Hello everyone, and welcome back to another Singaporean article! On this shiok Saturday, I’ll be showing you guys my personal collection of microbrand watches.
I previously did a Youtube video on my personal watch collection for 2020, which has since gotten over 6000 views. As such, I thought – why not do an article/video on my personal microbrand watch collection as well?
Without further ado, the following are 15 of my favourite microbrand watches that I’ve reviewed over the years, and are still in my collection.
Microbrand Watch Collection – Video
For those interested in seeing some hands-on footage of the microbrand watches in my collection, do check out my Youtube video below!
1) Maison Celadon Yue Fei
Perhaps the most unique dive watch that I’ve reviewed to date, the Maison Celadon Yue Fei is my go-to desk diver.
Why I like it: The Yue Fei is eminently unique. I love the angular nature of its case – it’s really quite unlike anything else. I appreciate the sunburst grey dial too, which has a subtle fume texture to it. The indices are also polished and faceted, while the spear-shaped seconds hand is striking. Simply put, in a segment where all dive watches are starting to look the same, the Yue Fei stands out.
Review: I reviewed the Maison Celadon Yue Fei here.
Where to buy: Maison Celadon’s web-store here.
2) Arcturus Lion City 1
If I had to choose one microbrand watch in my collection to keep forever, it would be the Arcturus LC1.
Why I like it: When I first reviewed the Arcturus LC1, Wah So Shiok was still in its infancy and I was just starting out in my reviewing journey. Even though I’ve reviewed over 100 watches since, none have made a more poignant first impression than the Arcturus LC1. I couldn’t believe that it was a three-figure watch – it looks like something that should cost in the thousands. Its heavily art-deco design was stunning, and I remember feeling proud that this was a Singaporean-design watch. In my microbrand watch collection, this is one that I probably wear the most often.
Review: I reviewed the Arcturus LC1 here.
Where to buy: Unfortunately, the LC1 is long sold out and will never be reproduced. Those interested can try the secondary market (I think some are listed on Carousell).
3) Humism Daesin
The Humism Daesin is a conversation starter on the wrist with its kinetic art design.
Why I like it: The Daesin is ingenious. I remember first seeing the kinetic art dial in action – my jaw dropped, and I was floored by it. It literally feels like art on the wrist. Although not the most legible of watches, it wows with its unique time-telling display. I love wearing this out to meet my non-watch friends – even those who don’t wear a watch are at the very least intrigued by it. It’s also very affordable, despite the number of design iterations that must have undoubtedly been poured into the watch. To me, the Humism Daesin represents the best of microbrand watchmaking – innovative designs, at an accessible price point.
Review: I reviewed the Humism Daesin here.
Where to buy: Humism’s web-store here.
4) UNDONE Urban Vintage
Out of all the microbrand pieces that I have, the UNDONE Urban Vintage is probably the one with the most sentimental value.
Why I like it: Although I have reviewed several watches from UNDONE to date, the Urban Vintage was one of the first. I remember agonizing over every customisation option – should I opt for a silver or gold case, and what colour should the chronograph hand be? Ultimately, I ended up with a watch that I really felt like I had a hand in designing. I even went the distance to have a quote from Invictus engraved at the back – it reads “Master of my fate, Captain of my soul”. On days where I feel a little lost, I pick up this watch and remind myself that I’m in control of my own destiny.
Review: I reviewed the UNDONE Urban Vintage here.
Where to buy: UNDONE’s web-store here. As UNDONE is an official affiliate of Wah So Shiok, readers can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off most watches from UNDONE!
5) Aries Gold Jolter
Before I interacted with the Jolter, I thought of Aries Gold as a mere fashion watch brand. It was the Jolter that made me change my opinion on the brand, and recognize that Aries Gold is a serious watchmaker that offers great bang-for-buck timepieces.
Why I like it: I absolutely love the Aries Gold Jolter. I remember being floored when it was first presented to me – I genuinely had no idea that Aries Gold even had such intricate designs until then. I find the skeletonised look of the Jolter to be well-executed, with the big date at 12 o’clock being the icing on the cake. The best part? It’s only ~S$190. A skeletonised, big date, chronograph watch with sapphire crystal for less than S$200? It’s probably the best value proposition in my microbrand watch box. As the brand offers text engravings, I chose to have the words “never quit” inscribed at the back. Just like the racing inspiration of the Jolter, I pick out this watch when I need some added motivation to persevere and never stop. And although I’ve reviewed multiple Aries Gold watches since then, the Jolter is still my favourite.
Review: I reviewed the Aries Gold Jolter here.
Where to buy: Aries Gold’s web-store here. As Aries Gold is an official affiliate of Wah So Shiok, readers can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy a whopping 50% off all watches from Aries Gold!
6) Phoibos Eagle Ray Compressor
While I’m not the biggest fan of dive watches, the striking fume red dial of the Phoibos Eagle Ray Compressor was enough to sway me over.
Why I like it: The fume red dial of the Eagle Ray Compressor does just enough to set it apart from the throngs of dive watches out there. An aesthetic more commonly seen in dress watches – think Moser – the choice of equipping a fume red dial on a supercompressor dive watch is intriguing. Paired with its stainless steel bracelet, the Eagle Ray Compressor is a great choice for an everyday watch, at a price that once again won’t break the bank.
Review: I reviewed the Phoibos Eagle Ray Compressor here.
Where to buy: Phoibos’ web-store here. As Phoibos is an official affiliate of Wah So Shiok, readers can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off all watches from Phoibos!
7) Reverie Diver
Similar to the Phoibos Eagle Ray Compressor, the Reverie Diver has a striking red dial that differentiates it from most dive watches.
Why I like it: Not only does the Reverie Diver possess an enthralling burgundy dial, it – like all Reverie watches – also has a guilloche pattern. A traditional form of watch decoration most commonly seen on dress watches, the choice of a guilloche dial on a dive watch is interesting, and makes it different from the norm. I also appreciate its smaller form factor, which is reminiscent of the Tudor Black Bay 58. Once again, it’s a dive watch that is eye-catching from the get-go.
Review: I reviewed the Reverie Diver here.
Where to buy: Reverie’s web-store here. As Reverie is an official affiliate of Wah So Shiok, readers can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy US$40 off all watches from Reverie!
8) Lytt Labs Inception Prodigy
Lytt Labs makes innovative time-telling accessible with its Inception Prodigy.
Why I like it: I love the Lytt Labs Inception Prodigy because it looks so different. Idiosyncratic in its design, the Inception Prodigy offers an innovative look for not a lot of money. I appreciate the faceted cushion case, the textured honeycomb dial, and the three-dimensional aspect of the watch. It looks futuristic and avant-garde, and is bound to be a conversation starter. Despite its novel looks, the Inception Prodigy remains affordable, at about a quarter of the price of a SevenFriday watch – while having similar, if not better specifications. As such, it’s also a great value proposition.
Review: I reviewed the Lytt Labs Inception Prodigy here.
Where to buy: Lytt Labs’ web-store here. As Lytt Labs is an official affiliate of Wah So Shiok, readers can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 15% off all watches from Lytt Labs!
9) Aevum Advance GT
That being said, not every microbrand watch has to be strikingly different. Sometimes a simple watch would do, and that’s when the Aevum Advance comes in.
Why I like it: I treat the Aevum Advance as my “tool” watch – it’s the Panerai of my microbrand watch collection, so to speak. Although it does nothing fancy, it is well-executed and well-built. The sandwich dial is eminently legible, and its navy/red aesthetic reminds me of the Longines V.H.P. It’s the perfect grab-and-go watch, the watch I reach to when I just want to strap something on and not think too much about it. And thus, it occupies a special place in my collection.
Review: I reviewed the Aevum Advance here.
Where to buy: Aevum’s web-store here. As Aevum is an official affiliate of Wah So Shiok, readers can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 30 CAD off all watches from Aevum!
10) Egard Icon V1
While my tastes usually veer more towards the understated, everyone needs a “bling” watch. And for me, that’s the Egard Icon V1.
Why I like it: I call the Egard Icon V1 my “Connor Mcgregor” watch. It’s visually arresting. For one, it has an integrated bracelet – the style du jour in watchmaking. Yet, unlike most microbrand watches with an integrated bracelet, the Egard Icon V1 doesn’t come across as a Royal Oak or a Nautilus homage. Instead, due to its unique ovoid bezel and dial, it has a design that is very much its own – Egard states that the shape is meant to be reminiscent of the melting clock in Salvatore Dali’s iconic “Persistence of time” painting. Granted, its gold colourway may be a tad too ostentatious for some’s liking (although Egard does offer a steel variant of the Icon V1), but sometimes you just want your watch to be at the centre of attention. And for those occasions, the Egard Icon V1 reigns supreme.
Review: I reviewed the Egard Icon V1 here.
Where to buy: Egard’s web-store here. As Egard is an official affiliate of Wah So Shiok, readers can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK15” to enjoy 15% off all watches from Egard!
11) Achtung Galaxy
I was surprised by just how much I liked the Achtung Galaxy – it’s easily my favourite out of all the microbrand watches that I’ve reviewed this year.
Why I like it: Like the Jolter for Aries Gold, the Galaxy changed my opinion on the Achtung brand. Previously, I wasn’t a fan – I thought their timepieces were garish and ostentatious. The Galaxy is the complete opposite. It’s brilliantly designed, and comes across and refined and sophisticated. It’s still different on the wrist, but in a good way. I love the dark blue dial with its tapestry of luminescent stars, which does a good job at evoking the cosmos. The time-telling display (comprised of an airplane, a moon and a shooting star) is quirkily fun too. Well done Achtung!
Review: I reviewed the Achtung Galaxy here.
Where to buy: TVG’s web-store here. As TVG – the local distributor of Achtung watches – is an official affiliate of Wah So Shiok, readers can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK15” to enjoy 10% off all watches from TVG, including the Achtung Galaxy.
12) Nordgreen Pioneer
Sometimes, being minimalist doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The Nordgreen Pioneer is a good example of minimalism done right.
Why I like it: The Nordgreen Pioneer first got my attention when it won the prestigious Red Dot Design Award 2020, alongside the likes of Sinn, Nomos, and Louis Moinet. That got me to take a closer look at the brand and their offerings, particularly the Pioneer. As typical of Scandinavian aesthetic, the Pioneer is restrained, but gracefully so. I particularly like the sculpted nature its sub-dials and date window. While it might come across as a tad too “fashion-watch” for some, that’s alright by me. It’s no Daniel Wellington – there’s an intent to its minimalism.
Review: I reviewed the Nordgreen Pioneer here.
Where to buy: Nordgreen’s web-store here. As Nordgreen is an official affiliate of Wah So Shiok, readers can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK15” to enjoy 15% off all watches from Nordgreen!
13) Advisor Ascent
There’s just something about a blue-dial dive watch that speaks to me, and the Advisor Ascent is no exception.
Why I like it: The Advisor Ascent is a great blend of contemporary and vintage elements. Its sunburst blue dial is modern, while the faux-patinated hands and indices gives the watch an aged look. As compared to the Phoibos Eagle Ray Compressor, I preferred wearing the Ascent on a rubber strap, which reinforces the inherent sporty vibe of the watch. The Advisor Ascent is my go-to sports watch – at least in my microbrand collection – something I reach for when I’m planning a trip to the pool, or the gym.
Review: I reviewed the Advisor Ascent here.
Where to buy: Advisor’s web-store here. As Advisor is an official affiliate of Wah So Shiok, readers can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off all watches from Advisor!
14) TACS AVL II
This is an interesting one – I love the uniqueness of the TACS AVL II.
Why I like it: In case it isn’t evident, the TACS AVL II is modeled after the lens of a camera. It captures (pun intended) the gist of its photography inspiration well. I remember showing the watch to a friend of mine who’s a photography enthusiast, and he got so excited when he realised that the bezel of the watch rotates, just like the lens of a camera does. This is the watch I wear when I’m meeting photography enthusiasts – it never fails to be a conversation starter.
Review: I reviewed the TACS AVL II here.
Where to buy: TACS’ web-store here. As TACS is an official affiliate of Wah So Shiok, readers can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off all watches from TACS!
15) WULF Exo
I love skeletonised dials, and WULF executes the style with its Exo.
Why I like it: The best aspect of the WULF Exo is its value. To recap, it’s a Swiss-made (with a Swiss movement) watch with a skeletonised dial for under S$500. That’s incredible value for money. It’s well-crafted too, with the case having soft, sculpted edges unusual for its price point. The level of finishing and refinement present punches way above its price point. Along with the Aries Gold Jolter, it’s one of my favourite skeletonised microbrand watches that I’ve reviewed thus far.
Review: I reviewed the WULF Exo here.
Where to buy: H2 Hub’s web-store here. As H2 Hub – the official distributor of WULF watches here in Singapore – is an official affiliate of Wah So Shiok, readers can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 5% off all watches from H2 Hub, including WULF timepieces!
That wraps up this article on my personal microbrand collection! I hope it was interesting to see my personal microbrand collection as it’s a question that I get fairly often. I’ve reviewed and owned tons of microbrand watches over the years, and these are the ones that have remained. If you’re interested in any of them, do check the watches out on the brands’ websites!
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.S.S.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.