After Kors smashed the industry a few years ago with its oversized gold “boyfriend watch” and retailers rode the the trend from peak to trough, the watch industry has been hard-pressed to find the next big thing. Designer brands have been investing in tech, and indeed Fossil added 300 wearables to its mix this year, but many consumers are opting to get their smartwatches from experts like Apple or Samsung. Minimalism is a rising trend, and many consumers are turning to cool indie brands for their dose of sleek, architectural style. Here, a sampling of some brands on our radar.
Like to tinker? Tinker watches offer that sleek, architectural feel, with the added bonus of a modular element. Created by a team of mechanical engineers and 3D printed during the design process, Tinker lets consumers build their own watch online by choosing the components. The watches retail for $150, and the straps individually retail for $45, but consumers may buy a second strap with the watch for a bundled price of $185. Tinkerwatches.com
Based in, you guessed it, Lilienthal Berlin is a new watch with an award-winning design (Green Product Award 2017, iF World Design). It’s a nod to the Berlin lifestyle, featuring ‘Made in Germany’ quality, and consumers can pick the dial case and strap options online and easily change them at home. All leathers are plant tanned. Retail, $229. lilienthal-berlin.com
Writers like us geek out about fonts and typography, so we’re thrilled to discover the new Mondaine Helvetica series, designed by renowned Typographer and Information Architect, Erik Spiekermann. Featuring Erik’s signature on the case back, with red as its subtle signature color, the watch is sleek and clean, with a nod to typeface. Available in Light, Regular and Bold, all models feature a Swiss quartz movement and scratch resistant sapphire crystal. Mondaine-USA.com
A new brand, Bradford Watch Company was founded on simplicity, excellence, and durability with the belief that “everyone has a story and that your wristwatch is a stylish companion and a true testament to time well spent.” Watches are $149. bradfordwatchco.com
Not a new brand at all (in fact, it’s one of America’s oldest watchmakers, launched in 1892, and has the Mickey Mouse license), but Ingersoll is readying for its comeback, relaunched by parent company Zeon and headed up by Charlie Kriete, former president of Geneva Watch Company. The watches celebrate craftsmanship, with automatic dials, thick cases and rich, heritage leathers. The brand shows everything from retro styles to open skeletons that reveal the intricacies of old-school timekeeping. Ingersoll1892.com
And what’s a watch roundup without an anniversary watch? The Timex Easy Reader is celebrating its 40th year, keeping us all from squinting and saving us all money on fine lines eye cream! If the basic one above is too… basic…there’s the Indiglo light-up style, complete with 40 emblazoned on the dial. Retail, $69. Timex.com