The Brew Metric Retro Dial says it’s bean time The Brew Metric Retro Dial says it’s bean time

The Brew Metric Retro Dial says it’s bean time

Tom Austin

Contrary to what you might think, I don’t generally buy what I would consider to be an excessive amount of watches. I don’t tend to sell my watches very often, because that almost always leads to regret. What I do try to do, as someone who gets to see a lot of them, is to be rather selective over what I buy. These are what I would call keepers, so if I decide to buy a watch, it has to be right – gut instinct can go a long way. Sometimes, I’ll deliberate for ages, but I usually end up round-tripping right back to the start and go with my original feeling when I first laid eyes on a watch. The Brew Metric was one of those watches. Those pesky, ultra hi-res press shots and sexy Instagram photos hooked me. I’m a sucker for the unusual, I have an affinity for asymmetry, and I love when a watch uses bright, contrasting colours in a subtle way. All of these things meant the Brew Metric had found itself in my collection this month, and spent more time on my wrist than anything else.

Left-field inspiration, impressive execution

Brew Metric Retro Dial Front Quarter

Since its inception in 2015, Brew has been picking up considerable steam in the micro-brand genre. Based in NYC and founded by industrial designer Jonathan Ferrer, the brand started as a passion project combining Jonathan’s love of coffee and watches. Like many that start in this way, Brew has gone on to see great success so far with several strong releases.

This alone is one reason I love to support microbrands, when you see the love and passion that gets injected into a project from the early stages, it makes me all the more happy to spend my hard-earned doubloons in that direction. Supporting these brands helps them grow, push the boundaries and simply create more cool stuff, and I’m all for that. Then, of course, there’s the accessibility. Despite Brew being based in NYC and myself in ye olde Great Britain, the watch was with me in two days flat. That’s mighty impressive, given how often cool stuff is on pre-order for months, or shipping takes what feels like an eternity.

Little details work together

Brew Metric Retro Dial Wrist Shot

The Brew Metric is essentially a compact, casual integrated bracelet chronograph which blends industrial styling with retro 1970s touches. Its striking appearance is largely due to the combination of the aggressively tapered integrated bracelet with the asymmetric bug-eyed dial splashed with contrasting colours. Measuring 36mm wide, 41.5mm lug-to-lug, and 10.75mm thick, it’s by no means a large watch. The square case, however, has a great illusion of making its 36mm wear a little bigger, thanks to it being around 40mm corner-to-corner. The stainless steel case is finely brushed, with all edges finished with polished bevels. It makes handling the watch a pleasant tactile experience, with every surface smoothly finished. Framing the circular dial is a thin, TV-shaped, mirrored bezel, which is a nice touch of flashiness on what is overall quite a flat design.

Brew Metric Retro Dial Macro

What is far from flat, however, is the dial. Finished in matte black, it allows for all the dial features to appear striking. The mirror-polished and lumed hour markers are simple and effective, and the silver sub-dials are azuraged and recessed. It’s all clear and concise enough to use as an effective timer, especially for timing coffee shots, which the dial is designed for. That yellow area on the chapter ring? That’s supposed to be a golden window when brewing your coffee, and having tried it – I can say it works just fine. Thankfully, Brew decided to omit the 24-hour dial at 3 o’clock; in its place is the most subtle logo placement on a dial I’ve seen, with an embossed coffee bean at 3. The asymmetry of the sub-dials gives the watch a futuristic charm while not looking unbalanced, and the colours almost make it look like something from 2001: A Space Odyssey. If the bright colours are not quite for you, there are a few other options, such as gold and black, a stealthy PVD version, or a simple silver and blue edition.

An actually unique proposition, with a few quirks

Brew Metric Retro Dial side profile

I had an integrated bracelet watch itch, but none of the usual watches scratched it for me. They are either out of my price range, or are a little too much on the popular side for my taste. The Brew’s dial, square case and bracelet combo is so unique, to me it stands out from the rest design wise. So many watches in this category are trying to be a spin-off of a Gerald Genta design from the ’70s, but Brew has gone their own way with this watch. The bracelet integration features an aggressive taper from 26mm to 16mm, which is a wide sweep but doesn’t look ungainly. The bracelet is well thought out, too, comprising three links rather than a single visible one; it’s comfortable and high quality to the touch. Admittedly, it does rattle slightly in the hand and pinches the odd hair now and again, but at this price point, I can’t fault it too much.

Brew Metric Retro Dial Bracelet

With a screw-down caseback and simple crown and pushers, the watch receives gets a 50-metre water-resistance rating. I wouldn’t recommend swimming with your Metric, in fact, I’d be cautious washing up those coffee mugs. Thankfully, though, the laser-etched caseback being screwed on means that taking care of battery changes is a breeze. Brew indicates a three-year life on the battery, and given that the chronograph can only be run for an hour before automatically stopping, I would say that’s achievable. Brew definitely intended for a no-tools-needed approach with the metric, not only supplying a tool for sizing, but kindly integrating quick-release tabs on the bracelet. 22mm straps can be fitted; however, Brew has just launched a line of heavily tapered leather straps in black or blue to change up the style whenever you like.

Brew Metric Retro Dial case back

It is, of course, a quartz watch fitted with a Seiko VK68 mechaquartz movement, featuring a mechanical chronograph module that gives that luxury watch sweeping seconds hand when the chronograph is clicked into life. There are some tiny limitations with this, such as the date window. Positioned at 4:30 on the dial, but not quite straight within the hour markers, is a shame, but sadly, sometimes using a particular movement does come with compromises. Thankfully, Brew decided on a colour-matched date wheel so it doesn’t stand out too much, and in honesty, in day-to-day use, you don’t really see it unless you go looking for it. I’d go as far as to say that that is a testament to Jonathan’s design work, creating a dial which draws your eyes away to focus on the sub-dials.

Closing thoughts

Brew Metric Retro Dial Front Facing

I can’t think of many watches that truly excite me in this category that I can wear daily for that sort of cost. Since arriving, the Brew hasn’t left my wrist, and it’s taken the place of watches multiples of their value and brand status. It shows that in this world, it’s not about how much something is worth; it’s definitely about how it makes you feel, and Brew’s Metric hits that sweet spot for me.

Brew Metric Retro Dial pricing and availability

The Brew Metric Retro Dial is available directly from Brew Watch Co. Price: A$700, US$450

Brand Brew Watch Co.
Model Metric Retro Dial
Case Dimensions 36mm (D) 10.75mm (T) x 41.5mm (LTL)
Case Material Stainless steel
Water Resistance 50 metres
Crystal(s) Sapphire crystal
Dial Matte black
Lug Width 22mm
Strap Integrated stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp
Movement Seiko VK68, mechaquartz chronograph
Power Reserve 3 years battery life
Functions Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
Availability Now
Price A$700