Watches Without The Markup, Oh My

Now if only you could be on time
July 18, 2019
July 17, 2019
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What We Considered
Our Picks

That clock is a ticking. It’s saying that perhaps you could use some new arm candy. More specifically, from one of these cool new watch companies that stand apart from the rest of the options out there.

As you may know, we aren’t a fan of retail markups. Why? Because watches with markups cost twice as much as they should… any reasonable splurge on a watch is going to land you with a whole bunch of cheap, poorly made materials, assembled into a wristwatch that doesn’t mean a whole lot to you. And anything beyond a reasonable splurge is, well, expensive. So if you can afford a Rolex, kudos you you, but the rest of us are trying to avoid a middle school throwback to Baby G’s (good memories though) or a lame generic watch from the Macy's counter.

So if you’ve been looking for that perfect watch for yourself or someone special, let us help you cut through the noise (and the middlemen). We’ve rounded up all of your new favorite brands that are worth the wear. Thinking that’s what you’re here for, right? Interchangeable straps, water resistance, movement types - we’ve got all the dirty details. And when your coworkers start eyeing your wrist with envy, be sure to let us know.


The founders of MVMT have the ultimate startup story – two college friends who saw an opportunity to disrupt an overpriced and outdated industry (in this case, watches) back in 2013. After dropping out of the University of California Santa Barbara, they launched what would become an incredibly successful business with a cult following and over $60 million in sales in their first four years. Years later, they still remain true to their roots, bringing you premium quality at radically fair prices. Talk about staying humble. 

The Goods

✓  100% genuine leather

✓  Interchangeable strap

✓  Movement: Japanese Miyota Precision Quartz

✓  Lens: Hardened mineral crystal glass

✓  Water Resistance = 3-10 meters

✓  24 month warranty

Why We Stand Behind Them

✓  Transparent pricing 

Filippo Loretti

Filippo Loreti’s design pays homage to the timelessness of Italian style, drawing inspiration from the country’s iconic architecture and naming collections after Italian cities– even going as far as engraving sketches of Saint Mark’s Basilica & Capitoline Hill into the inner stainless steel casing of select styles. The aesthetic merges minimalistic designs with often eye-catching bold colors like bright blue styles and standout moonphase design.

The Goods

✓  Sapphire glass lens for no scratching

✓  316L stainless steel case quality standard

✓  Italian leather strap

✓  10 year international warranty

Why We Stand Behind Them

✓  Believe in being free and open for all transparency purposes

Leonard & Church

Leonard & Church focuses on a design that is both minimalistic and traditional. They also believe in small-batch manufacturing, making their product especially unique because each and every watch is made by hand. This company was founded by a group of friends in NYC & LA who bonded together over the inability to find a quality watch that didn’t break the bank. So they decided to take matters into their own hands...

The Goods

✓  Sapphire crystal lens

✓  50 M water resistance

✓  Stainless steel and genuine leather

✓  Japanese Miyota Quartz movement

Why We Stand Behind Them

✓  Transparent about manufacturing and pricing

✓  Value quality over brand


Linjer's minimalist designs are perfect for those seeking an effortlessly polished look. Their watches are made from Italian leather and Swiss movements from the finest makers ETA and Rhonda. So stop paying for those fast-fashion styles only for them to stop working after a short while. These babies are built to last. 

The Goods

✓   Leather made in the Santa Croce sull’Arno and Arzignano regions

✓   Use Vegetable (organic) and Chrome (synthetic) tanning methods for leather

✓   Quick release interchangeable strap

✓   Rhonda and ETA movement

✓   Water Resistance is at 3 ATM

Why We Stand Behind Them

✓   Built to last which means, aka sustainable in nature

✓  Uses local Italian tanneries for leather products

✓  Honest pricing


Last up is a little something just for the ladies (guys, if you’ve made it this far, bookmark this for your next gift idea). Nacre makes watches that are simply timeless, while still managing to keep perfect time, of course. Inspired by the moon and its ability to move the tides and ‘nacre’ actually means “mother of pearl”. The founders of Nacre have had their family in the watch business since 1949 and now are selling directly to you. Plus, you can even make your own style with their Build a Watch option!

The Goods

✓  Create your own style with Build a Watch feature

✓  Leather and mesh strap options starting at $170

✓  High-hand, Japanese Miyota quartz movement

✓  Vegetable tanned leather for straps

✓  Ultra-thin 6mm casing

✓  Sandblasted metal dial

Why We Stand Behind Them

✓  Built to last, no wastefulness

✓  Honest and transparent prices

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Image Credits: MVMT, MVMT, @mvmtforher/ Filippo Loretti, @filippoloretiwatches/ Leonard and Church, Leonard and Church, @leonardandchurch/ Linjer, Linjer, @linjerco/ Nacre, @nacrewatches/

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