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Best 10 Watches of Intersect Atlanta

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As the Intersect Watch Show in Atlanta draws to a close, we’re reflecting on an incredible event brimming with extraordinary watches and enthusiastic collectors. We decided it would be exciting to journey in and witness firsthand some of the finest timepieces from the most celebrated microbrands. Here are a few of the standout watches that really captured our attention!

Blake: Nodus x Raven Trailtrekker 

You’ll quickly recognize the quality craftsmanship of the TrailTrekker upon first handling it, a timepiece engineered to endure all of life’s challenges. Its standout design is aided by the use of Cerakote, a material rarely chosen by the most seasoned watchmakers due to its challenging nature, which contributes to the watch’s impressive durability. The TrailTrekker flaunts a sturdy 39.5mm case, along with a comfortable 46.6mm lug-to-lug distance. Its box sapphire crystal glass, treated with a blue anti-reflective coating, ensures crisp readability. The dial is generously coated with Swiss Super-LumiNova® BGW9 Grade A lume, creating a captivating blue illumination. Designed for versatility, it boasts a water resistance of up to 200 meters, making it suitable for both daily wear and more adventurous activities. The watch features a flat-link bracelet that tapers from 20mm to 16mm and includes the proprietary NodeX Clasp and quick-release springbars for convenience. At its core, the Miyota 9075 GMT movement, finely regulated in-house to ±8 seconds or better, and featuring a 28,800 VPH and 42-hour power reserve, guarantees accurate and dependable timekeeping.

Justin: Astor and Banks Fortitude Pro Viva Magenta

The Astor and Banks Fortitude Pro is a timepiece that defines durability and precision: crafted with brushed and polished 316L stainless steel, the watch features a HV1200 scratch-resistant coating, Viton gaskets, and a secure screw-down crown. This watch stands out for its exceptional anti-magnetic properties, rated to an impressive 20,000A/m, far surpassing the ISO 764 requirement of 4,800 A/m. The flat sapphire crystal, complete with anti-reflective coating on the underside, ensures clarity and resilience. Its dimensions are meticulously designed, featuring a 38.5mm case with drilled lug holes, approximately 11.9mm height including the crystal, a 45.5mm lug-to-lug span, and a 20mm lug width for a comfortable fit. At its heart is the Miyota 9015 movement, adjusted in-house for accuracy (±10 seconds), and a power reserve of 42 hours, supporting both automatic and manual winding. With a water resistance of 660 feet / 20ATM, this watch is ready for any adventure. Available in multiple dial colors, it is paired with a 316L stainless steel bracelet, featuring polished chamfers on the underside of the links for enhanced comfort, making it a true masterpiece of craftsmanship and style.

Blake: Paulin Modul A Mechanical

Featuring a dynamic color scheme and a sleek, tonneau-shaped case with a dual finish, the Paulin Modul A is both compact and slim. Its unique name stems from its innovative modular design, engineered to support various movement calibers. The watch is characterized by a striking black steel body that encloses the movement, set apart from the brushed steel of the outer case, and securely fastened with two screws on each side. At its core, the Modul is powered by the dependable ETA 7001 movement, whose blued screws and Geneva stripes are showcased through a transparent exhibition caseback. The case, measuring 35mm in diameter, is universally accommodating to nearly all wrist sizes. With a slender profile of just 8.2mm in thickness, it incorporates a vintage-style Hesalite box-crystal and a prominent crown, ensuring the watch remains comfortable to wear throughout the day.

Justin: Christopher Ward Twelve

The Twelve Ti from Christopher Ward redefines the integrated bracelet sports watch genre, offering a lightweight, sophisticated option without the typically high price tag and heft of steel watches. Drawing inspiration from designer Gérald Genta’s semi-industrial, quasi-nautical style, this watch features sharp creases, exposed screws, textured dials, and an unusual bezel, all reimagined for everyday wear. It stands out with its unique twelve-sided bezel and a three-dimensional pyramid-patterned dial, crafted in grade II titanium, a metal known for its challenging finishing process. Weighing only 41g, the Twelve Ti is significantly lighter than its steel counterpart, offering a refreshing wearing experience. It also boasts a graduated tint dial, leading to exclusive center colors, and houses a superior Sellita SW300-1 movement with chronometer certification and a 56-hour power reserve. This movement allows for a slimmer, more wrist-friendly profile at just 8.95mm in height. The watch’s distinct bracelet is made of titanium, ensuring it’s both light and comfortable. Other features include the striking pyramid pattern dial in new shades, a playfully designed rear with a 12-sided case back, and carefully crafted hands and indices. The Twelve Ti epitomizes luxury with meticulous attention to detail, showcasing varied finishes like sandblasting, polishing, and linear brushing, especially on the bezel.

Blake: Jack Mason Hydrotimer

The Jack Mason Hydrotimer emerges as a timeless masterpiece in dive watch design, echoing the shape of the Strat-o-timer GMT but infused with its own unique charm. This watch is equipped with a one-of-a-kind, uni-directional sapphire bezel that clicks 120 times per rotation and is fully covered with BGW9 Swiss Superluminova, ensuring optimal visibility. Set against a matte navy dial, the silver indices and hands create a striking contrast. Powering this exquisite timepiece is the reliable Miyota 9039 automatic movement, known for its robustness. Further enhancing its allure is a 1200 HV-rated scratch-resistant coating. The Hydrotimer is ingeniously crafted to be your everyday watch, seamlessly blending elegance, resilience, and practicality.

Justin: Arcanaut ARC II HAVENDER

Arcanaut is pushing the limits of material science, consistently aiming to maximize potential and creativity. Their approach to materials is unique, seeing them not just as resources, but as a medium for artistic expression. This innovative perspective, aided by their collaboration with Black Badger, allows them to transform these materials into exquisite pieces of wearable art. A prime example is the Arcanaut ARC II Havender dial, a true artistic creation made from a specific layer of Scandinavian mussel shells. These shells are processed through an elaborate method, involving bathing in a special solution and then finely grinding the inner layer into a powder. This powder is used to create a lilac-colored composite block, which is then milled and adorned with striking white lumicast hour markers. The name “Havender” creatively combines “Hav,” the Scandinavian word for ocean, with “Lavender.” Due to the labor-intensive process of its creation, the Havender dial could not be included in the regular collection as initially planned. Instead, Arcanaut has decided to offer it as a unique, limited edition in their Arc II series, expanding the availability from 25 to 33 pieces, making the Havender an exclusive and coveted item for collectors and enthusiasts.

Blake: Tsao Balt-Pilot Worldtimer Solar Flare

The Balt-Pilot Worldtimer Collection heralds the release of a special, limited edition series, confined to just 50 pieces in each color option. Taking its cue from the WWII-era Martin 187 Baltimore, affectionately termed “The Balt,” the collection showcases a series of lightweight titanium pilot watches. Each timepiece is driven by an Automatic NH34 GMT movement, nestled within a strong DLC Titanium (Ti2) case that sports a 1200HV hardened coating and measures 40mm across. Notable features include a 20mm lug width, a 15mm case height, and a distinctive orange full lume dial that radiates confidently, further accented by luminous detailing on the crown. The watch’s bracelet, also made from DLC Titanium, is designed with quick-release pins, narrowing from 20mm to 18mm, and is fitted with a DLC stainless steel buckle allowing micro-adjustments. The Balt-Pilot is characterized by its transparent caseback with sapphire crystal, a boxed dome sapphire front crystal with anti-reflective coating, and a water resistance of up to 200 meters. It also features a sizeable screw-down crown, an internal rotating city bezel, and comes with a leather travel watch roll, adding to its portability. Crafted for the skies yet robust enough for diving, the Balt-Pilot is a versatile timepiece for both aviators and divers.

Justin: Bespoke Watch Projects Intaglio 38 Tonneau Edition

The Intaglio 38 Tonneau Edition is a watch that skillfully marries elegance with resilience, designed to fit a variety of wrist sizes. Its curved design and lugs ensure superior wearability, complemented by a notably slim 6mm midcase. The timepiece is distinguished by its box-domed sapphire crystal, which elegantly highlights the handcrafted Intaglio dial, renowned for its distinct tactile surface. With a water resistance of 20 ATM, it adeptly bridges the gap between a practical tool watch and an upscale dress watch. Produced in limited editions, the dials of this series undergo a rigorous process of patination, engraving, and hand-finishing in a California studio, using exquisite materials like brass, sterling silver, copper, or gold alloy. This intricate craftsmanship results in dials that resemble bespoke pieces of pottery, ensuring that each watch stands as a unique and personal heirloom. The “Dragonscale” dial, the collection’s latest addition, showcases this artistry by blending organic perlage brushing on a Zinc dial with a polished finish, thus achieving a dial that is both artistically sculptural and refined, a true embodiment of horological artistry.

Blake: Colorado Watch Co. G.C.T.

The GCT by Colorado Watch Company is a modern adaptation of the sought-after Military Edition by Vortic, Available in four variants – Matte Dial with Steel Case, Machined Dial with Steel Case, Matte Dial with DLC-black Case, and Machined Dial with DLC-black Case – the GCT reflects a unique blend of history and modern innovation. It features a durable DLC Titanium case, a screw-down 12 o’clock crown, visible dial-fastening screws, and vintage radium-style lume for night visibility. Measuring 42mm in diameter and 13mm in thickness, the GCT offers a comfortable fit that feels like a standard 40mm watch due to its 12 o’clock crown placement. Equipped with a rubber strap and sapphire crystals, it ensures durability for daily use. The watch also includes an exhibition caseback, an automatic movement, and offers at least 100m of water resistance. Emphasizing its American roots, 89% of the GCT’s components are sourced from the United States, with the remaining parts transparently accounted for, underscoring the brand’s commitment to domestic manufacturing and quality.

Justin: Formex Essence Leggera

The Essence Leggera is a paradigm of Swiss Made ultra-light, high-precision watchmaking. Its innovative 40g Carbon Fiber Composite case offers a unique, silky texture, complemented by a durable, scratch-proof Zirconium Oxide ceramic bezel and crown. Comfort is key, with Micro-Adjustment and Case Suspension Systems for a perfect wrist fit. The watch is powered by a top-quality “Chronometer” grade Swiss Made Sellita SW-200-1 automatic movement, each rigorously COSC-certified for accuracy, boasting about 41 hours of power reserve. The Leggera’s dials, crafted in-house, range from unique forged carbon fiber to dials with Essence’s signature lines and various eye-catching finishes, all featuring mirror-polished, SuperLumiNova-filled hands and indexes for optimal legibility. In collaboration with WatchGecko, Formex offers a matching all-black NATO strap and comfortable leather and rubber straps with an easy-to-adjust, tool-free all-carbon Formex Deployant clasp, ensuring the Essence Leggera excels in style, functionality, and comfort.

Bringing things Home

In conclusion, our journey through the Intersect Watch Show in Atlanta has been nothing short of inspiring, highlighting the artistry and innovation within the world of microbrand horology. Each timepiece we encountered tells a unique story, reflecting the meticulous craftsmanship of its creators. These watches aren’t just instruments of time; they are masterpieces that embody the passion and dedication of their makers. We leave the show with a renewed appreciation for the intricate world of watchmaking and eagerly anticipate the future trends and timeless designs that will continue to captivate watch enthusiasts around the globe.

Big thanks to the Atlanta Watch Society, Nodus Watches, Jack Mason, Formex, and all the volunteers and brands for hosting such an amazing event, and of course, for letting us explore with our cameras!