*Sale starts at 12:00AM EST 11/27/2020 and ends at 03:00AM EST on 12/1/2020. Discounts are applied to list pricing and no discount code is required. Discounts do not apply to shipping or sales tax. Discounts cannot be applied to future or past orders. Discounts only apply to products that are in stock during the sale period.
Brew Watch Co., a U.S.-based watch brand best known for its industrial, espresso machine-inspired designs, recently unveiled the latest addition to its caffeine-charged collection, the new time-and-date Retromatic. The watch, whose design recalls that of Brew’s Retrograph chronograph first released in 2018, is the first fully-mechanical timepiece by the young brand, and comes as its first new model since the unveiling of the Mastergraph in the fall of last year.
The Brew Retromatic – Specifications
The Retromatic has a 36-mm x 39.5-mm rectangular case, which sits quite close to the wrist at a 10.5-mm thickness and is finished with a radial-style brushing. The model’s distinctive, funky curviness is similar to that of other Brew models, most notably the Retrograph mentioned above, and like all its predecessors features a coffee-bean signed crown on its right side. The Retromatic continues the brand’s use of hooded lugs, though in this model also offers an elevated level of style thanks to its appealing, flat-link steel bracelet with a butterfly clasp.
The dial greets us with one of four color options — green, black, blue, or burgundy — with the first three opting for yellow, white, and metal accents throughout, while the fourth eschews the yellow accenting in favor of an all-around clean metallic details. Each of these dials feature a unique texture, inspired by the circular cutouts seen in the drain-grates and heat extraction on bespoke espresso machines, which contrasts well with the smoother outer sector of the dial.
A chronograph-influenced minute ring, punctuated at each hour marker, occupies the outer edges of the dial, while the rest of the dial maintains a clean, minimalistic style, with a small date window at the 6 o’clock position, simple baton hands for the hour and minute, and a square-tipped lollipop-style pointer for the seconds. At the top of the dial we find the all-caps Brew logo and toward the bottom, the “Retromatic” designation along with a small reference to the automatic caliber inside the watch.
Like coffee beans, the Retromatic will be available in different varieties, two in this case, each distinguished by its movement. The blue- and black-dialed models will both use the Swiss Selitta SW200 automatic movement, which features a 38-hour power reserve and is often considered quite similar to ETA’s 2824 mechanism. The green- and burgundy-dialed watches will contain the Japanese Seiko NH35A automatic mechanism, which features a 41-hour power reserve and is often a caliber of choice for smaller, independent brands like Brew.
Brew has built something of a cult following, with the brand’s founder and designer, Johnathon Ferrer, becoming something of a microbrand hero among its fans. The company’s release of its first fully mechanical model is likely a dream come true for this group, as Brew has hinted at adding mechanical watches to its catalogue since its initial launch in 2015.
According to the brand, mechanical will be the “way forward” for all future models — which, if previous watches are any clue, will likely include a chronograph in the next year or two to come. This is significant not only because it represents a shift for the brand, but because Brew Watch Co. is often considered a leader among smaller independents. Making a full shift to mechanical may well be an encouraging sign for the microbrand space as a whole, as the market at large begins to take these smaller players more seriously.
Price and Availability
As of now, the Retromatics with Japanese movements are priced at $425 and will be limited to 300 editions, while the watches containing Swiss movement are marked slightly higher, at $495, and will be limited to 200 editions. All of the models are available now directly through Brew’s online store, found here.
To read our interview with Brew’s Founder and Designer Jonathan Ferrer, as well as our hands-on with the Mastergraph and Retrograph, click here.
For our last #MicrobrandMonday column where we goes hands-on with the Baltic Aquascaphe and interview the brand’s founder, click here.
The Doctor’s Watch is 42mm in diameter and 9.8mm thick, and as with all Archimede watches features a case made by Ickler, the storied German casemaking firm, of which Archimede is a subsidiary. The finish has a tasteful mix of brushed and polished surfaces, and while I haven’t had a chance to handle this particular watch, if it’s machined to the level that Ickler is known for, it’s fair to say that it surely is of a very high quality. The Doctor’s Watch is powered by a Miyota 9015 automatic movement, and has 5 ATM of water resistance, a sapphire crystal, and a 51mm lug to lug measurement. It’s available on a leather strap or mesh bracelet, and starts at approximately $736 after currency conversion.
So, even if you don’t need a watch like this as a frequent taker of pulses, it has a certain aesthetic appeal and old-school charm that might interest fans of vintage watches, or the more curious, customized realm of niche watches. It’s also a great example of a less common “non-mechanical complication” that rarely gets its due, and if prior experience with Ickler cased watches is any indication, it should be built to last and capable of standing up your everyday grind, whether that’s in the medical field, or elsewhere. Archimede
In the continuing retro wave, the Aviator 8 collection reinterprets Breitling’s early pilot watches without simply duplicating them. In this in-depth review from our October 2020 issue, we observe how the newest Aviator 8 model, the B01 Chronograph Mosquito, keeps up in modern everyday life. (Original photos by Olaf Köster.)
Just as a gusty wind can sometimes transition into a storm, the timepieces in Breitling’s Aviator 8 family have experienced a lot of change. Launched in early 2018 as the Navitimer 8, the collection has since transitioned to become the Aviator 8, albeit without making much of a stir. The move now appears to be complete — and the new line reflects the long history that links Breitling with aviation.
A Smooth Transition to the Aviator 8 The phrase “back to the cockpit” heralded the beginning of Georges Kern’s tenure as Breitling CEO in 2017. His aim was to revisit and reinvent Breitling’s first steps in the world of aviation. As early as the 1930s, Breitling produced cockpit instruments for airplanes, long before the first Navitimer with its famous slide rule came on the market in 1952, so it was surprising that the new line was called Navitimer (now “8”) and omitted the model’s characteristic slide rule. And the Navitimer 8 was supposed to be telling the part of Breitling’s pilots’ watch history that existed before the Navitimer.
That’s why the Navitimer 8 features a number of elements from Breitling watches produced in the 1930s and ‘40s, like a rotating bezel. The limited edition issued in the summer of 2018, since renamed the Navitimer Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph, was equipped with markers and even-numbered numerals in addition to the existing orientation triangle.
Then came the Curtiss Warhawk, another special edition issued about a year after the introduction of the Navitimer 8, and finally the Aviator 8 that now stands for Breitling’s early connection to aviation. The change was carried out gradually without causing a big stir. Although it’s still possible to find Navitimer 8 models on the Breitling website (and maybe these models will become collectible because of their brief lifespan), the unique models with the slide rule are found under “Navitimer” and the new watches are listed under “Aviator 8.” The Navitimer name on the dial has disappeared. Our test watch, the Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph Mosquito, came onto the market in late 2019 and reaches “back to the cockpit,” as Georges Kern defined it, and back to the style of cockpit clocks that were designed by the Huit Aviation Department in the 1930s and ‘40s. This department was founded at Breitling in 1938 (huit is French for “eight”) and handled airplane cockpit clocks with an 8-day power reserve.
A Movement with Steady Rates While the B01 in-house movement doesn’t offer an 8-day power reserve, it does extend over almost three days (70 hours), the current state-of-the-art. The chronograph movement with column-wheel control and vertical clutch was introduced in 2009 to commemorate the 125-year anniversary of the company. Its basic version powers the Chronograph Mosquito, but upon closer inspection there are some slight differences. For example, the eccentric screw for fine regulation is in a different place, and there were a few finishing flaws on the levers for the stopwatch function, which unfortunately were noticeable through the sapphire caseback. But none of this appears to affect the excellent chronometry of Breitling. The B01 movement runs with very balanced rate results in various situations: on the timing machine, on the wrist or when the chronograph is engaged. The B01 is very reliable in this regard.
It is housed in a 43-mm stainless-steel case like that of the Navitimer, with lugs that are now shorter and more curved and polished edges that give the watch a strong and sporty look, especially when viewed from the side. Breitling often finished its watches with these same facets from the 1930s to the 1960s.
Also historically inspired are the “mushroom” chronograph pushers, which are, like the fluted crown, another Navitimer feature. The column-wheel control gives the chronograph pushers pressure points that are solid but very smooth. The screw-down crown is rather hard to release and secure in place but is easy to pull out to its different operating positions.
A Dashing Pilot Watch in Diamondblack The grooved bidirectional rotating bezel turns smoothly and is radically different from the Navitimer with a smooth, downward sloping top, white hour markers and numerals, and a red reference point. The grooved section continues a sharp conical downward slope, and in contrast to the Navitimer, the raised portions are not exactly parallel to the grooves. The Mosquito bezel ring is also coated with ADLC, which turns it a deep, dark black unlike the more anthracite color of a DLC coating that Breitling has used for many years.
The “Diamondblack” ADLC coating was developed especially for luxury objects. Its hardness and resistance to impacts and scratches and its elegant black metallic color make this carbon-based coating ideal for watches. The gas-based process and low coating temperatures of less than 200 degrees Celsius are ideal for coating complex shapes and sensitive materials. The 2-to-3-micrometer coating retains the structure of polished or matte surfaces. Diamondblack is hypoallergenic and resistant to acidic and alkaline chemicals and solvents. Thanks to its good friction properties, Diamondblack can also be used as a coating for mechanical watch components. It reduces the need for lubrication and extends maintenance periods. Here, however, it is not used in the watch movement.
Colorful Accents Recall the de Havilland Mosquito The black dial is reminiscent of vintage cockpit instruments and clocks. Bold red-orange accents are designed to recall the insignias and markings on the fuselage of the de Havilland Mosquito, a British multi-use airplane from the 1940s that was one of the fastest planes in the sky during World War II and was built almost entirely of wood — this was the inspiration for the name “Mosquito” used for this Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph.
The eye-catching hands that show the main time with their orange framing dominate above the dial. The same color is repeated on the small hand for the stopwatch function and on the tip of the central stopwatch seconds hand. While these elements are not luminescent, the primary hands, together with the hour numerals and markers and the 12 small triangles on the minutes/seconds track around the edge of the dial, glow bright green in the dark. In daylight, the white Super-LumiNova provides a stark contrast to the black dial, enhancing legibility.
The minute track around the edge of the dial is based on the original reference 634, with triangle markers pointing inward every 5 minutes, extended lines for the minutes, and thinner line markings for the fractions of a second. The large Arabic numerals come from the Ref. 765 AVI, which made a name for itself among aviators and was known as the “co-pilot.” The three silver subdials and the numbering on the bezel can be also found on these earlier models.
A Flight Instrument With its Own Identity The sturdy dark-brown leather strap with a bright yellow underside has a vintage style that matches the character of this watch. Our test watch was equipped with a robust pin buckle whose polished edges match the polished bevels of the case. It’s a well-rounded package — the former Navitimer 8 has found its own identity as the Aviator 8.
SPECS: Manufacturer: Breitling Chronometrie, Allée du Laser 10, CH-2300 La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland Reference number: AB01194A1B1X1 Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph (central stopwatch seconds, 30-minute and 12-hour counters), date, bidirectional rotating bezel Movement: Breitling 01, automatic, COSC certified, 28,800 vph, 47 jewels, Nivarox hairspring, Kif shock absorber, Eccentric screw fine adjustment, 70-hour power reserve, diameter = 30.0 mm, height = 7.20 mm Case: Stainless steel with ADLC bezel, curved sapphire crystal above the dial with anti-glare coating on both sides, sapphire caseback, water resistant to 100 meters Strap and clasp: Brown vintage-look leather strap, pin buckle clasp Rate results (Deviation in seconds per 24 hours, fully wound/after 24 hours): On the wrist +2.9 Dial up +0.6 / +1.9 Dial down +4.8 / +4.9 Crown up +2.1 / -0.5 Crown down +2.1 / +3.9 Crown left +3.3 / +4.3 Greatest deviation 4.2 / 5.4 Average deviation +2.6 / +2.9 Average amplitude: Flat positions 290° / 270° Hanging positions 257° / 242° Dimensions: Diameter = 42.92 mm, height = 14.17 mm, weight = 114.5 g Variations: With leather strap with folding clasp (Ref. AB01194A1B1X2; $7,960) Price: $7,710
Windup Watch Shop Recommendations from the Worn & Wound Editorial Team
Words by Windup Watch Shop
With the Holiday shopping season fully upon us, we thought it would be fun to ask the Worn & Wound editorial team for their recommendations from the Windup Watch Shop. Everyone chose one watch and one accessory from the shop that stands out to them to add to the list. So, if you’re still on the lookout for a new watch or strap, for yourself or a loved one, check out these selections below.
Rarely do I find automotive inspired watches compelling, but one consistent exception to that are the watches from Autodromo. Here, the watches are clearly born of a passion for the particular automotive genres they reference. The Intereuropa receives its name from a race held in Monza during the mid 20th century, pitting Italy’s finest against one another on the track. The image of Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, and Lancia being rung through on the track during their formative years, and stand up well enough to provide a stylish ride home brings a smile to my face. And so does the Autodromo watch by the same name. The sunray blue dial on this example pairs beautifully with the raised chapter ring, each carefully designed with restraint to evoke the spirit of the event it’s named after. The blue leather rally strap provides a perfect compliment, and begs for a set of driving gloves.
A nice strap can be a lot like a great pair of jeans, it gets better with age and proper break in. The Model 2 Premium is just such a strap, constructed from a combination of Wickett & Craig vegetable tanned lining and Horween top leather. This is a strap with substance that will last nearly as long as the watch it calls home. Rendered in Marsh Green, this is a strap that will sing on watches like the Sinn U50, Black Bay 58, or Seiko SPB149 (trust me, I’ve tried).
If you’re shopping for a watch lover with adventurous taste (or you’re just looking for an excuse to pick something up for yourself that’s a little unusual), Zodiac has you covered with the Olympos. This reissue of their classic dress watch from the 1960s has a distinctive, asymmetrical “Manta Ray” case. It’s the kind of case that forces you into a double-take the first time you see it – something just seems a little off, but in a good way. The lugs, which appear to be elongated on one end, and pinched inward at the other thanks to some clever case geometry, are actually quite elegant, and the Olympos wears surprisingly comfortably, as it measures just 37.5mm in diameter. It’s pure style, and a great entry point to the world of shaped cases, a rabbit hole collecting category if there ever was one. The details don’t disappoint on the Olympos either, with applied markers and a domed dial with sunray finishing divided into quadrants, the Olympos is loaded with great design, and a true sleeper at less than $1,000.
Gray suede is the returning champion of watch straps. Whenever I can’t figure out what strap to pair a watch with, it’s the color and material combination I always come back to. Gray works with everything, and a good suede offers an appealing texture that feels at home anywhere you’re wearing it. It’s refined without being dressy, and rustic but not overly casual. It’s right in the middle, and it just always looks right. I’ve been wearing the new Sackett strap in storm gray on a Speedmaster Professional and it’s a great pairing, but this strap is all about versatility, and will work equally well on a vintage diver with colorful accents or a sleek dress watch (like the Olympos) that you’re looking to wear a bit less formally.
This is a watch that probably doesn’t need introduction. Hitting the scene back in 2017, this charming hand-wound mechanical field watch made quite the impression. For me, it just checks all the right boxes. The 38mm blasted steel case is only 9.75mm thick. It wears really well on the wrist, hitting that perfect balance between too big and too small. You get classic field watch looks with the added bonus of the modern H-50 movement inside that boasts an impressive 80-hour power reserve. I particularly like the white dial — it separates the Khaki Field Mechanical from the rest of the field watch pack even further, and to me, it’s one of the best applications of vintage creamy lume. Coming in at just under $500, it’s a great value for a Swiss-made watch too.
Haveston’s Corp Canvas straps are the perfect complement to your military style watches. They’re based on an actual military watch strap from the 1940s that was used during World War II. They’re very soft and pliable, making them especially comfortable on the wrist. I dig the stitched reinforcement around the holes in the strap, precise stitching, and the high quality stainless steel hardware. They’re available in a bunch of subdued colors that are sure to match a variety of your watch collection.
My gift selection for a watch from the Windup shop could easily be the LE collab Christopher Ward C65 Sandstorm Chronometer because, well, it’s freaking awesome, but that’s way too easy of a pick. Instead, I’m going with my vintage diver roots and picking the Oris Divers Sixty-Five 40mm because, well, it’s also freaking awesome. Like many brands, Oris jumped on the retro heritage diver bandwagon and they did it to perfection. The Sixty-Five is a perfect homage to its vintage roots, and at 40mm is in the sweet spot size-wise, not too small and not a knuckle dragger. Overall a clean, classic diver that has oodles of style and looks equally great with a wetsuit in the ocean or a three-piece Armani in the boardroom.
If you’re not going all in on a watch, then a strap makes a perfect gift this holiday season. And the Worn & Wound Model 2 Premium is about as perfect a leather strap as you’ll find. Make no mistake, this is not a statement I make lightly. I’ve tried a few of the Worn & Wound straps, as well as countless other straps from a variety of makers both mass made and bespoke. The Model 2 Premium is one of the finest straps I’ve had. Nice, supple leather coupled with excellent craftsmanship (made in the U.S. no less!) make for a truly stylish and comfortable strap. The detail that I love the most is the dual keepers, one steel and one leather, a really nice touch that you don’t see often. There is a large variety of colors to choose from to go with any watch or outfit. To be honest, I’m not one to spend $95 on a strap very often, but this is one strap that I won’t hesitate to plunk down a Benjamin for.
Even for those of us who immerse ourselves daily in the imagery and lore of amazing mechanical timepieces, the draw of simple, purposeful, highly-accurate quartz watches is not lost. After adding a no-date Marathon Navigator to my collection early this year, I’ve found myself regularly choosing it over more complicated and expensive timepieces. First is the case, which mixes an iconic asymmetrical mil-spec design, with a bi-directional 12-hr bezel (a personal fave) and uniquely colored high-impact fiber case. Barring a few ultra-high end ceramic watches, desert tan is not a common color for watches. Then you have the dial, which is once again a function-driven mil-spec layout, but includes tritium gas tubes for amazing legibility at night. With a price tag under $300, it’s simply a lot of watch with a lot of character.
When the weather warms up, and wearing a thick leather strap is no longer the ideal option, I go for a nylon option. Bracelets look good and masculine, and rubber straps are stylish in the right setting, but only nylon offers the long-term wearability I prefer. Lightweight, breathable, washable, and often in exciting colors, nylon straps are a sort of set-and-forget choice. The new ADPT US-Made Single Pass straps are my go-to choice now as they have a more minimal appearance and less bulk than traditional mil-straps, while still being made out of rugged nylon is a great array of colors. For those who are thinking of picking up the Marathon above, an ADPT Single Pass is the perfect combination.
My watch pick would be the Hamilton PSR Digital Quartz. We live in a largely digital age where our love for mechanical watches has a romantic aspect to it. Hamilton’s Pulsar was a true digital innovation in an analog and largely mechanical world. I love how this re-edition celebrates this time of transition with a design that is is bold and funky now as it was back then.
The perfect accessory here isn’t a strap or spring bar tool (because I wouldn’t be taking it off the bracelet), but the Cantonment Kerchief with ‘opti’ printing. The red and grey retro photography based designs are perfect as a backdrop for some quick photos, and for keeping the Hamilton’s digital display smudge free.