In the world of contemporary watchmaking, Japanese movement manufacturer Miyota has played a pivotal role by providing robust yet affordable mechanical calibers. Their workhorse 9015 and next-generation 90S5 automatic movements now power watches from microbrands around the globe.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most interesting small brands adopting Miyota’s motors to enable their creative visions. These four upstart watchmakers truly exemplify the innovation and value that this versatile caliber brings, and will serve as inspirations for when it's your turn to build your own Miyota-powered watch.


Miyota 9015

Beaublue Vitruve Date Steel



Hailing from Angers, France, BEAUBLEU is an intriguing luxury microbrand launched in 2018 that focuses on sleek yet substantial designs exuding French flair. Their VITRUVE DATE STEEL model exemplifies these ideals beautifully as an articulation of sophisticated contours.

Inside beats the venerable Miyota 9015, a proven 24 jewel automatic movement that winds smoothly in both directions. Withhackable seconds for precision time setting and a generous 42+ hour power reserve, the 9015 provides a robust foundation. The caliber's modest 28,800 vibrations per hour (vph) grant the seconds hand a consistent sweeping motion.

The VITRUVE artfully blends curved vertically brushed case sides with a striking cross-hatched dial texture. Bold applied indices pop beautifully against the gray palette, leading to a framed date window at 3 o'clock. Leaf-shaped hands glide gracefully to complete the refined aesthetic.

At 40mm diameter and a slim 10mm thickness, wearing comfort joins sophisticated wrist presence. Priced around €950, the Miyota-powered VITRUVE offers captivating looks and feel exuding French flair. BEAUBLEU is a youthful brand to watch with strong foundational offerings like this classy yet modern timepiece.


Nodus - Avalon II Bronze

Source: Calibre321


Another exciting newcomer founded in 2018, California's Nodus Watches focuses on melding affordable Swiss made timepieces with passionate American watch sensibilities. Their robust Avalon II Bronze diver adeptly exemplifies this fusion.

The Avalon II Bronze also houses the proven Miyota 9015 to provide smooth and reliable automatic functionality. A rich bronze case measuring 40mm diameter envelops a textured lacquered dial with pronounced applied indices.

Tasteful blue highlights on the seconds hand and beveled date window at 6 o'clock provide striking contrast. Hints of lume on the indices and hands join a screw down crown and 100m water resistance rating to convey subtle rugged pedigree.

Retailing around $750 USD, the Avalon II Bronze punches far above its weight with confident styling and construction powered by the venerable Miyota 9015. Nodus hit their mark with this fan-favorite release heralding their ascendance on the microbrand scene.


Miyota 90S5

Borealis - Adraga

Source: Borealis Watch


From Lisbon, Portugal, Borealis is another decade-old boutique brand known for distinctive and capable dive watches including the contemporary Adraga. This artfully sculpted timepiece steps forward by showcasing the new Miyota 90S5 automatic movement.

The 90S5 brings all the benefits of the 9015 foundation and elevates with thoughtfully optimized components and added refinement. That proven base enables the Adraga's fluid tonneau case design housing a rich sunray gray dial topped with bright C3 Super-LumiNova for excellent nighttime legibility.

A 120-click unidirectional bezel provides confident elapsed timing, while 300 meters of water resistance ensures diving capability. The Miyota 90S5 caliber beats smoothly inside to power this performance package.

Priced around $450 USD with Miyota innovation inside, the eye-catching Adraga demonstrates Borealis' mastery of blending character, capability, and value. Its worldly sophistication stays true to the brand's adventurous Portuguese roots.


Lorier - Falcon III

Source: Lorier Watches


Based in New York City, Lorier Watches thrives on crafting thoughtfully designed vintage-inspired watches with modern charm and accessibility. They also embrace the reliable Miyota 90S5 to deliver satisfying automatic convenience in an overall wallet-friendly package.

The elegant Falcon III encapsulates Lorier's philosophy, contrasting regimental sword hands against a stark white dial. Ten understated baton indices are likewise framed by a rich deep blue sunburst inner disc that evokes a twilight sky. A meticulous silver case measuring 36mm wide houses the smooth-sweeping 90S5 motor inside.

On a slim leather strap, the Miyota-driven Falcon III retails for around $450 - $499 USD, skillfully walking the line between creativity and affordability.  Lorier's vision shines through this carefully considered package made possible by the 90S5, continuing the brand's ascendance by intertwining modern engineering with timeless style.


Wrap Up

Miyota's movements enable microbrand creativity by providing robust and affordable foundations to build upon. As evidenced by these four diverse watchmakers, the venerable 9015 and capable 90S5 allow small teams to realize their watchmaking visions while keeping costs reasonable.

The future looks bright for these scrappy brands harnessing reliable Japanese calibers to drive innovation. And Miyota's ever-evolving movements will surely continue powering horological dreams for years to come as technology advances. The possibilities are endless when engineering and creativity unite.

November 19, 2023 — Jeremiah A

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