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Thread: Little Known Brands

  1. #1

    Little Known Brands

    Over the past few weeks here on IWL, I've noticed a few people saying they aren't familiar with a brand or had never heard of a brand. I'm always curious to learn about new watches (either modern or vintage) and what makes them special.

    There are many brands out there that I'm only vaguely familiar with or have only recently learned about, so I thought it may be interesting to start a thread where people can share their experiences with some of these brands, their impressions, and what makes the watches special. Seeing a photo is one thing, but actually having experience with a watch is a whole other story.

    For example, some of the brands that I'd like to learn more about include Beijing Watch Co. (I had heard of them, but until a few months ago knew next to nothing about them--I still want to know more) and Favre-Leuba (again, knew of the name, but know next to nothing about them but Wikipedia says the brand has been/will be relaunched soon).

    I posted recently about one of the now-defunct brands I admire (Robert Lighton - link to thread).

    Henry Krinkle had a great post showing off his collection of Louis Rossel watches, a brand I had never heard of before.

    Vincent Vega posted about another brand, Rundenmeister, I had never heard of (living up to the thread title) in this thread.

    So what little-known or forgotten brands can you tell me about?

  2. #2
    Ennebi comes to mind. They have kind of a cool history as one of the founders worked heavily with Panerai on the original Mille Mitre. Full history. http://www.gnomonwatches.com/watches/ennebi-watches

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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93EXCivic View Post
    Ennebi comes to mind. They have kind of a cool history as one of the founders worked heavily with Panerai on the original Mille Mitre. Full history. http://www.gnomonwatches.com/watches/ennebi-watches
    They are EXPENSIVE! For ETA movements anyway.
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  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by 93EXCivic View Post
    Ennebi comes to mind. They have kind of a cool history as one of the founders worked heavily with Panerai on the original Mille Mitre. Full history. http://www.gnomonwatches.com/watches/ennebi-watches
    Do you have any experience with the brand? I've always liked them in pictures because they look solid and uniquely designed but I've heard they wear very large and are of course expensive for what you appear to get. I guess the question should be, are they worth the price of admission?

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by FuzzyB View Post
    Do you have any experience with the brand? I've always liked them in pictures because they look solid and uniquely designed but I've heard they wear very large and are of course expensive for what you appear to get. I guess the question should be, are they worth the price of admission?
    I wish I did. I just love the story behind them and I would like to get my hands on one one day. Unfortunately I don't have the money to currently.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by 93EXCivic View Post
    I wish I did. I just love the story behind them and I would like to get my hands on one one day. Unfortunately I don't have the money to currently.
    There's a lot of brands like that for me! So many watches to buy and too little money to buy them.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by 93EXCivic View Post
    Ennebi comes to mind. They have kind of a cool history as one of the founders worked heavily with Panerai on the original Mille Mitre. Full history. http://www.gnomonwatches.com/watches/ennebi-watches
    I've seen those (at Gnomon). They look nice enough for sure.... but for the price I think there are some other brands I would gravitate towards. Suppose I should do more research tho, I tend to enjoy off the wall brands, and even better if they've got some historical stuff to point to.

  9. #8
    Here's one that I'm guessing far more people have only seen in pictures: Linde Werdelin.

    I picked up an early LW on trade. I had little to know knowledge of the brand at the time, but it looked interesting and I traded for it on a whim.

    LW started out relatively simple with three and four handers (GMT) all sharing a common case. The case was designed to be used with modules. There was one for diving and one for skiing.

    As for the watch itself, it was all angles and a mix of polished and brushed surfaces. The design is reminiscent of the Lamborghini Countach or early stealth jets. The case was quite impressive.

    On paper, the watch should have felt like a massive hunk of metal on my wrist but I was surprised at how comfortable it was. Most of the width is positioned at the bottom of the case because of the way it tapers from top to bottom. The wide (and we are talking ridiculously wide) straps kept everything centered on the wrist. The straps quickly tapered to a more decent size making the watch wear extremely well on my wrist. It was comfortable and sleeker than it appeared in photos.

    The strap changing mechanism worked very well. Other than the proprietary nature of their fitting and the obscene price they charged for them, I loved the LW straps. With the two screws to fasten them, strap changes were quick and it was next to impossible to scratch the case during a change.

    From a value standpoint, the original LW models could be had for a decent price considering the uniqueness of there design. However, LW is pushing themselves farther and farther upmarket and I could never imagine paying the prices they are asking these days. I'm the past I could see owning a couple different models but now my collection is LW-free and I have no strong desire to change that. If I did see one selling for under $3k I may be tempted but the way prices are going, I will be happy to live with the memories of the one LW I had.

    It was an extremely photogenic watch and the detail work was amazing.


















  10. #9
    A brand I do have experience with is Olma (although vintage). They never made their own movements but they did make make nice watches. They restarted in the '90s. I have no experience with the modern ones. http://www.sometimeago.com/the-small...h-brands-olma/



    They are steal for the money. A lot of vintage watches that cost what an Olma cost are not even stainless case.

    This is very tempting though.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/OLMA-CHRONOG...item4633455dad
    Last edited by 93EXCivic; Feb 4, 2015 at 02:10 PM.

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  12. #10
    Well, this one is pretty much unheard of (of course, he's also a one man shop):

    Name:  Nienaber January 2015.jpg
Views: 63
Size:  43.2 KB

    One of the brands that first interested me was Maurice Lacroix. They've been getting more attention over the past two years, but are still a relatively unknown brand with some pretty unique designs. I'd also nominate Glycine, who makes some very nice models at very fair prices, like this one:

    Name:  Glycine Combat Small.JPG
Views: 63
Size:  70.3 KB

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