Independent watch brands to look out for in 2024

Independent watch brands including Singer, Artya, MB&F and Beauregard are rewriting the horological rules

blue and white watch by MB&F, one of the independent watch brands to know
(Image credit: Courtesy of the brand)

The consensus at Watches & Wonders 2024, was that this is a ‘steady as she goes’ year, with the major brands playing it safe in the face of slowing sales growth and expectations that the Covid bounce is running out of steam. The picture changes, though, when it comes to the smaller, independent watch brands that are seeing a sustained growth in attention as a new generation of buyers seek out a level of individuality and character that more established brands can’t risk, a trend that major retailers such as Watches of Switzerland have started to notice. Here, the premium is on creativity pure and simple, and Geneva 2024 didn’t disappoint. 

Independent watch brands to know


watch on white background

Artya Purity Stairway to Heaven

(Image credit: Courtesy of the brand)

Creativity doesn’t have to mean ultra-complicated mechanisms or out-there design, as Artya’s Purity – Stairway To Heaven watch demonstrates. It’s a minimalist concept that’s all about shadows and reflections, surfaces and voids, hiding the complexity of the movement in plain sight, and works exceptionally well in the 40mm white ceramic case shown here. There are blue, green and black versions, as well as a steel options; it’s an almost unimaginable change of direction for watch designer Yvan Arpa, Aryta’s founder, who made his name with somewhat more baroque and outré creations.

Artya Purity Stairway to Heaven, CHF29,900,


black diving watch by independent watch brand Singer

Singer Reimagined Divetrack

(Image credit: Courtesy of the brand)

One factor that’s boosted independent watch brands is the availability of technologies and materials (such as Artya’s ceramic cases) that were once the preserve of more industrial-scale makers. Singer Reimagined has made a specialism out of this approach (not unlike its parent company Singer Vehicle Design, which restores and reimagines Porsche 911s) using movements from Agenhor that rely on ‘printed’ silicon components that offer out-of-the-ordinary performance. This access allows designers such as Marco Borroccino, Singer Reimagined’s founder, the chance to literally reinvent the wheel or, in the case of the new Divetrack, the diving watch.

Singer Reimagined Divetrack, CHF85,000,


white and blue watch on black background

MB&F HM* Mark 2 Blue

(Image credit: MB&F)

Another advantage to working at the boutique scale is the freedom to collaborate. MB&F is famously all about this, assembling teams of designers, makers and suppliers on a project-by-project basis, the latest edition of the HM8 (the Mark 2) listing over 30 external suppliers from renowned designer Eric Giroud through to Injector, the supplier of the CarbonMacrolon composite panels. In truth, this is how the industry generally works, but the freedom and openness with which MB&F operates wins kudos from clients and partners alike.

MB&F HM8 Mark 2 Blue, CHF73,00,

Beauregard x Vianney Halter

brown watch with intricate dial

Beauregard x Vianney Halter Ulysse

(Image credit: Courtesy of the brand)

Collaboration also brings complementary talents together as in veteran watchmaker Vianney Halter and jewellery watch studio Beauregard. The latter specialises in women’s designs, making highly creative use of precious and semi-precious stones matched to high-end movements. For the new Ulysse, Alexandre Beauregard turned to Halter’s ‘Mystery’ movement to power the contra-rotating discs, each a tracery of gold filled with specially cut aquamarines, a collaboration that allowed Beauregard to offer a watch with a dimension of movement not otherwise possible.

Beauregard x Vianney Halter Ulysse,

Massena LAB

grey watch on stone background

Massena LAB 1952 Observatory Dial

(Image credit: Courtesy of the brand)

During Watches and Wonders 2024, independent watchmaker Raúl Pagès was present at the AHCI (Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants) mini-show in downtown Geneva, fresh from winning the Louis Vuitton Watch Prize For Independent Creatives. He was, however, keeping his latest news quiet. Pagès is part of a collaboration with Phillips in association with Bacs & Russo and Massena LAB, and its second watch was released on 24 April, the 1952 Observatory Dial Limited Edition. Inspired by a rare Patek Philippe watch from 1952, the watch features a movement developed by Pages and has a superb yellow gold-accented, two-tone dial.

Massena LAB 1952 Observatory Dial, produced in a run of 99 in stainless steel and available through Phillips, CHF 8,800. Email 



(Image credit: Courtesy of Urwerk)

Urwerk’s reputation is based on wildly complex watches that feature planetary-geared hands and discs to show the time, futuristic materials and precision enhancements, all housed in retro-sci-fi cases, so the SpaceTime Blade is unexpected to say the least. A 1.7m high, 20kg glass and bronze blade that houses a stack of 8 ‘Nixie’ units, it’s designed to resemble a gnomon (the shadow blade on a sundial) and is set up to show time in terms of our planet’s velocity around the sun (it’ll do vanilla time as well if you want). Thirty-three will be made at CHF55,000 plus tax each.

Urwerk SpaceTime Blade, CHF55,000,



Nomos Glashütte Tangente 38 Colours

(Image credit: Courtesy of NOMOS)

Nomos Glashütte made its Watches and Wonders debut in 2024 with a series of watches that perfectly encapsulate the brand’s ethos and style – take a dash of 1980s-inflected post-modernism, some de Stijl and Bauhaus references and an almost messianic approach to quality and value and you have Tangente 38 Colours. The beautifully simple case and hand-wound movement will be familiar, but this year, the watches appear in 31 colour variations, each made in small runs of 175, using swatches that emphasise different elements of the dial design and give a new energy to the brand’s most classic design.

Nomos Glashütte Tangente 38 Colours, £1,925,

James Gurney has written on watches for over 25 years, founding QP Magazine in 2003, the UK’s first home-grown watch title. In 2009, he initiated SalonQP, one of the first watch fairs to focus on the end-consumer, and is regarded as a leading horological voice contributing to news and magazine titles across the globe.