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Top 5 Carbon Watches (Microbrand Edition)

5 dressy-sporty carbon watches you can find, microbrand edition.

We’ve looked at a fair amount of watches from Divers, Chronographs to Homages. This time around, some of the members in our team are personally looking for watches that are made out of carbon.

So we thought it would be a great opportunity for us to write an article about the top 5 carbon watches you can find, we’ve done the research so you don’t have to. Typically, watches that are made out of carbon or forged carbon are expensive due to its construction of ensuring impermeability of the material.

We took a few considerations before choosing these 5 watches on this list and they are ,Value for money, Appearance and Quality.

1) Gorilla Watches (Original)

The Gorilla “Original” from the Legacy collection
Image taken from: http://www.gorillawatches.ch

Kicking things off, we have an up and rising microbrand that boasts a very large and supportive fan base. The watches released by Gorilla are almost always sold out within an hour or so, maybe even quicker. So if you’re not born with the fastest hands, you can try looking for a pre-owned piece.

“Quicker” may be the key to their watches as the designers hone their inspiration from stunning cars like the BMW M4, Ford GT40 or the Porsche 917 in their pink livery during the 1971 LeMans and it has been their branding since. Clearly, if you’re a fan of motorsports, this brand speaks to you.

The watch that we’ll be talking about is the “Original” Fastback from the Legacy collection. This is their very first timepiece which is limited to 500 pieces, they are individually numbered as well!

This particular piece exudes a very strong sense of youthfulness and sportiness with its combination of the red accents together with an overall black theme. The cased is made with forged carbon which adds an uplifted touch of detail throughout the whole watch, personally, I’d give the appearance of this watch a 10/10.

If you hadn’t known, the watches made by Gorilla are particularly big with a case dimension of 44mm. Not very friendly for small wrists i’d say but due to its squarish-design, it hugs your wrist nicely and does not look overly huge when compared to normal round cases.

Specifications

Movement: Miyota 8215, Self-winding

Functions: Hour, minute, seconds hands

Case dimensions: 44 mm case diameter and 48.5 mm crown guard

Case Material: Forged carbon, anodised aluminium, titanium, ceramic, steel

Crystal: Scratch resistant sapphire, anti-reflective coating, both sides

Crown: Screw-down for improved water resistance

Water Resistance: 100 meters / 330 feet / 10 ATM

Bracelet: Rubber strap,titanium pin buckle

Weight: 110 grams with strap and buckle


2) Code41 Anomaly-01 Forged Carbon

Code41’s Anomaly-01 Forged Carbon
Image taken from: code41watches.com

The 2nd piece on our list comes off a little dressier. Never thought carbon could be associated with dressy, huh?

Code41 is a brand that crowdfunded an extensive amount of 543,150 CHF or 799,579.81 SGD in collaboration with a community of 57,000 members and they managed to kick start their brand in late 2016.

They design and develop their watches according to the needs and voices of the community which makes them such an amazing brand.

The Anomaly-01 Forged Carbon is priced at USD 1,525.40 and you may wonder if it could be any more expensive due to using carbon? The answer is yes, Code41 has managed to cut out the middlemen of the distribution which helped them cut the prices to a more affordable one.

With the similarities of red accents when compared to Gorilla’s “Original”, the forged carbon runs around the case of the Anomaly-01 too. I’m starting to think that red is probably the best colour to pair with black (taking the designers’ advice).

However, the red accents are found on small arrows which helps with the legibility when reading the sub-dials. The dial utilises a Miyota 82S7 which features the heart of the skeleton, a touch of class in addition to all the “carbon-ness”.

Specifications

Case: forged carbon case middle and bezel. titanium skeleton and caseback / 43mm / H: 12.8mm
Movement: mechanical automatic Miyota 82S7
Functions: hours/minutes hands, second and 24h discs
Luminescent hands and markers
Sapphire glass: scratch-resistant & anti-reflective
Water resistance: 5 atm (50 meters)
Weight with leather strap: 90gr
Interchangeable strap: 24mm


3) Zelos Swordfish V2

Zelos’s Swordfish V2 Diver
Image taken from: http://zeloswatches.com/

Adding a little Singaporean touch to our list, it is of no surprise that Zelos makes one of the best watches for a microbrand and they are known internationally. They recently released a watch with a tourbillon movement and it shook the entire microbrand watch world, more on that on their website here.

This will be the only watch on our list that does not employ the use of a forged carbon case but the forged carbon dial. Without using it as the case, it makes the carbon much more sophisticated and premium, smart use of the “less is more” or the “80/20” rule.

The watch gives off a rather premium vibe due to the yellow-gold accents all around the watch and the ceramic bezel-insert. The Swordfish V2 comes with a 300m water-resistant and from the looks of it it’s one of those watches that you can wear it diving or to a wedding.

It is priced reasonably for it’s quality at $499 USD, however, it is currently sold out. You can take a look at this watch and Zelos’s collections here.

Specifications

Case: 42mm Diameter, 22mm Lug width, 48mm Lug to Lug Length, 13mm thickness 

Water Resistance: 300m

Crystal: Sapphire

Bezel Insert: 120 Clicks, Ceramic insert with 2000 Vickers hardness, brushed and fully lumed. Some models feature a Stainless Steel insert

Movement: Seiko NH35 

Material: Ceramic Bezel Insert. 316L SS Case

Dial: Textured with C3 and BGW9 lume

Crown: Signed crown 

Bracelet: 316L SS with Slim clasp and Microadjust postions


4) Tempest Carbon

Coming in 4th on our list is also my personal favourite and i’m quite sure you can already tell why. The Tempest Carbon looks like a Luminox with its orange second hand and accent around the hour marker but “carbon-fied”.

I love the simplicity and also the shape of the case. For some reason, it reminds me of the BOLDR “Venture” but a blacked-out version which we’ve reviewed a few articles back, you can check out that article here.

It is made out of 100% forged carbon fibre and to my surprise, it beats at 28,800bph and uses the Miyota 9015 which is a heck of a movement. My favourite microbrand watch, the Baltic Aquascaphe uses a Miyota 9039 which is very similar to the 9015.

Tempest did a great job designing the watch with the focus on the carbon aspects and it shows. It is a no nonsense dive watch that delivers, yet provides an excellent charm by showcasing it’s brilliant geometry and aesthetics from it’s hands to the carbon case.

Take a look at their website here for more information.

Specifications

– Dimensions –                                                                               – Movement –
– Diameter: ∅43mm                                                                  – Automatic Miyota Calibre 9015
– Length: 47.5mm (lug-to-lug)                                               – 24 Jewel, Shock-Absorbed balance Shaft
– Thickness 14.7mm                                                                   – Beating at 28,800bph, 42hr Power Reserve
– Lug Width: 22mm                                                                     – Hacking Seconds, Manual Wind function

– Case –                                                                                               – Dial –
– 100% Forged Carbon Fiber                                                 – Matt Black Dial
– PVD Stainless Steel Screw down crown                      – Applied Markers with Swiss Super-LumiNova BGW9 Lume
– PVD Stainless Steel Caseback                                           – Raised Statium Chapter Ring

– Strap-                                                                                                – Crystal –
– Water-Resistant Nylon Strap with Leather liner   – Double Domed Sapphire Crystal
– 22mm tapering to 20mm                                                       – Anti Reflective coating (inside only)
– PVD Stainless Steel engraved Buckle

– Ratings –
– Water Resistant to 200M/660ft
– Shock Resistant
– Individually Tested


5) TORQ Forged

The TORQ Forged
Image taken from: https://www.facebook.com/t0rqforged/

The last carbon watch on our list is literally a carbon watch. By that I mean it is made out of 100% carbon which makes the Tempest Carbon not 100% carbon which I’ve mentioned, get what I mean?

Okay jokes aside, the TORQ Forged is a watch made out of 100% carbon from the case, dial and bracelet. The only reason you’re reading this article is because you’re looking for carbon watches, there you have it!

Anyway, TORQ is a microbrand that focuses on making watches from unique materials such as carbon, meteorite and ammonlite. As of right now, their website is undergoing maintenance thus I am unable to provide you with the specifications and more specific thoughts on the watch besides it being really “carbonised”.

The TORQ Forged may not be for everyone but it sure as hell for the one who loves a light and carbon watch!


Final Thoughts

Watches that are made out of carbon are usually found in brands like Audemar Piguet, Bell & Ross and Panerai to name a few. However, if you look elsewhere, there are brands that offer many affordable yet of quality timepieces made out of carbon. Furthermore, these brands offer many delicate touches to their watches from a full carbon watch to a dressier carbon watch, it is impressive that they are bold and able to convey the kind of watches they are trying to explore, with that, kudos to them.

Engage in a discussion with us!

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