One thing I love about watches is the people. Do not judge a book by its cover, when it comes to a watch lover. Their background, education and of course their preference in watches can vary in quite extremes. This past weekend, I was lucky enough to be in Manhattan, NY at Chelsea Market for the WindUp Watch Fair put on by the incredible team at www.wornandwound.com. I got to see a ton of great watches and the people who love them.
If you do not know what the WindUp Watch Fair is, I feel the team from Worn and Wound sum it up best: The Windup Watch Fair is a three-day-long shopping event that brings watch brands and customers together in a fun, approachable, and engaging environment. Always free and open to the public, Windup encourages everyone from seasoned collectors to first-time watch buyers to come in, take a look, and talk about watches. The Windup Watch Fair has become the most popular consumer watch event in America with events annually in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City.
Of course due to the pandemic the 2020 events were cancelled, and we were all on pins and needles to see if the 2021 fair was going to happen. I have been extremely lucky to attend the last four seasons of the show as not only an attendee but as a watch brand (as I am also the brand CEO of MONTA Watch.) For me I got to see past customers, new customers and of course friends that work in the industry. The first brand is one that I have loved from its beginnings and it is known as Brew Watch.
Brew Watch Co. is the brainchild of Jonathan Ferrer, who began the brand in 2015. Now after six years he has become an icon in the Micro-brand world. It seems like everyone knows Jonathan’s creations and the brand’s incredible use of color and shape. He is a genius with a passion for Italian coffee machines (Brew derived its name from the process that turns coffee beans into liquid splendor). His latest creation is the Brew Metric. With super colorful dials and cushion case, the watch gives off a cool 1970’s vibe. The case reminds me of Chronographs from Tag Heuer and other Swiss brands that needed to reinvent themselves right at the beginning of the Quartz Crisis. The watch itself is fun and totally unique at 36mm wide and powered by a mechaquartz movement. At $375 it is a great watch that won't break the bank and will get a few heads to turn.
The next brand I had been eyeing (and was able to get some hands-on time with at WindUp) is Formex. Formex isn’t exactly a new brand, they actually have been around since 1999. It seems the brand originally took its inspiration from motor sports. Many of their previous designs were not really my speed, but in 2016 the brand was purchased by a new management team. The group that took over Formex began focusing on a new look that is more angular, and brought a ton of patented designs to the table. Their latest creation is the Reef. This diving watch is frankly really cool. It has a Genta vibe, with its flared sides and angular design. The 42mm watch also utilizes a removable bezel technology, giving the user almost unlimited looks. Lastly, the watch has a COSC certified ETA 2892 movement. This package really makes the Reef a deal at $1790 on bracelet.
Finally, we save the best for last - MONTA. MONTA is our sister brand and began in 2016 with the Oceanking, a diving watch that takes its design inspiration from timeless Swiss sport watches of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Most recently MONTA released the Noble, a 38.5mm sports watch that ticks all the boxes. First, the Noble is by far one of the most beautiful timepieces released in 2020, and comes in three dial color options, an Opalin Silver, Degrade Blue or a Degrade Anthracite finish. All three have unique indices that play with the light, creating a diamond like effect. These flawlessly polished indices are perfectly matched design wise to the Noble’s hands.
Every aspect of the Noble’s finishing is only rivaled by brands 3-4 times its price. On the wrist, you won’t find a more comfortable watch on the market. This watch is well-designed, finished to an exceptional level, and comfortable as heck to wear. For $1760.00 you will be hard pressed to find a better one watch collection.
The whole team not only enjoyed the show but also enjoyed a quick visit to the new Tudor and Rolex boutique only a block away from Chelsea Market. So, next time you are planning a fall trip to Manhattan, work it around the WindUp Watch fair. You will enjoy a ton of watch brands you may not have seen, a great meal, and can stop by the only Tudor boutique in America!
PS - If you are heading out and want to bring a watch along with you on your next adventure, don't forget one of our Nylon Watch Pouches to store it in. We also make a classy as heck Leather Pouch too!