MICRO MONDAYS: Built for baristas, the Brew Retrograph Technicolor makes a welcome returnRicardo Sime
Design is the language microbrands use best to communicate to collectors what it is they bring to the table. One microbrand who has done an amazing job of this is Brew Watch Company. Founded by designer Jonathan Ferrer in 2015, the company has released multiple collections, which feature attention-grabbing designs, that all focus on a common theme; coffee (hence the name Brew). Whether it’s the drain-grates of an espresso machine or the colour of a café au lait; for six years, Jonathan has been able to translate these elements into watches that have a strong following and fan base. The success of his watches have been so strong, in fact, that for September, Jonathan has brought back one of Brew’s most popular models and designs; the Retrograph Technicolor.
The Retrograph collection from Brew centres around a cushion-shaped, chronograph case with sapphire glass. The case is rated to 50 metres of water resistance. It measures 38mm across and 10.4mm thick, with a 41.5mm lug-to-lug. The lugs here are shrouded, which aid in creating a seamless, uninterrupted design, where the different surface finishes are allowed to shine. These finishes start around the dial, where you’ll find a radially brushed bezel, which transitions into polished sides. The finishing changes again when you make your way to the caseback, which is horizontally brushed, with a polished trim and secured with four flat-headed screws. Going back to the right side of the watch, located at 2 and 4 o’clock, are your chronograph pushers. These flank the thick and easy to grip crown, which has a coffee bean debossed into its top.
When taken all together, these elements create a case design that looks quite industrial. Yet, this works perfectly with what many would consider the star attraction; the Retrograph Technicolor dial.
The Retrograph Technicolor dial comes in a midnight blue colour and has a bi-compax layout. At 3 o’clock, you’ll find a 24 hour sub-dial, which displays the time of the main hands on a 24 hour scale. This scale comes in handy when you want to quickly change the date and land on the nearest morning or night before engaging the time setting position of the crown. As for the subdial at 9 o’clock, it displays the chronograph 60 minute counter. Both subdials use bright red hands and have black printing on a grey speckled background.
At 6 o’clock, you’ll find the date window, framed in white, with the date printed in black, on a white background. Slightly above it is the collections name, Retrograph and above that, below the 12 o’clock index is the brand name, Brew.
One of the most interesting design elements on the dial can be found on the minute track that surrounds it. Look closely and you’ll see that the minutes from 60 to 30 are split into three sections, while the minutes from 30 to 35 are split into six sections and are also yellow in colour. This design goes back to main theme behind the watch; coffee. Specifically, the extraction of an espresso shot. See, depending on the machine, it takes 25 to 35 seconds to extract the optimal espresso shot. Jonathan wanted to reflect this in the design so that when the chronograph is engaged, a barista can easily time out the process.
Behind this amazingly complex dial is a Seiko vk64 Mecha-Quartz movement. This hybrid movement means that when the chronograph is engaged, the red chronograph hand moves around the dial at a speed of five beats per second, providing a sweep similar to that on an automatic chronograph. The hand on the chronograph 60 minute subdial slowly moves to the next minute instead of jumping to it. And when you’re done timing, the chronograph associated hands quickly snap back to their original positions upon reset.
Overall, the Brew Retrograph Technicolor is a great example of microbrand watch design. With so many different design elements on the dial, one would worry about the overall design suffering, yet somehow, everything coexists with ease. Six different colours, including teal C3 lume pips, manage to work perfectly together while Jonathan’s story and what he’s trying to convey are never lost. Furthermore, little things like the ratio of bezel to dial and the decision to have 22 mm lugs instead of 20 mean the watch wears incredibly well on the wrist. Take all these things into account and it’s of no surprise to me that the Retrograph Technicolor is making an encore appearance. It’s a case of deja Brew.
Brew Retrograph Technicolor Price and Availability:
The Brew Retrograph Technicolor is back in stock with a limit of two units per customer. The watch can be purchased here at a price of $350 USD.
Made in partnership with the Brew Watch Co. However, the opinions expressed in this article are our own in accordance with our Editorial Policy.