In the luxury-watch business, independence is a tricky thing to define. Does it refer to freedom from corporate rule? Or to a lack of reliance on outside suppliers? Most Swiss watch connoisseurs would argue both. One thing, however, is not up for debate: The industry’s best and brightest independent makers are at the forefront of horological creativity—and they are courting collectors with a vengeance. Here are RobbReport.com’s picks for five of the top independent watchmakers.