Micro-Brand Digest: Divers, Chronographs, & Squares

Welcome to the Worn & Wound Micro-Brand Digest, a semi-monthly roundup of all the new micro-brand news we’re following, from concepts that show promise, to kickstarter launches to restocks, and everything in between. Small independents, and affordable micro-brands spurred the creation of Worn & Wound over 10 years ago, and they still drive our enthusiasm in a big way. 

Here’s what’s caught our eye this month.

If you’ve come across a project you think qualifies, hit us up at [email protected] for inclusion.

Trafford Crossroads

Trafford Watch Co. is taking a different direction for their sophomore release, called the Crossroads, which boasts an elegant square case and betrays a keen eye for the details. The Crossroads feels a bit like a breath of fresh air, in taking a shape that can be tricky to nail, Trafford gets a hit thanks to their balance of color, finishing, and price. Syringe hands read the time against beautiful modern numerals atop a sunray textured dial that will be available in multiple colors called Bluebonnet, Cabernet, Mockingbird, and Agave. 

Buyers will have the option to choose between automatic (Myota 9039) or quartz (Seiko VH31) movements priced from $699, and $399 respectively. The Crossroads shows a serious step in maturity from this young brand, and makes them a clear mark to pay attention to moving ahead. More from Trafford Watch Co.

Duckworth Prestex Belmont

Duckworth Prestex (a Windup Watch Fair alum) is bringing their distinctive aesthetic to a new dive watch collection called the Belmont. The Belmont gets a squared cushion case that measures 42mm in diameter and offers a stout 300m depth rating. The dial, which receives a wave pattern in etching, uses circular hour markers and Arabic numerals at the cardinal positions. A Myota 9039 beats away within, and keeps the price south of $900. 

Overall, this is an unusual dive watch that still makes good use of the genre hallmarks, making it a welcome execution that stands on its own. The Belmont will be available this November in three different colorways, including green, blue, and orange, each priced at $991. More from Duckworth Prestex.

Angles Chain of Time

The team at Angles describe themselves as a new high end watch brand creating watches with complications that tell time in unique ways. A quick look through their catalog reveals a certain avant-garde flair, with designs that incorporate unusual time telling layouts through the use of heavily modified movements. For example, their Three Kings watch takes a simple Miyota movement and adds a wandering hours complication. We’re pretty big fans of this type of creativity, and love it when brands squeeze every bit of functionality out of a stock movement to create something unique and special. The new watch from Angles is perhaps their most interesting yet. 

The Chain of Time has an oval shape and features what Angles calls their “Micro Chain Drive” complication. Essentially, it’s a 24 hour display with an hour hand mounted to a chain that rotates around the dial once per day. Minutes are read via a hand mounted in a subdial at 6:00. The movement is a Sellita SW220 that has been modified to accommodate this unusual display. Angles is making a total of 100 Chain of Time watches across five color variants, and they’re available now for $2,990. More at the Angles website right here.

Redwood Tactical V2

Redwood has been around since 2015 and they’ve gone through several successful rounds of Kickstarter funding to create a handful of watches with what they describe as “heritage inspired design.” Their latest creation, the Tactical V2 Diver’s Watch, looks like it could have been pulled off the wrist of a military diver in the 1960s. With spare dials dominated by oversized Arabic numerals at the cardinal positions and an extra wide bezel, these divers have a ton of vintage charm. The design owes a lot to the legendary Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. According to Redwood, they were inspired by the earliest divers made for underwater commandos. 

The 40mm stainless steel Tactical V2 is available with or without a black PVD coating, and comes in black, white, and drab green dial variations. Redwood gives customers the choice between solar quartz and Miyota automatic movements, and for the quartz version the specs feel particularly impressive. At $189, you get a diver rated to 200 meters of water resistance that measures just 11.2mm tall (add 1mm and $80 for the automatic version). That’s a whole lot of character for the money. Check out the full lineup on Redwood’s website right here.


Smiths PRS-40 Chronograph

The PRS-40 was, and still is, a visually striking watch that is very much outside the norm from the more traditional designs we’re used to seeing from the Smiths watch brand. The distinct case design was the brainchild of Giovanni Moro, before he went on to co-found the Italian based watch brand, Unimatic. The minimal dial combined with an angular case that houses a twelve o’clock crown made the PRS-40 a polarizing watch amongst watch enthusiasts. That said, the original PRS-40 has long been sold out, but the Smiths brand recently announced a pair of new additions to the PRS-40 range with two new chronographs. 

The PRS-40 chronograph sports a dial with more scenery, and in my opinion more character with the addition of subdials as opposed to the minimal dial design of the original PRS-40. The Unicorn case (if the term sticks, I’ll take the credit) is now transformed into a Bullhead style with the chronograph pushers located on each side of the crown. The way the pushers are shaped with the top of the buttons angling with the case, they stay under the radar. So much so that I didn’t even notice the buttons at first glance. There are two options: a two-dial and a three-dial variation with the latter already sold out since its August 14th release. The two-dial model is set to release on September 4th. Now I’m normally not a chronograph guy, but the PRS-40 chronograph adds to the Moro design and gives a distinct take on the stop-watch feature. I just might be one of many in the Time Factors queue next month.

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