Independent Watchmaker of the Year | Square Mile Watch Awards 2018
The Square Mile Watch Awards 2018 are just around the corner. We've brought together the biggest and brightest names in world of horology to judge London's first consumer watch awards. Below are the nominees for Independent Watchmaker of the Year...
Technical, boundary-pushing and unique timepieces are the speciality of small independent watchmakers, but as the watch industry continues to sail through choppy economic waters it is this art form that is most at risk.
Our Independent Watchmaker of the Year contenders all exhibit the kind of tenacity and ingenuity required to stand up to the biggest horological brands on the planet.
Not only do they deserve our utmost respect for battling against the status quo, but they are a hotbed of watchmaking talent and incredibly exciting designs.
Greubel Forsey isn’t a household name outside of the horological sphere, but in recent years it has made a speciality out of creating the seemingly impossible - if a complication is deemed too complicated for even the world’s greatest watchmakers, you can bet your bottom dollar that Greubel Forsey will be willing to take the time and expense required to magic it into being. greubelforsey.com
H Moser & Cie
Over the last few years, H Moser & Cie has grown into the enfant terrible of the watch world thanks to a number of irreverent marketing campaigns. Whether you appreciate its controversialist approach or not, its timepieces continue to impress with strikingly minimalist designs that freely strip away the frippery sometimes associated with classic watchmaking. It’s safe to say, there’s much more to come from this exciting brand. h-moser.com
Neuchatel-based Krayon are by far the most unknown brand on this year’s shortlist. The company was set up in 2013 to create complicated movements for other watchmakers like HYT, but until late in 2017 was yet to produce any timepieces of its own. Their first piece? No big deal: just a world-first complication that costs more than £500k. The Everywhere watch features an astronomical complication that, once you enter your longitude, latitude and the correct date, will show the times of sunrise and sunset, as well as the duration of daylight and nighttime hours, anywhere in the world - all within an elegant and compact 42mm case. Krayon founder Rémi Maillat is an engineer and movement constructor who has spent his life creating the highest watch complications. His announcement of Krayon’s arrival on the world stage is a big statement of intent.
There are no other watchmakers quite like MB&F. To some they are innovative, out-the-box thinkers, to others they are absolutely bonkers. In reality, it’s probably a little bit of both. What isn’t up for debate, though, is that the young Swiss brand has a healthy knack for injecting fun into its timepieces. True, you’re unlikely to find a classic wristwatch here, but what you will find is a great deal of thought has gone into some of the most ingenious, unique timepieces you’ll find anywhere in the world.
When it comes to world-class watchmaking and a keen eye for attention to detail, there are few independent brands who can match the handiwork of Parmigiani Fleurier. The man behind the brand is esteemed watchmaker Michael Parmigiani who continues to produce some of the best movements available anywhere. Some of the models produced this year have been awarded the Qualité Fleurier - the toughest and most comprehensive certification in haute horology - if you needed further proof this brand continues to go from strength to strength.
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Which brand should win the Independent Watchmaker Award?