch with a unidirectional rotating bezel that offers 300m water resistance. The Modello Duo, or U2, is the brand’s take on a military field watch, and it is offered with a unique cushion shaped case design that looks a little quirky, yet can definitely take a beating. Lastly, the Modello Tre, or U3, which is a chronograph that comes with the Seiko VK64 Mecha-quartz movement, which while not mechanical, makes the overall package more affordable and reliable.
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