Those who are not watch enthusiasts might scratch their heads in confusion when they hear the words “microbrands” from watch experts. With the sheer number of mainstream watches available in the market, it’s quite understandable that not everyone is familiar with these hidden gems.

Microbrand watches are manufactured by independent watch companies or small-scale businesses that release a limited number of watches per year (some are even custom-made) as opposed to well-known brands that can mass-produce luxury watches.

A stark contrast between the two is that most microbrands are marketed directly to the customer, which is why most of these are available online instead of buying from a branch at the mall. They are also significantly cheaper than most popular watch brands.

If you’re planning to collect top-notch microbrand watches but don’t know where to start, use our list as a guide to help you with your watch collecting journey!

01. Monta

Developed right at the heart of the watchmaking industry, Monta is an authentic Swiss-made microbrand watch that has everything you’re looking for in a watch, and more! Praised for its excellent craftsmanship, Monta watches can definitely compete with its famous counterparts. If you think popular luxury brands are overrated, you should definitely try these watches out.

02. Pelton

Deni Mesanovic, the founder of Pelton, aimed to sell excellent watches that were manufactured solely in America, and that he did. After its debut in 2016, Pelton has proved itself to be one of the best microbrands with a quality on par with popular brands. Their most sought-after collections as the Perseus and the Sector.

03. Unimatic

If you’re an adventurer at heart with a knack for minimalism, Unimatic watches are definitely for you. Apart from being very stylish and fashionable, these sports watches have an impressive 300m water resistance, something that not a lot of watch brands (even luxury watches!) offer.

04. Halios

High-quality dive watches often come with a hefty price tag but if you try to look beyond hundreds of expensive mainstream watches, you’ll find great deals such as Halios watches. Originally sold from an online forum back in 2009, these microbrand watches found its niche among dive watch enthusiasts who are looking for an affordable alternative.

05. Farer

Are you looking for a microbrand alternative for your fashionable wristwatches? Look no further, because Farer has some of the best eye-catching watches with sophisticated details. If you consider aesthetics as one of your priorities, their mechanical and quartz collection will not fail to impress you. What’s more, their chronograph has a sleek design that definitely doesn’t feel clunky and tacky, compared to other chronographs whose dials are loaded with to many details.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Take a look at our top 5 Quartz watches and military watches for more great products.