Introducing the Brew Retrograph in Technicolor and Copper

Brew Watch Co. occupies an interesting niche in the microbrand community. While some brands are inspired by an auto racing heritage (real or imagined) or various facets of an explorer’s lifestyle, Brew is much more specific. Their watches reflect a love of coffee. Yes, coffee.

How does coffee inspire a watch design, you ask? Well, it can happen in any number of ways. In an abstract way, Brew’s watches represent the time honored tradition of a coffee break, stopping time throughout the day to catch up, take stock, or just relax. In a much more literal way, Brew watches incorporate earthy colors that resemble coffee, and borrow elements from industrial espresso machines, which are marvels of design in their own way.

The watches we’re looking at today are Brew’s latest addition to the Retrograph line, their 38mm x 41.5mm meca-quartz powered chronograph in a distinctive rectangular case with slightly rounded corners. The first new colorway, dubbed “Technicolor” by Brew, has a dynamic multi-colored design that brings a funky ’70s look to Brew’s lineup. Brew’s watches have always had a vintage vibe to them, but it has come mostly through retro-inspired case shapes and dial features. This new colorway, for the first time, seems to call back to a very particular ’70s sports watch look, and it suits the core Brew design rather well. 

The dial of the Technicolor Retrograph is a matte blue, with silver sub-dials and accents in two shades of blue, red, and yellow, not to mention the white text and indices. It’s a louder look than anything else in Brew’s catalog, but it’s legible and works really well. 


The second variant Brew is introducing is perhaps the tonal opposite: a dial in a rustic shade of copper. Without the contrasting sub-dial elements, this colorway has a very different visual impact. In spite of the heavy use of a single color on the dial, there is a good deal of visual interest created in the contrasting white hands and lume pips and the black indices. If the Technicolor is throwing off a ’70s vibe, the Copper edition resembles something very heavily patinated from even earlier.

Looking at the indices of these Retrographs, and you’ll notice their specific coffee inspired feature. The indices that make up the chrono seconds register have graduations in increments of 1/5th of a second through 30, and between 30 and 35 it’s reduced again to 1/10th second increments (and highlighted in yellow on the Technicolor). The reason for this, according to Brew, is that it takes in the neighborhood of 25-35 seconds for an espresso machine to extract the perfect cup.

Many brands have made chronographs for highly specific purposes like this over the years. Omega made soccer timers with minute scales set to 45 minutes to time the halves of a soccer match, and the Retrograph itself takes inspiration from 1930s “telephone timers” with markings to denote three minute gaps. This type of coffee timer, though, has to be a first, and I can’t imagine a more charming complication for the espresso enthusiast. I don’t make my own espresso (I leave it to professionals, gourmet coffee at home is a rabbit hole I have yet to crawl down), but I can get behind the look of an unusual, purpose-built, sporty chronograph.

The Retrograph in Technicolor and Cooper are available now on Brew’s website for $350. Brew

Related Posts
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.