Bravur BW003 Review

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Bravur Watches of Sweden has been on our radar for a few years. Mixing a Scandinavian design sensibility with a genuine appreciation for watches, their timepieces are luxurious, yet restrained. Their first two lines of watches (reviewed here and here) left an impression. They managed to be contemporary designs with a bent towards minimalism, while not being contrived Uniform Wares or Daniel Wellington clones. In fact, they were very unique and had it not been for their quartz movements they likely would have been very popular with the Worn & Wound audience.

Fast forward to 2017. After getting a few years of experience under their belt, Bravur released the BW003, their first automatic, and it seems like the wait paid off. A highly refined design, the BW003 draws upon their earlier models while also touching on the trends toward vintage aesthetics. It’s a svelte watch sized at 39 x 44.23 x 10.8mm. Though 10.8mm doesn’t sound very thin—it’s about average—the watch looks and wears thinner as the mid-case has a slender profile, the box-sapphire crystal accounts for some of the height, and the case back gently rounds out.

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$1350

Bravur BW003 Review

Case
Stainless Steel
Movement
Sellita SW300
Dial
Black or Silver
Lume
Yes
Lens
Sapphire
Strap
Leather
Water Resistance
5 ATM
Dimensions
39 x 44.23mm
Thickness
10.8mm
Lug Width
20mm
Crown
push-pull
Warranty
Yes
Price
$1350

It’s a very appealing design with high quality finishing and an interesting bezel. From above, the bezel has noticeable coining, though it is fixed. From the side, the bezel has been grooved all around, which acts as a decorative element, playing off the horizontally brushed and polished surfaces. Flipping the watch over you are presented with either a solid case-back with a decorative etching or a display window showing off the decorated Sellita SW300 movement within. On the latter, the crystal also has Bravur branding plated on it, hovering above the glass. The case demonstrates what Bravur does really well, as it’s subtle and not overdone, yet it is more elaborate than most cases.

The dial continues the theme and very much feels like an evolution on their previous models. There are two colorways—silver and black—with patterning that makes them sort of inverses of one another. Both feature a central area of one color contrasted with a chapter ring of the other. The silver is also sunburst while the black is matte. The inner area features an index of applied rectangles with lume filling separated by thin, long contrasting lines for the individual minutes. At three you’ll find the “Bravur” logo, and at six is “automatic” in a small type.

Just beneath is a small, circular date window beveled and rimmed in polished metal. The dates match the dial—black with black and white with silver—which works well with the design. The polished edges still make them standout, but not too much. The chapter ring then consists of the contrast color with dashes at full and half second/minute intervals as well as small numerals at intervals of five. The use of a contrast color works well with the design, condensing the dial a bit while also breaking up the monotone of the center.

A great detail of the design is that the dial is gently domed, increasing in radius towards the edge. This adds a gentle play in light, darkening towards the edges, and it softens the overall look of the dial. They also kink over the end of the seconds hand, which emphasizes the curvature.

The hour and minute hands have an unique design, with partially skeletonized bodies that taper toward a lume-filled tip. They are very appealing, nodding to vintage dauphine hands while still looking very modern. They also play well off of the applied markers on the dial. Another very nice design detail of the BW003 is found dead-center on the dial. Instead of leaving a small hole visible where the hands connect to the pinion, they’ve capped it off with a small, brushed disk. It’s a small detail, but one that more brands should consider as it gives the watch a more intentional and high-end overall appearance.

Inside of the BW003 is the Sellita SW300, their version of the ETA 2892. Like that movement, it’s a bit thinner than the 200/2824 and bit more elegant in appearance. The one in the BW003 is nicely decorated with perlage under the rotor, plating on all surfaces and a custom rotor with an attractive design. As far as stats go, the SW300 features 25-jewels, hacking, hand winding, date, power reserve of 42 hours, and a frequency of 28,800 bph. In my time with the watch it was accurate and reliable.

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The BW003 comes with your choice of a leather band. There are different black, brown, and tan options to fit the 20mm lugs. All feature either Swedish or Italian leather and either rolled edges or a straight cut. I got to try out a few, and the tan leather was by far my favorite. It’s a gorgeous strap made of beautiful leather with a very high end feel and nice detailing. I’d go so far as to say it’s one of the better leather straps I’ve seen come with a watch in some time. The only thing I didn’t love was the clasp. The straps are all fitted with deployants, which in theory are nice, but I personally found uncomfortable to wear. They rode up my wrist in a weird way and irritated me after some time.

Slight discomfort from the clasp aside, the BW003 wears well. 39 x 44.23 x 10.8mm is a very comfortable size that will be good on a range of wrists. Thanks to the domed shape of the back of the case the watch sits low as well, really negating the height in practice. As does the use of coining and a boxed crystal, which visually break up the watch from the side making no surface more than a few millimeters in height.

Aesthetically, the BW003 checks a lot of boxes. It’s at once modern and sleek, verging on minimal, but with a Scandinavian flavor to it. It’s also touching on vintage, with a classic vocabulary and boxed crystal. The end result is a happy marriage of these elements that feels unique to the goals of Bravur, and very contemporary in its own right. It also straddles the line between casual and dress, though leaning more towards the former. The refined detailing and finishing, paired with the right strap, would make this look great with a suit with some personality.

The BW003 is a logical step forward for Bravur. They never lacked ideas, style or a distinct sense of what can make something luxurious at a tolerable price point. They just lacked the mechanical movements that watch enthusiasts seek out. The BW003 takes care of that, while also showing that they are continuing to refine their aesthetic. The result is a gorgeous watch that manages to feel unique without the use of any bells or whistles.

beautiful detailing on this strap

At $1,350, the BW003 isn’t a bargain watch, but it’s a fair price for what it is. The watch exudes quality and has a very respectable movement that in either ETA or Sellita form tends to be in watches in the $1,000 – $1,500 range. They are also individually assembled in Sweden per order, so that adds to the cost. As for which version to get, my personal preference ran to the black dial (BW003S) as it just felt a little tighter in terms of composition, with the larger black area pulling the eye in, rather than the black chapter ring, which pushes the eye out to the edge of the dial. That said, both looked great and were a joy to wear. Bravur


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Zach is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Worn & Wound. Before diving headfirst into the world of watches, he spent his days as a product and graphic designer. Zach views watches as the perfect synergy of 2D and 3D design: the place where form, function, fashion and mechanical wonderment come together.
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