We had the opportunity to visit LAmicroLUX, a two day showcase for independent and microbrand watches, held over November 6-7 at Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles. The event brought together some brands we were familiar with but hadn't yet seen in person, such as Norqain, Bausele and Bremoir, and others we met for the first time - Haim Watch Company, Lesablier, Swiss Watch Company and more.
I admit to wondering where exactly the event was going to be held. Was it going to be next to Egg Slut and its never-ending line? Or perhaps across from Golden Road craft beer... that would have been our first choice. But if you've been to Grand Central Market, you might also know that there is a lower, below surface level that does act as an event space. The setup was a pretty straight forward with tables set up in a U shape for an easy flow of participants and each of the brands to laid out their watches, materials and other goodies.
As we walked in, a familiar face greeted us - Arron from Bausele watches. It was nice to catch up face to face and see the watches in person. They are robust, well built and probably had the largest collection of watches laid out for folks to interact with. The Ocean Moon IV in white was a favorite and they were also seeking feedback on two new prototype steel bracelets in mesh and a more standard H design. We continued on to Itay Noy, an independent watch timepiece maker from Israel. His watches for probably some of the most unique - from a complications and design perspective. The "Part Time" is in the vein of a Regulator and the Full Month is a sort of sandwich dial inspired date function at the outer edge of the dial.
Swiss Watch Company surprised me with some classic field watch designs, particularly in titanium cases. These struck me as absolute grab and go watches, ready for any adventure you threw at them and the OEM hook and loop fabric straps were winners. The Towson Watch Company table was manned by two energetic guys from Maryland who are committed to making a mark on American watchmaking.
After seeing them all over social media., we finally had a chance to handle a few Norqain watches. It seemed like they brought watches from almost the entire portfolio, so we had a chance to experience the full breadth of what they have to offer. The dials, which I've seen described as weave-like and I'll call a sort of carbon fiber herringbone, are packed with character and each of the pieces - from the Adventure through the Freedom lines - looks ready to handle whatever you throw at it. I did fall in love with the Freedom 60 bronze limited edition on the wrist of Emmanuel, managing director US, but that's neither here nor there!
As we wound through the remaining tables, I have it give it up to Bremoir for having the most on-brand and fun table setup. If you're familiar with the brand, you know they are inspired by and included elements of Art Deco in their design. Patrick and company came outfitted in flapper attire and even had whiskey in a crystal decanter. Bravo! We had met Haim Watch Company the evening before for a podcast episode, so it was nice to see another familiar face when we reached the table. Look for that episode to drop soon, it's a great conversation that was co-hosted with Josh from The Outta Time Podcast.
Finally, we stumbled upon Lesablier Watches. Admittedly, we almost didn't stop but Zakir from Haim suggested we should. I'm glad he did. The watches from Lesablier were easily some of the most interesting and unique, particularly from the dial side. I learned something completely new (aventurine glass) andjust saw dial treatments that frankly weren't anywhere else in the show, including enamel and a sort of ghosted, transparent dial that reveals a semi skeletonized appearance.
The overall vibe of the show and all of the brand owners/representatives was really positive and showcased the passion everybody had for watch collecting. Our friend Jorge, @thetravelingtimepiece, was a great event buddy and it was nice to spend time together for the first time in what felt like a long time. He took some stellar shots that he shared with us for content. Thanks J!