Over the weekend, at a Soho popup event, Brew Watches debuted their latest creation, a funky chronograph that brand founder Jonathan Ferrer is calling the Metric. Like Brew’s other chronographs, this one is inspired by a charming if somewhat niche idea: that the wearer will use the chronograph functionality to time the perfect shot of espresso, which takes between 25 and 35 seconds, a range that is clearly highlighted within the chrono seconds scale. This new watch, however, feels like a major step forward in the brand’s already distinct design language, with a clean vintage inspired case and bracelet integration that borrows heavily from last year’s Retromatic, and two dial options that alternate between 70s style funk and a clean minimalism.
We’ll start with the dials, because how could we not? In their layout and tone they feel quite a bit more provocative than previous Brew releases, and are sure to generate quite a bit of conversation among Brew’s fans. The first, which Ferrer has labeled the “Retro Dial” takes a black base and adds a rainbow of color to the sub-registers, hand set, and chronograph seconds scale at the perimeter. Tones of green, orange, and yellow play remarkably well together against what is essentially a reverse panda chronograph. The Metric’s layout is asymmetrical, with a large sub-register counting the chronograph minutes between 9:00 and 10:00, and a smaller one at 6:00 that displays running seconds. There’s also a date window at 4:30 with a background that’s color matched to each dial, allowing it to blend in quite seamlessly, at least as 4:30 date windows go.
The other version of the Metric, the “Steel Dial,” feels just about as reserved as the Retro Dial is brash. This dial is monochromatic, with a vertically brushed steel base and blue and black accents. It’s quite crisp, and presents a nice contrast to the Retro variant. It certainly feels more contemporary, but it’s also a clever illustration of the power of color and shape in a dial that is somewhat “fixed” by the nature of the movement being used. The Metric offers a fresh implementation of a watch powered by the VK68 Meca-quartz hybrid movement, part of a family of calibers that Brew has been working with for some time, which offers quartz timekeeping with what is essentially a mechanical chronograph layered on top of it.
Brew’s stated intention with the case and bracelet of the Metric is to offer something classic and compact in the style of a 1970s sports watch, well before sizes began to balloon. The squared off cushion case feels very much like a sibling to the Retromatic, though the Metric is perhaps a bit sleeker and more refined, with precise brushing and polished bevels. The broad links on the bracelet have the appearance of being integrated to the case but are attached with traditional spring bars. The case measures a tidy 36mm by 41.5mm, and is only 10.75mm thick thanks to the slender hybrid movement inside.
There are some real benefits to Meca-quartz movements that Brew has learned to leverage over the last few years, and chief among them is the affordable price point where these watches sit. The retail price on the Metric is $395, which feels like a more than fair cost considering the truly creative design work happening here. Both dial variants are available to order right now via Brew’s website, with delivery expected in late August.