Introducing the Bravur BW003, the Swedish Brand’s First Mechanical Series

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As counter-intuitive as it may sound, perhaps the toughest feat in watch design is creating the perfect, general purpose three hander. The reason for that is precisely because they’re simple. There’s nothing to hide behind, no complications to mask imbalances, and no general style to ape. It’s a fertile creative ground for a good designer, but one that can be daunting for its lack of handholds.

This can be especially true for a young brand, with creative teams still working out the DNA of their designs and no precedent to fall back on. Every once in a while, however, one of these newcomers squares up to the three-hand-challenge and absolutely knocks it out of the park.

Bravur is one of these upstarts. For their very first mechanical effort, the Swedish micro-brand (whose past series we reviewed here) has drawn deep from the well of ‘60s design to create something classically flavored but totally their own. The BW003, available in both black and silver dial versions, seems attractive enough at a glance.

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When seen from above, the case of the BW003 is so simple it borders on plain. Straight narrow lugs and a thin polished coin-edge bezel are about all you have to work with from that angle, but the “Solitär” case reveals its true complexity from the side. It’s almost impossibly svelte in profile, hiding most of the bulk in a tapering case back beneath the main case lines. Other than that back, the only other real source of thickness is a tall, vintage-style domed sapphire crystal. 

The main case portion cuts through in between with elegantly thin lines, gently downturned lugs and a strong contrasting brushed finish. The coin-edge of the bezel adds another layer of texture and contrast to the case side design with minimal bulk. The overall impression here is more than a little skin diver-esque: tall crystal, continuous flowing mid-case, and of course the polished coin-edge bezel topped off by an oversized signed crown. The icing on the cake is the signed display back, offering a stunning view of the impressively decorated Sellita heart.If the case gives off early diver vibes, then the dial is pure ‘60s dress watch. Honestly, if you removed the Bravur badging, put on a Hamilton logo and tried to pass this dial off as new-old-stock from the period, I’d be inclined to believe you. While there’s no specific watch the dial of the BW003 imitates, it captures the design ethos perfectly.

The main dial surface is framed by a contrasting outer half-seconds track (silver on the black dial and matte black on the silver dial), making an already compact 39mm watch feel even smaller on the wrist. Inside this track are a set of low profile applied rectangular indices, along with sleekly long-line minute markers.

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The only interruption to this beautifully executed flow is the small circular date window at six. While this is a minor break from the otherwise pitch-perfect period inspiration, it’s unobtrusive and works well with the rest of the elements at hand here. The handset is an attractive capstone to this mix–a pair of gently tapered, lume-tipped skeletons with a simple stick seconds hand. These hands whisper rather than shout their beauty.

Bravur turned to Sellita power for the BW003, starting with a 25-jeweled SW300 before adding a liberal layer of decoration and custom touches. The movement on display through the SW003’s sapphire case-back boasts snailing around the edges coupled with beautiful perlage across the main plate. Bravur’s signature triangle pattern adorns the rotor. It’s a feast for the eyes overall, especially at this price point. In terms of performance, there’s a reason why Sellita has captivated much of the market since the ETA pullout: it’s reliable, easily repaired or replaced, and offers comparable stats to ETA’s venerable 2892.

In terms of strap choice, Bravur offers a solid variety of options for the BW003. The Milanese mesh is a highlight here, but if metal isn’t your thing, there’s vegetable tanned leather in brown, black or tan. Suede could also be an interesting option here.

The BW003 should be eminently wearable as well, with perfectly mid-sized dimensions at 39mm. With prices starting at $1,350, it’s not cheap, but it’s certainly a lot of watch for the money. After seeing a few production models a few months back, we’re really looking forward to getting these in for a full-fledged review, so watch this space for that. Bravur

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Hailing from Redondo Beach, California, Sean’s passion for design and all things mechanical started at birth. Having grown up at race tracks, hot rod shops and car shows, he brings old-school motoring style and a lifestyle bent to his mostly vintage watch collection.
seanpaullorentzen
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  • Caleb Kay

    Case and crystal are real winners here.

    Also, I think Sellita would appreciate their brand being spelt right across the article.

  • DGS70

    Handsome. I prefer the case of the BW002S-B and if I can be wistful for a moment a manual wind (rather than an automatic) in that model would be brilliant. But why speculate? All are very good looking regardless of movement.

  • Yan Fin

    Nice, clean and simple. Could be a success with 50% off

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