Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches
Buying Guide

Six Recently Uncovered Independent Watchmaking Brands You Might Not Have Heared Of (Yet)

Our love for independent watchmaking materialised by these six breakout artisans.

| By Robin Nooy | 7 min read |

For regular readers, it’s no real surprise that we have a deep-rooted passion for indie watchmaking; in fact, it is the very reason for our existence. Although we tend to cover much more than high-end artisanal watchmaking, independent watchmaking forms part of our core. Uncovering new brands and projects from all corners of the globe genuinely gets our hearts racing and the juices flowing. For that simple fact, plus the notion that creativity finds a way to materialise in never-seen-before watches, we take a closer look at six newly founded independent brands ranging from intricate Métiers d’Art expressions to a do-it-yourself table clock – and everything in between!

Fleming Watches Series One Launch Edition

The story of Fleming Watches is an example of a collector pursuing the dream of creating his own brand. American Thomas Fleming brought together several renowned industry partners and created the Fleming Series One. This alluring dress watch comes with a few surprising details, such as openworked horn-shaped lugs. The 38.5mm wide by 9mm thin case can be had in gold or platinum, but also tantalum, a rather heavy metal with a darker greyish shine. The dials are classical by design but come in a variety of different materials and finishes, such as guilloché decorations or aventurine. Turning it over reveals yet more splendour with the hand-wound FM-01 movement developed with Chronode (Jean-François Mojon). Production is very limited, and prices start at CHF 45,500.

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For more information, please visit Fleming.Watch.

Quick Facts -38.5mm x 9mm – platinum, pink gold or tantalum case, brushed & polished – sapphire crystal front & back – handmade multi-piece dial with frosting, guilloché, hammering or aventurine – applied numerals and hands, polished – small seconds subdial – calibre FM-01, manufactured with Jean-François Mohon (Chronode) – 21,600vph – 168h power reserve – movement-side power reserve display – alligator leather strap – 25 pieces in tantalum, 7 pieces in gold or platinum – CHF 45,500 (tantalum) – CHF 48,500 (pink gold) – CHF 51,500 (platinum)

ALTO Watches ART 01

Something very different, in looks at least, is the ALTO Watches ART 01. This unconventionally shaped watch finds its inspiration in the 1970s, and it shows! The 41mm wide wedge-like grade 5 titanium case is refreshing, and the design continues with faceted sapphire crystals on both the front and the back. Its dial is constructed from seven elements and finished in matte bead-blasted black lacquer with faceted hands indicating the time. But it has a quirky little twist, as the central seconds hand rotates counter-clockwise! This is done with an automatic micro-rotor calibre designed by Barth Nussbaumer and developed by movement specialist Cercle des Horlogers. The inaugural run of 25 pieces comes on a black FKM rubber strap and retails for EUR 19,000.

For more information, please visit

Quick Facts – 41mm width – wedge-shaped grade 5 titanium case, hand satin-finished – faceted sapphire crystal front & back – 40m water-resistant – matte bead-blasted dial – faceted hands with Super-LumiNova – A01 calibre, developed with Cercle des Horlogers – micro-rotor automatic – 28,800vph – 48h power reserve – counter-clockwise seconds hand – FKM rubber strap – limited to 25 numbered pieces – EUR 19,000

Renaud Tixier Monday

The Monday watch is the result of two generations of watchmakers teaming up: Dominique Renaud (of Renaud & Papi fame) and Julien Tixier. The duo has joined forces to form Renaud Tixier, and the first watch is quite something! Reengineering the concept of the micro-rotor to fit a spring-loaded mechanism to kickstart it when empty is just part of it. This is designed to combat the lower winding efficiency of micro-rotors. Fitted into a highly impressive movement visible from the back and partially from the front, the Monday comes in rose or white gold cases with grey dials. Worn on a calfskin or alligator leather strap, the first client-ready watches are expected to be delivered towards the end of the year. The price for the Renaud Tixier Monday is set at CHF 79,000 (excl. VAT).

For more information, please visit

Quick Facts – 40.8mm x 11mm – 18k rose gold or white gold case – sapphire crystal front & back – 30m water-resistance – slate or metallic grey dial, sunburst finish – calibre RVI2023 – micro-rotor automatic – spring-loaded ‘Dancer’ micro-rotor winding mechanism – 18,000vph – 60+ hour power reserve – 315 components – hand-stitched calfskin or alligator leather strap – gold pin buckle – first delivery expected late 2024 – CHF 79,000 (excl. taxes)

Guebly Chapitre 1

Guebly is the watchmaking adventure of collector turned entrepreneur Adnane Kerd, and its debut piece is the Chapitre 1. This first chapter, which is what it means in French, has an angular grade 5 titanium case of 42mm in diameter and 10.56mm in height. The contemporary design sports a sunray-brushed dial with central hour and minute hands and a retrograde 30-second display. The Calibre 2131 that powers it is an extensively modified version of Olivier Mory’s micro-rotor automatic. The finishing is far beyond what we’ve seen before for this movement, though! Worn on a grained calfskin strap, this 100-piece limited production run comes with a price tag of CHF 38,900.

For more information, please visit

Quick Facts – 42mm x 10.56mm – grade 5 titanium case, satin-finished – sapphire crystal front & back – 100m water-resistant – blue sunray-brushed dial – retrograde 30-second display – calibre 2131 (base architecture by Olivier Mory) – micro-rotor automatic – 215 parts – 28,800vph – 70h power reserve – COSC certified – rubber-lined grained calfskin strap with titanium & velcro buckle – production limited to 100 pieces, at 15 pieces per year max – CHF 38,900

Maison Alcée Percée

An independent watchmaker of a very different kind is Maison Alcée, founded by Alcée Montfort and her husband, Benoît. Instead of a watch, they have decided to build a clock, or rather a clock kit you can build yourself! It has a height of 160mm and a diameter of 100mm and can be built in a horizontal or vertical orientation. Buying one of these kits, which includes optional upgrades like a chiming mechanism (a EUR 1,400 premium), gives you a genuinely immersive watchmaking experience. Maison Alcée supplies everything you need, including all the components, tools and very detailed instructions. Prices start at EUR 5,500, and several finishes are available for the frame and parts. Go on, try it; I know for a fact you will not regret it!

For more information, please visit

Quick Facts – 160mm height x 100mm diameter – stainless steel frame – soft pink or blue details, or black PVD-coated frame with gold details – roll-stops for horizontal configuration – 900 grams – open dial with central hour and minute hands – optional chiming hour mechanism with silent mode – 18,000vph – 14-day power reserve – delivered as a complete DIY kit with tools and instructions – prices starting at EUR 5,500, chiming mechanism available for a premium of EUR 1,400

Taos Watches

We start things off with Taos watches, a unique brand offering a mix of extremely delicate Métiers d’Art dials and high-level watchmaking. Taos is a combination of watchmaker Olivier Gaud and Atelier Olivier Vaucher (not to be mistaken for the movement maker!). Atelier Olivier Vaucher is a prominent and highly capable artistic dial maker and decorator. Each dial of the first series of seven watches is truly unique, ranging from miniature hand-painting, enamelling, engraving and more. All come in a 38mm wide by 10mm case made of pink or white gold, with or without diamonds. The automatic calibre VOP318 is made by Telos but intricately finished in-house. Prices start at CHF 110,000 for the Ondes, with a finely engraved multi-layer white mother-of-pearl dial echoing the engraving on the movement.

For more information, please visit

Quick facts – 38mm x 10mm – white or pink gold case, brushed & polished – sapphire crystal front & back – unique Métiers d’Art dials, handmade by Atelier Olivier Vaucher – leaf-shaped hour & minute hands – calibre VOP138, made by Telos – hand-engraved by Atelier Olivier Vaucher – automatic winding – 28,800vph – 72h power reserve – custom leather strap for each version – series of 7 unique pieces – prices ranging from CHF 110,000 to CHF 150,000

2 responses

  1. Nice craftsmanship with some innovative design but very expensive.

  2. Nice watches, beautiful movements, but not accessible for the 99.99% of us, in that site…

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