McDowell Time is a fantastic brand founded by Bill McDowell in Rockville MD. I first became familiar with McDowell Time when they partnered with ZEW Box for their Executive Level watch, which is actually the Tidewater.
Bill came up with the idea of the Tidewater from remembering all the time he spent at Chesapeake Bay! If you look at the McDowell product line, you will see the relevance tied to something meaningful in Bill’s life. I believe that is why there is so much attention to detail in every watch that comes through McDowell Time!
ErrediBi or RdB Watches brings something very unique to the independent watch making community! By using industrial components to transform them into incredible timepieces, brand owner and designer Virginio Villa, takes his own lane and offers some amazing watches!
I met Virginio through the SOMA Horology Marketplace. RdB Watches is a SOMA partner brand that caught my eye right away! The Italian culture is very well represented throughout these timepieces. I was blown away by the images I seen from RdB on social medi!
I’m not real sure on what category to put these watches in! I would like to call them a “tool watch” just on principle that they are made from industrial nuts and bolts! The original idea dates back 20 years ago when the original designer Franco Viganò filed an invention patent for a double-case watch derived from industrial components. The project lost steam for a few years before Virginio would breathe life back into the project.
SOMA Horology Marketplace bring brands and the community together! Even before the official launch, this social aspect of the concept is working great Through the SOMA community. This is what connected me with Virginio and I was very excited and honored when he asked me to do a review!
SHARP BRO. is a lifestyle brand developed by Kerim Kfuri and Steven Conti. They set out to offer an “outside the box” way of thinking brand for people to expand their minds.
I really like the direction of the brand itself. I think their views on society and that they want to drive you to be your own person without worrying about what anyone else thinks is what the world needs more of.
SHARP BROS. took on a tough task with this watch. The watch community pays very close attention to detail, and in my own personal opinion as a watch enthusiast, I believe they missed the mark on a few aspects. While I am a fan of the overall idea, there are certain things that just don’t measure up. Having sapphire crystal and 300 meter water resistance rating is great, however, they dropped the ball with a cheaper pressed clasp. Also I felt like the dial layout was off a bit giving it a feel of being upside down when I glanced at the time. These are things that the real watch enthusiast would catch, however, the target SHARP BROS audience isn’t necessarily watch enthusiasts, and I think this watch will do very well within their followers.
Please keep in mind that these are my opinions as a Watch enthusiast and none of the comments made in any of my reviews are to knock the brands or the community members that bought watches from the brands. I only offer my opinion for constructive criticism for the brands. As mentioned before, the SHARP BROS brand I think is very cool and I love the ideas they are trying to promote. I just feel in my opinion that things could have went one of two ways and the end result would have been better for them. One, they put more into the watch, upgrade the movement, clasp, bracelet, and dial design, and target the watch enthusiasts. Or two, they could have saved money by using a cheaper movement and mineral glass, and lower their price, and target the art/rocker community. I think they would see more success in either one of those directions. However it’s not like they are doing bad currently.
Border City Style is a fantastic brand from Windsor, Ontario. Brand owner Jonathan Van Lare is a great guy with a great mind for business. He based the entire brand on the 1920s era because of all the rich hometown stories of the gangsters running Rum to Detroit back in the prohibition days.
Now that alcohol is completely legal, Jonathan decided to create a really unique product with that 1920s feel. He executed his plan perfectly! The first watch being cleverly named The Rum Runner, has a great look with a quality build.
Jonathan has done an amazing job creating designs that are modern and innovative while keeping the old school feel. It is very clear to me that he puts his heart and soul into the pieces he creates.
Attention to detail on The Rum Runner and the upcoming Walkerville is second to none. I have looked these timepieces over with a fine toothed comb and found that quality control is very high on the Border City Style priority list.
Smith & Bradley started on Kickstarter back in 2012 with their first watch, the Sans-13. The Sans-13 is a tactical watch which came out really great! Jerommie Smith, cofounder of the brand, spent 15 years on S.W.A.T. So needless to, Jerommie knew what would make a great tactical watch. It was a huge success and the brand began to grow very fast!
S&B Built a solid following in the watch community very quickly. Each model they released was more successful than the last. The rapid growth became to much for the Bradley side of the partnership and Jerommie Smith took over the brand.
The quality of S&B became a known fact in the community. Tactical and EDC publications began to feature S&B in magazines which only helped with the rapid growth. They were then featured on a show on the Discovery channel and from there they moved to the Big Screen! They were commissioned to provide all the watches for the cast of the new movie “10 Minutes Gone” starring Bruce Willis! Jerommie was on set every day of shooting to provide them with on the spot service for every watch used in the movie.
The S&B Atlantis A2 is the 3rd generation of the Atlantis model. Jerommie took the suggestions from the community and made the A2 something that the community has been asking for from S&B. They added a beautiful ceramic bezel and tons of lum!
With the huge success of the brand and rapid growth, Jerommie Smith found himself pretty much working around the clock to keep up with the brand. In order to relieve some of the burden of a very heavy workload, he brought in a new CEO, long time business partner and friend Rob Marlinski. Rob is a great addition to the brand. S&B Watches also just became one of the newest partner brands for SOMA Horology Marketplace!
Go get your S&B Atlantis A2 at the lowest price possible by backing the Kickstarter campaign!!
Isotope Watches is an independent, enthusiastic and driven brand founded in 2016 by José and Joana Miranda. Based in England and combine original designs with traditional solutions and a boutique approach.
Isotope partnered with Joanna Nordblad on the Goutte d'Eau Nordblad “Special Edition” so it was in the contract for Joanna Nordblad, Ice Freediving World Champion, wear these watches during her dives so they could be tested in the harshest conditions.
I have Followed Isotope Brand for a while. For me what really stuck out was the incredible design features! The look and feel of the bracelet is very unique! It flows so well with the case design. Anyone can build a watch by selecting parts and pieces from a catalog, but designing every element is a whole other ball game, and it’s a game that José plays very well!
Owner and founder of WhataPen, Randall Cunningham has been a staple name in the watch community by offering his custom handmade creations.
Randall opened up his cool unique designs to the subscription world by offering a Pen of the Month Club
With Randall being a One Man Show, he has his hands on every pen to assure quality is up to his standards. This is no mass produced product.
Owner and founder Kevin Junkans loves watches, so after chasing several different career choices and noticing that he was an
"Outcast" finally found where he belongs in the watch industry!! Welcome home Kevin!!
Series 1 watch is built tough is an understatement. Kevin came out of the gate with a winner!! I don't care what Indiegogo says!!
When the Series 1 first arrived, I wanted to go through it with a find toothed comb to point out any flaw I may find. After a week with the watch I come up empty.
OOO Out Of Order is a wrist watch company from Italy that came to the industry with a great yet risky idea that ultimately paid off!!
The idea was to be the first watch brand to bring the distressed to the market. The idea first came to founder Riccardo Torrisi while out having a few drinks too many and dropping his Rolex.
Now with the distressed look clearly working in the market space, you don't have to worry about those door dings and drunken falls, because each bump or scratch adds to the character of the watch.