Hands-On with the HP-1 from Brew Watch Co.

Share this story:

In 2015, we introduced Brew Watch Co. and the brand’s first watch, a unique Ronda-powered quartz chronograph inspired by the coffee break. As our very own Zach Weiss noted in that initial write-up, that’s about “as abstract as concepts come,” and in the wrong hands the resulting watch might have been totally asinine. Fortunately, Brew founder/designer Jonathan Ferrer—who worked for a time as an industry watch designer before launching his own brand—expertly distilled his inspiration down into a collection of beautiful and effective timepieces, ones that didn’t hammer you over the head with coffee-driven design cues.

Brew Watch Co. is now back with its sophomore effort dubbed the HP-1 series, continuing the subtle coffee-driven trajectory that birthed the brand. We got our hands on one of the prototypes for a test drive, and we were really impressed with the watch in the metal.

Brew_HP-1(silver)-23For the case of the HP-1 series, Ferrer opted for a more traditional cushion design, featuring radial brushing along the top surface and bezel, and horizontal brushing along the mid-case. The size has been scaled down to 38mm, which is a nice contrast to the 44mm case of Brew’s inaugural offering. Of course, the watch wears a bit larger than the dimensions might suggest given the squared-off design, but it’s still manageable on the wrist. With a thickness of 13.5mm, the HP-1 appears to be quite chunky for a simple three-hander, at least so on paper. Looking at the case in profile, however, you can see that the thickness is broken up among the mid-case, bezel, and crystal, and the interplay of the three ultimately tempers the height.

Advertisement

A tall, sloping bezel (3mm) sits atop a slab-sided mid-case (approximately 9mm with the case back), resulting in a nice balance between the two elements. Coming off the bezel is one of my favorite details—the prominent semi-domed sapphire crystal. Sitting roughly 1.5mm high, the crystal domes until it flattens out completely on top. The result is a dramatic halo effect cast on the dial, with the crystal distorting the edges in a way that magnifies the hour markers. It’s a beautiful look and one that speaks to a vintage aesthetic.

The push-pull crown at three o’clock is designed to mimic a coffee filter. The base is roughly 6mm in diameter, and it tapers down to 4mm at the end where it’s signed with Brew’s logo.

The dial is more complex than it appears. It’s domed with a fine sunburst finish (the production model will feature a more pronounced sunburst). Simple, long lines stand in for the hours, with a bordered date window at six o’clock maintaining the symmetry of the face. Between 10 and 12 are lightly etched minute markers, inspired by the high-pressure region found on the gauges of industrial espresso machines.

The hands are long needles, with the minute and second hands curved at the ends to match the dome of the dial. The second hand has an open-ended circular counter weight that helps pull the eye to the dial and balances the weight of the elongated hand.

Brew_HP-1(silver)-25Powering the HP-1 is Seiko’s NH35A caliber, otherwise known as the 4r35 commonly found in mid-tier Seiko watches. It hacks and hand-winds, has 24 jewels, and features bi-directional winding. The movement can be glimpsed via a small aperture on the case back. The production model will have the balance visible through the opening.

Brew_HP-1(silver)-30

Advertisement

On the wrist, the HP-1 wears great, comfortably towing the line between a modern sports watch and dressy minimalism. I think scaling the watch down to a sub-40mm size was the right call, and keeping the cushion case ensures that the watch doesn’t lose any presence. As is, it should work perfectly on a variety of wrist sizes, and it’s also a great option as a women’s watch.

The HP-1 comes on a tapering stainless steel bracelet with solid end links and a butterfly deployant. On bracelet, the HP-1 feels like a rather substantial piece of hardware. It’s incredibly comfortable and doesn’t feel like an afterthought the way some do with watches at this price point.

Brew_HP-1(silver)-3Overall, the HP-1 is a great step forward for Brew. One can really see growth from the brand when you compare this watch to Brew’s first. And I say that not to denigrate the latter (in fact, I liked it so much that I bought one for my better half), but rather to heap praise on the quality and attention to detail that’s readily apparent on the HP-1.

The HP-1 is now available for pre-order in three variants (the watch featured here, one with a black case and matching black dial, and one with a rose gold case and black dial) on Kickstarter. The starting price is $450 ($150 off retail) and the estimated delivery date is December 2016.

Images from this post:
Ilya is Worn & Wound's Managing Editor and Video Producer. He believes that when it comes to watches, quality, simplicity and functionality are king. This may very well explain his love for German and military-inspired watches. In addition to watches, Ilya brings an encyclopedic knowledge of leather, denim and all things related to menswear.
ryvini
Article / Crowdfunding

Stanton Watch Co.

By
It’s always nice to see start-ups in the watch making …
Article / Giveaway

CLOSED: Melbourne Watch Co Flinders Giveaway!

By
It’s been far too long since our last giveaway, so …