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Swiss Micro Brands by Extropian

Swiss Microbrand
Indy watches
GMT watches
Wicked Watch
Furlan Marri
Swiss Micro Brands by Extropian

From famous luxury brands like Rolex, Omega, and Patek Phillipe to Orson Welles’ famous “Cuckoo Clock” speech in The Third Man, no nation on earth is more closely associated with quality timepieces than Switzerland.

This tiny nation nestled in the Alps is widely regarded as the center of haute horlogerie, but the Swiss watch industry isn’t all about the big names. There are plenty of smaller independent and Micro brands that are making awesome products that deserve your attention. We’re going to introduce you to some of the best! 


Direnzo takes its name from its founder, Sergio Godoy Di Renzo, who launched the brand in 2017 with a desire to create a range of exquisite mechanical watches inspired by the timeless aesthetic of mid-20th century motor cars and aircraft.

Inspired by 1930s Bugattis, the DRZ 02 boasts a striking retro-futuristic design, effortlessly blending classic elegance, dramatic curves, and streamlined modern touches. It features a Cushion-shaped case and a convex Sandwich dial with cut-out markers which bring a sense of depth and dimension to the whole package. The new DRZ 02R Aerolite updates the original design with a smaller format and an array of bold new color combos, including an enticing burnt orange version!

Direnzo - DRZ 02R Orange date

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The DRZ 04 Mondial is a handsome sports watch with a well-proportioned and beautifully finished Stainless-steel case and integrated metal bracelet. Like the DRZ 02 it features a convex dial with an angled chapter ring, applied indices, and a distinctive semi-skeletonized handset. We have a soft spot for the Purple edition with its sunburst fumé dial with matte finish and contrasting white date window at 6 o’clock.

Direnzo - DRZ 04 Mondial Purple

Ds C01504 Edited


With a history stretching back to 1889, Doxa is by far the oldest brand on this list. Founded by Georges Ducommun in the small town of Le Locle, deep in the Jura mountains, the company has established a strong reputation for quality, value, exceptional craftsmanship, and innovation.

In 1907 they introduced the “8-Day DOXA Caliber”, a dashboard-mounted clock with a power reserve large enough for week-long endurance races, which quickly became standard equipment on all Bugatti cars. In the 1960s the brand developed its classic professional-grade SUB-dive watch, developed in collaboration with diving legend Jacque-Yves Cousteau.

The brand changed hands in the 1990s but continues to produce a range of impressive travel and sports watches, including the SUB 300T which pays homage to the original 1968 Conquistador – the first public dive watch equipped with a helium release valve.

With a case made from 316L stainless steel and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating, it is rated to withstand pressures up to 120 bar, which effectively makes it waterproof to a depth of 1,200 meters, which should be deep enough for anyone! Available in a range of colors, including vivid orange, blue, and yellow options, it has a strikingly modern design which incorporates the brand’s patented unidirectional rotating bezel with an integrated no-decompression dive time calculator.

Doxa - SUB 300T Professional 

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Founded in 1999 and based in Biel/Bienne, Formex is a family-owned company specializing in Steel and Titanium sports watches. Inspired by the engineering and mechanics of high-performance racing cars, the brand developed its signature vertically sliding Case Suspension System which protects the watch’s movement from shocks by allowing it to move up and down independently. This nifty device gives all their watches a very distinctive look, with rugged, blocky forms and lots of screws, but it also adds to the comfort on the wrist, so it’s a win-win situation!

To see the Case Suspension system in all its glory, check out one of their sportier models such as the Pilot with its robust case design, or the Motorsport with its chunky crown protector and bold combination of black PVD coating with flashes of red on the dial and bezel.

In contrast, the Field Automatic is a modern take on the classic Field watch, with a lightweight Titanium case and a dial featuring recessed markers and a curved outer chapter ring which give it an attractive sense of depth. It’s available in a range of subtle autumnal colors, such as Mahogany Red and Sage Green, but there’s also a vivid Ultra Violet version with contrasting orange markers which we kinda love!

Formex - Field Automatic Ultra Violet

Formex Field Automatic   Ultra Violet Wrist Shot 7.25 Wrist Min  93242

Furlan Marri

The joint brainchild of Andrea Furlan and Hamad Al Marri, Geneva-based Furlan Marri was launched in 2019. Both founders share a lifelong love of watches and the stories they can tell, along with an exacting attention to detail and finishing which can be clearly seen in their elegant, timeless designs.

Powered by an automatic La Joux-Perret movement, the Sector is a stylish and graceful offering, great for everyday wear but also suitable for more dressy occasions. With its discreet dimensions the case features a mix of brushed and polished Stainless-steel, with a step-case bezel, distinctive “cow-horn” lugs, and a decagonal screw-down caseback. The dial has beautiful vintage-style applied markers and combines two concentric sector dials with a Crosshair design in the center and elegant Leaf-shaped hands. We love the Salmon version with a textured green leather strap.

Furlan Marri - Salmon Sector

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The brand also offers a fantastic line of Mechaquartz chronographs. One of the best is the Nero sabbia, with its black dial featuring gilt antique text and Roman numerals, bronze sub dial at 9 o’clock, and delicate domed leaf hands. It’s a look inspired by chronographs from the ‘40s, but the overall feel is still very modern. Let’s just call it timeless!

Furlan Marri - Nero Sabbia

Nerosabbia Ref1072 a 01 Grey 3000x


Another brand based in Biel/Bienne, Horage had its origins in 2007 when husband and wife team Andreas Felsl and Tzuyu Huang first discussed creating their own company. After a tentative start in 2009, the project was put on hold while the brand developed its own bespoke movement, the K1 automatic, but sprung back to life in 2015 with the launch of their first ‘proper’ model, the Jonas-K1.

New movements followed, including the K-TOU tourbillon and K-2 micro-rotor, which have allowed Horage to become a truly  independent Swiss watchmaker, with all their engineering, sourcing, logistics, design, production and marketing done in-house. Add to that some completely original designs and superb attention to detail, and you have a brand worth keeping an eye on.

The Array has a striking design featuring an open dial which displays the movement, surrounded by a broad chapter ring with applied indices, and incorporating two revolving “Big Date discs” (one large, one small) and a power reserve indicator. Available in black, gray, or white, the steely hues are offset by a flash of vivid color from the second hand, which is either red, blue, or yellow. Just take our word for it – you really need to see this!

Horage - Array White

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By contrast, the Omnium has an elegant, minimalist feel, featuring a 904L Stainless-steel case, a glossy enamel dial with simple applied Arabic numerals, and a date window at 3 o’clock, all topped off with a five-layer sapphire crystal. It just oozes sophistication!

Horage - Omnium 40mm Steel Bracelet

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After five years spent working for a watch design agency in Switzerland, Clement Gaud decided it was time to turn his passion for timepieces into something personal. In 2017 he realized his dream, and Laventure was born. As the name implies, the brand focuses on tool watches designed for adventure and exploration, while drawing inspiration from classic dive watches of the 1960s.

A truly Swiss brand, 95% of their components are made in Switzerland, with design and production shared between Neuchâtel and La Chaux-de-Fonds. But with each model limited to just 99 numbered pieces you’ll have to be quick if you want to score one of these gems!

While most of their models are long-gone, you might still be able to pick up their latest offering, the Sous-Marine II. This is another in their line of classic divers, powered by the brand’s own Laventure Caliber 2 movement, with a 60-hour power reserve and 200m water resistance. The case is 316L Stainless-steel (there’s also a bronze version), mixing polished and satin finishes, with a unidirectional 120-click bezel, integrated crown guards, and an exhibition caseback. The beautiful Sandwich dial has classic Submariner-style indices with a lightly smoked matte white or cream top plate.

Laventure - Sous-Marine

Gphg2018 Laventure Sous Marine 002 1


An independent family-owned company since 2018, Norqain’s founders share decades of experience in the Swiss watch industry. Based in Tavannes in the Bernese Jura, the brand produces exceptional mechanical watches designed and assembled in their workshop, all featuring high-end case finishes, distinctive dial designs, and open casebacks displaying their custom-made NN20 Manufacture Calibres which feature an impressive 70-hour power reserve.

Every Norqain watch includes a small screw-on plate on the side of the case which can be engraved with a word, location, or date which holds personal significance (which makes them an ideal gift for a loved one!). Their three main collections – Independence, Adventure, and Freedom – all come in several different variants with a range of finishes, dial patterns, and color combinations, all reflecting the brand’s adventurous spirit.

The Adventure Neverest GMT features a black dial with the brand’s signature pattern surrounded by a GMT scale and bi-directional bezel with a knurled edge. The overall design blends black, forest green, and white to outstanding effect, giving it a cool sporty look.

Norqain - Adventure Neverest GMT

Norqain Adventure Neverest Gmt 41mm Green Website 1000x1250 5

The Freedom 60 Chrono has a classic retro aesthetic with vintage-style markers, domed sapphire glass, matching sub-dials at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, and a vintage leather strap for that archetypal ‘60s feel.

Norqain - Freedom 60 Chrono

Norqain Freedom 60 Chrono Cream Dial Wristshot


The sister brand of the Straton Watch Co. (see below), Signum was launched in 2020 with the aim of producing affordable timepieces with unique dial made of natural and man-made materials. So far, they’ve succeeded in creating a very distinctive range, with bold colors and unusual finishes being the order of the day.

The Cero is a great example, with Labradorite, Meteorite, and Forged Carbon being a few of the options. We love the Green Copper Turquoise version with a bronze case and bezel which make a lovely contrast with the autumnal colors of the dial.

Signum - Cero Bronze Green Copper Turquoise

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The Sollus Automatic is perfect for dressier occasions when you want to flaunt a bit of color. It has a classic, minimalist dial and elegant Sword hands offset by boldly-colored dials such as the rich, silky green of the Malachite edition with its opaque transparency and striated patterning.

Signum - Sollus Automatic

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The Straton Watch Co. was founded in 2015, inspired by its founder’s twin obsessions, classic racing cars and watches. Inspired by iconic racing chronographs of the ‘60s and’70s, the brand’s aesthetic blends timeless style with a distinctly modern twist.

The Daily Driver is a great racing chronograph with a Tachymeter bezel, twin sub-dials for minutes and seconds, and a sweeping chronograph second hand. There are nine color variants available, but we especially love the blue dial with gray and orange racing stripes for that undeniable ‘70s vibe.

Straton - Daily Driver

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The Speciale is a different beast altogether, although it continues the retro theme with a great TV-shaped dial and ‘70s style text, along with a textured dial variant that somehow manages to evoke both shagpile carpets and the snowy interference found on old TV screens! It also boasts three square sub-dials, a vintage date window, and a tachymeter scale around the chapter dial, with the whole package rounded off by a classic leather Rally strap.

Straton - Special Automatic

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Wicked Watch

Tenacity and perseverance are key to the success of Basel-based Wicked Watch Co. After their first Kickstarter campaign in 2019 failed to find enough backers, founder Pascal Dominik Zhang-Isenegger went back to the drawing board. Over the next couple of years, he began to redefine the brand’s designs and source the best suppliers from around the world in order to improve their product. As a result, their second campaign in 2021 was a major success and their website can now proudly list many of their watches as being ‘Sold Out’.

The brand’s signature model is the Pearl Diver, a vintage-inspired dive watch with a bronze case and distinctive, heavily rounded, convex bezel insert which is perfectly complemented by a curved, double-domed sapphire crystal. The dial is very simple, with large, applied hour markers made from moulded Swiss LumiCast (which gives a very impressive glow), but it comes in a huge variety of patterns and finishes, from Forged Carbon to Mother-of-Pearl and Meteorite.

Wicked Watch - Pearl Diver Bronze Edition

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So, as you can see, the Swiss watch industry is thriving, and by no means limited to the big names we know so well. To find out more about any of these brands, and check out what they have to offer, pop over to Extropian’s database and start exploring!

Created the 2023-10-13

Modified the 2023-12-01

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