Today, Brew Watch Co. has announced their latest creation, the all new Retromatic. The Retromatic is both inextricably linked to Brew’s previous watches through a shared design language, but also, in a very clear way, seems to look forward, and offers a glimpse of what might be in store for the brand down the road. It’s in many ways a more understated and mature interpretation of the same themes brand founder Jonathan Ferrer has been working with since he launched Brew. The Retromatic is still influenced by coffee culture, but this facet of the design is more subtle than it has been in the past, and I think that works to Brew’s advantage here. Let’s take a closer look.
The Retromatic is, first and foremost, a straightforward time and date watch. This alone is a significant change from what Brew has been doing over the last few years, which was to focus exclusively on their “shot timer” chronographs, the Retrograph and the Mastergraph. These watches use Seiko Meca-Quartz Hybrid movements, which offer quartz timekeeping with a mechanical chronograph mechanism providing the old-school chrono action and feel that enthusiasts expect. The Retromatic is a return to less complicated watches with mechanical movements, and it’s the first time Brew has made an automatic watch since Ferrer really dialed in the brand’s design language with his chronograph releases over the last few years.
The Retromatic has a rectangular case measuring 36mm x 39.5mm, and it’s only 10.5mm thick. The style is clearly indebted to the funky sports watches of the 60s and 70s, with particular attention being paid to the bracelet, which uses straight links and has an integrated look. The case lines here are soft and Ferrer sought to make the watch feel compact and comfortable on the wrist. From the top, it looks like it might be a hulking and chunky throwback piece, but the measurements reveal a watch that we imagine is quite a bit more refined in the metal.
There are, of course, still elements of the Retromatic’s look that are inspired by coffee culture. Where we really see it is in the dial, which features a pattern of circular cutouts that are borrowed from drain-gates on espresso machines. This is typical of Brew’s design philosophy as of late: incorporate design elements from the coffee world that insiders will get and appreciate, but simply look nice to everyone else. This is a far better approach than explicit references to coffee – it reminds you of the link between Brew’s watches without being a novelty. For the Retromatic, dial variants include options in green, burgundy, blue, and black.
The Retromatic uses two different movements. The green and burgundy variants use Seiko’s NH35A automatic caliber, while the blue and black are powered by the Sellita SW200 (and feature the “Swiss Made” designation on the dial). The Retromatics running the Seiko movement are priced at $425, while the Sellita powered versions are $495. All are currently available through Brew’s website. Brew Watch Co.