Brellum’s New Chronograph Is Designed to Make You Feel Like You’re in the Cockpit

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The latest watch from Brellum is an aviation inspired chronograph with a slightly unusual feature: a power reserve at 3:00. The Brellum Pilot Power Gauge LE.1 Chronometer looks like a lot of other pilot’s chronographs at first pass, but the power reserve is a detail that stands out, and makes for a somewhat rare execution of a movement that is fairly common. Ultimately, the fact that it’s not added here as a gimmick, but as a natural thematic extension of pilot’s watches in general, helps make Brellum’s new chrono work. Let’s take a closer look.


Brellum Pilot Power Gauge LE.1

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Black
  • Dimensions: 41.8mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire        
  • Water Resistance: 50 meters
  • Crown: Push/pull                       
  • Movement: Brellum BR-750-PR (base Valjoux 7750), COSC certified 
  • Strap/bracelet: Stainless steel
  • Price: $3,157
  • Reference Number: n/a
  • Expected Release: Available now

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While the style of a pilot’s watches is certainly borne from a function first mindset (high-contrast dials, big hands and numerals, oversized cases and crowns), a large part of the appeal of these watches for the modern consumer is the way they express the feeling of being in a cockpit, even if you don’t actually know what that feels like. These watches tap into our imaginations a little bit, while also serving as extremely capable and trusted tools. It’s no accident that pilot watch dials often feel like the gauges on an airplane’s instrument panel, and the power reserve indicator Power Gauge LE.1 steps that up a notch, giving the wearer yet another piece of information that can be measured. 

The power reserve indicator itself is well executed, but it makes for a busy dial. That, I think, is acceptable in a watch like this, that trades on the appeal of a practical tool built for a situation that for most is anything but practical. With large Arabic numerals and big sword hands, along with the usual three register plus date Valjoux 7750 layout, everything is easy enough to read, there’s just a lot to take in. The crescent shaped power reserve, in a radium color that matches the other dial accents, doesn’t get in the way, it merely takes up dial real estate. If you’ve been in the cockpit of almost any airplane (or, like me, merely seen photos) you’ll understand that neither this watch or a typical instrument panel could ever be described as spare or minimalist. 

The Power Gauge LE.1 is available in both stainless steel and black DLC coated treatments, with bracelets and an additional Nebur Tec strap. The case measures just shy of 42mm (41.8mm to be exact), which is big, sure, but not gargantuan considering the style of the watch. A larger watch would allow for a dial with a bit more space between the chronograph registers and the Arabic numerals and, perhaps, make it feel a bit less claustrophobic, but I think the trade-off here in favor of wearability is worth it. 

This is a limited edition, with only 33 examples of each variant being produced. The Power Gauge LE.1 is currently available on Brellum’s site for approximately $3,157, after currency conversion. Brellum

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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