After showing you some highly interesting vintage timepieces from Heuer and some rare vintage chronographs from Airain or Universal Genève, we wanted to move on to our favorite subject: independent watchmakers. Those type of watches are always made in very limited editions and finding pre-owned ones is complicated. Here are three rare birds that you might like as much as we do.
A classical Speake-Marin J-Class Resilience
Peter (Speake-Marin) is a very good friend of Monochrome-Watches. We’ve always thoroughly enjoyed his work. He has now moved on to building some very nice, more affordable, pilot watches (the Wing Commander, the Seafire Chronograph and the Spirit MkII) but he also has his classical line, the J-Class, represented by dress watches, with in-house calibers and even a tourbillon.
The one presented here is a Resilience, the classical three-hands (in blued steel) with central second and a superb white enamel dial. It features the Eros-2 movement that you can see from the sapphire caseback. It has 5 days of power reserve and the signature Speake-Marin blue rotor, inspired by the ‘topping tool’ (emblem of the brand). It is available in two sizes: 42mm and, like the one for sale here, 38mm. The case is made of stainless steel and features the iconic Piccadilly design. This is one very interesting dress watch that comes with some extra eccentricity, compare to a classical Girard Perregaux 1966 or a Rolex Cellini. It is for sale at Horloge Platform Nederland for 6.490 EUR here. A very good opportunity to enter the world of indie watchmakers for a reasonable price.
An ultra-cool and extreme URWERK UR-202 ALTiN
URWERK is clearly one of the most extreme brand: no compromise (at least until the introduction of the UR-105), complicated movement and unusual displays are part of the DNA. The UR-202 is somehow the quintessence of Frei and Baumgartner’s work, with its satellite complication, its complex case and crystal and the ‘winding selector’. Depending upon your activity preferences, you can choose the way the rotor will rotate, from fast to slow or even disengaged (if you want to play tennis or golf with your URWERK).
We showed you a few month ago a very special example of this watch, the UR-202 White Shark, and explained all about its technical aspects. The one for sale here is a non-limited edition that comes with an ALTiN coated titanium case (that gives a soft and matte finish to the case) with yellow accents. It has the revolving satellite complication with wandering hours and telescopic minutes hands, a day/night indicator and a moon phase indicator. On the back side, you’ll find the ‘control board’ with the winding selector and the turbines that help to stop or slow the rotor. If you are interested in having one of URWERK’s ‘machines’, go to see Romain Rea in Paris and take a look at it (another URWERK is also for sale, a UR103 Tarantula).
An affordable Habring2 Time Date
Habring is a small company that makes very nice, simple watches. Using some modified ETA movements, it offers the opportunity to enter the world of independent watchmakers, with exclusive movements, for a reasonable price. We reviewed a few weeks ago the most complicated watch of the collection, the Doppel 3, a manual chronograph with split second function and a movement based on a ETA 7750 (however a highly modified one).
The collections is also offering some simple watches, such as this Time and Date. It comes with a small second at 9 and a date at 3. The movement is a ETA 7750 without the chronograph and the automatic function. From the sapphire case back, you can see the distinctive bridges, engraved with the name ‘Habring2’.
This watch is a very good opportunity to own something different, far away from mainstream brands, with unique features and nice distinctive details. You can buy it for ‘only’ 1.750 EUR on Chrono24.