Microbrand VS Boutique
Recent forum discussions have begged the question, what really makes a microbrand timepiece, a microbrand? Traditionally, I've always thought of microbrands as independent designers, without benefit of a large conglomerate of affiliate brands or manufacturing pipelines, handling nearly everything related to the conception and promotion of a timepiece, outside of movement manufacturing, in-house.
Recent forum threads have ascribed the scope of "true" microbrand pricing between $200 - $600, with many collectors asserting that a microbrand timepiece should fall squarely within the affordable realm of watches. Now affordability is something unique to a person's own disposable income parameters, and certainly isn't universal. And while there are some smaller independent watchmakers, designing higher-end, mechanical works of art in small batches, or made to order, should this automatically disqualify them from the microbrand discussion? And perhaps the smaller watchmaking houses, crafting mechanical art on a more technical scale, would rather not be included in the conversation of microbrands, for sake of distinguishing their brands, separate from what would be considered affordable?
For me, micros will always be defined as small, independent brands, forging their own way, and making their mark within the watch industry, with only the help and resources of an intimate team of designers, collaborators, and manufacturers; whether the end product retails for $200 or $2,000.