The LeJour Brooklyn throws its hat in the ring for best affordable Datejust alternative The LeJour Brooklyn throws its hat in the ring for best affordable Datejust alternative

The LeJour Brooklyn throws its hat in the ring for best affordable Datejust alternative

Fergus Nash

LeJour is one of those rare success stories of an extinct Swiss brand being revived with a modern catalogue, and they continue to move from strength to strength with the LeJour Brooklyn collection — putting some unique twists on much-loved elements from dress and field watches. If you’ve been looking for an interesting and reliable daily wearer with a hint of luxury flair, then the LeJour Brooklyn makes a strong case for itself amongst tough competition.

The case

Although LeJour were originally best known for their chronographs in the 1970s, the second coming of the brand wear their influences proudly on their sleeve. The case of the LeJour Brooklyn carries the sleek flair of 1960s design, which along with the fluted bezel grants more than a hint of vintage Datejust about it. The unprotected crown and Oyster-style bracelet doubles down on this aesthetic, with the centre links being polished to give a dressy contrast to the all-brushed case. While the design cues are certainly vintage, the proportions have been modernised tastefully to a 40mm diameter and 47mm lug-to-lug, offering a larger presence that’s still friendly to small wrists. The total thickness of 11.5mm helps the watch to feel robust, but nowhere near overbearing.

The dial

The LeJour Brooklyn departs from the Datejust theme when it comes to the dial, although it does adopt elements from another rare Rolex model. The diamond-shaped indices, alpha hands, and quarter-placed Arabic numerals are quite reminiscent of the Super Precision Air King ref. 5500, although on the LeJour Brooklyn they are all generously filled with luminous paint. The main distinction for the LeJour Brooklyn is the hobnail dial pattern, which really elevates the watch into a realm of sporty sophistication, while retaining the feeling like you’ve found a rare vintage gem.

The other boasting point for the LeJour Brooklyn is the array of colours that it’s available in. The default black dial version is more of a charcoal grey that emphasises the smokiness of the off-white lume. Next is a mid-toned denim blue, which will work well as a go-anywhere, do-anything colour. Of course there is a green version, but this particular shade of jungle green is much more vivid and saturated than most others, giving it a lot of life on the wrist. If you’re into a more classical look, the cream dial verges on a safari vibe that somehow doesn’t feel too kitschy. Following up for the hype colours is the bright Tiffany blue variant, and the final reference revisits the black backdrop but with a steel and rose gold two-tone case, and gilt dial details.

The movement

If you’re familiar with Swiss movements among smaller watch brands, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that the LeJour Brooklyn uses a Sellita SW200. This calibre offers great accuracy and reliability for its price, essentially being a clone of the ETA 2824 which ruled the entry-level luxury world for decades. It has a power reserve of 38 hours that lends itself to daily wear, and a beat rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour which gives you a smooth sweep and luxury feel. The caseback is solid, but you’re treated to a nice etching of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The LeJour Brooklyn pricing and availability:

The LeJour Brooklyn is available now from their website here. Price: $800 USD

Brand LeJour
Model Brooklyn
Case Dimensions 40mm x 47mm x 11.5mm
Case Material Stainless Steel
Water Resistance 100m with a screw-down crown
Crystal(s) Sapphire
Dial Black, blue, green, beige, light blue
Lug Width 22mm
Strap Steel bracelet
Movement Sellita SW200
Power Reserve 38 hours
Availability Available now
Price $800 USD