Brew Teams Up with Alton Brown for the Limited Edition Retrograph Relic

The success story that is the Brew Watch Co. is one of our favorites in the entire industry. Jonathan Ferrer’s brand has grown well beyond its initial humble scope over the course of the last few years with a series of releases that have transcended the microbrand bubble, gaining admirers from every corner of the watch community. With Brew, it all comes down to the design, and every new watch proves once again that you don’t need to spend a fortune to own something unique and genuinely special. Brew’s latest release calls back to the brand’s foundation in coffee themed designs while treading new ground with a high profile collaborator. The new Retrograph Relic, released in partnership with Alton Brown, feels like a full circle moment for the brand, and for watch fans who came of age watching “Good Eats” it offers a ton of charm. 

What we have here is a Retrograph, Brew’s signature Meca-Quartz chronograph, with a special oxidized dial that has been treated to express what Brew calls an “espresso-esque patina.” The tones of brown form randomly on the dial during the process, so each of the 250 pieces in this limited edition is unique. 

Alton Brown’s involvement makes sense on a few levels. First, he’s a very notable watch guy, having appeared on Hodinkee’s Talking Watches all the way back in 2017, and being the subject of watch-spots from the Instagram community for even longer. Secondly, if you know his work on “Good Eats,” you know that he takes a scientific approach to looking at food and cooking, so it’s fitting that the dial on the watch bearing his name would be the product of a highly technical process and generate a unique result every time. Coffee preparation in particular is laden with science, so the espresso theme here is especially on point. 


There’s actually a third collaborator on this project, and their contribution has had a large impact on the aesthetic of the watch as a whole. BillyKirk, the Los Angeles based bag and accessories brand, has created a special leather strap for this Retrograph. Made from Shell Cordovan, the bund-style strap follows the lines of the case perfectly for an integrated look, and has a cutout on the back through which you can see the caseback (which features a likeness of Alton Brown, along with the serial number of the watch).

The limited edition Relic keeps the same specs as the standard Retrograph, with a few adjustments. The case is still made of steel (and in the familiar 38mm x 41.5mm shape), but it now has a unique antique bronze PVD coating in this edition that nicely complements the dial. The Relic runs on the same Seiko made VK64 caliber that has become synonymous with Brew’s chronographs at this point. 

The Brew Retrograph Relic is available now via the Brew website for a retail price of $595. 

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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.