Lew & Huey Cerberus Hands-On

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Young, internet-born watch brand Lew & Huey has had a number of successful runs on Kickstarter, launching a total of five watches from the platform. Their first was the Riccardo automatic chronograph (which we reviewed here) followed by the Acionna, Spectre, Cerberus and most recently the Orthos.

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In this Hands-On we will be spending some time with their fourth model, the Cerberus. The model name is an interesting one, coming from Greek and Roman mythology. The Cerberus is a multi-headed dog (often depicted with three heads) with lion’s claws, a serpent’s tail and a mane made out of snakes. The task of the beast was to guard the underworld and given the animal’s description I am sure it did a fine job. The logo of Lew & Huey is a playful looking dog, who perhaps has some lineage to the fabled Cerberus. We will see.

Specs

HLCerberus_faceCase: 316L Stainless Steel
Movement: Miyota cal. 9015
Dial: Blue & Orange; White & Blue; or Gray & Red
Lume: Yes
Lens: Domed Anti-Reflective Sapphire
Bracelet: Stainless Steel bracelet
Water Res.: 100M
Dimensions: 42mm x 50mm
Thickness: 12.5mm
Lug Width: 22mm
Warranty: 2 Years
Price: $575 (USD)

Case

The first thing to mention about the case is how comfortable it wears. Measuring in at 42 x 50 x 12.5mm the Cerberus is a good size for a watch that was designed to be “worn for both work and play.” Like the Riccardo, the Cerberus case is sized such that it should feel comfortable on smaller wrists and not disappear on larger sizes. The 50mm length fits perfectly on my smaller wrists giving the watch presence without appearing over-sized. Similar to the Riccardo, the Cerberus has the twisted lugs that are a nice visual flair, and Lew & Huey specifically call out wanting to have that same element on this case as well.

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Anyone who is a frequent strap-swapper will be a fan of the drilled lugs on the side of the Cerberus case. The crown sits at the traditional 3 o’clock position and is a standard, non-screw down crown. I actually found the crown to be a little difficult to grasp and pull into the first date-setting position. To securely do so I had to get a fingernail hooked on the underside of the crown, a task that was not always successful. Flipping the watch over to view the solid case back we can see the link between the Lew & Huey logo and Cerberus: the case back has a modified, three headed version of the Lew & Huey logo. It’s a clever design and a nice touch tying into the model name. Overall the case has excellent finish with some contrasting brushed and polished details. The case does call on elements from other watches, such as the Rolex Milgauss and the Omega Aqua Tera, but it does not come across at all as a homage of any specific watch, although it does feel familiar.

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Dial and Hands

There is not a lot on the dial of the Cerberus, but there is a lot going on. Different layers, patterns and colors make for an eye catching design. The watch has a choice of three different primary dial colors (blue, white and gray) each with an different accent color (orange, blue and red, respectively) around the internal bezel surrounding the dial. The secondary colors give the watch a little pop of color as a contrast to the primary dial color. The text on the dial is limited to just the brand name and logo beneath 12 o’clock with the model name and “automatic” above the date window at 6 o’clock.

HLCerberus_30

The center portion of the multi-level dial has the primary color with a ribbed pattern running from 12 to 6. This pattern plays with the light and gives the dial different looks in different lighting conditions which is a really nice effect. Around the central area is a two tiered chapter ring. The first part is silver and has minute markers along with block, luminescent hour markers. The second part of the chapter ring matches the dial color and has numerals every 5 minutes with stick markers on the additional minutes. The last element of the dial is the outer ring that has the contrasting color. It is just enough color to provide visual interest and without being gaudy or overwhelming.

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The hands are the same across the three dial colors and a nice fit for the overall design. They appear to be almost split down the middle, two-piece hands with luminescent material throughout a portion of each hand. They are actually solid hands with that ribbon of lume. The hands do not get lost in the dial on any of the colors and the lume works quite well. The seconds hand stretches all the way to the edge of the colored outer ring, covering all of the chapter indices, which is a nice attention to detail. It’s opposite end is jet shaped, which is a nice touch but does not quite fit in with the rest of the design.

Bracelet and Wearability

For the Cerberus, Lew & Huey went with a H-link style bracelet that tapers from 22mm at the lugs to 20mm at the clasp. Between the links and the micro-adjustments on the clasp I had no problem finding the right fit for the Cerberus on my wrist. The watch weighs in at 181 grams with the full bracelet links; 162 grams for the watch I wore, with a few links out. The bracelet has solid end links and uses pins for the removable links. The signed clasp is a double push button type with a flip lock as well. The Cerberus really wears like a sports watch; the weight and case design lend heavily to this. However, the dial design still gives the watch enough panache that it could wear well in a business environment as well. Which, is what Lew & Huey had in mind.

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Movement

Lew & Huey went with the excellent Miyota 9015 automatic movement for the Cerberus. The 9015 is a 24 jewel automatic movement, with an estimated power reserve of 42 hours, has a hacking seconds hand and can also be hand wound, and beats at 28,800 bph. The movement in the pieces I had ran very well and functioned exactly as one would expect. Not a lot more to say here, other than a good, solid choice by Lew & Huey.

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Conclusion

The Cerberus wants to fit into the spot between a sports-style watch and a dress-syle watch. The build quality and heft give it a sports watch feel for sure, but it is missing a screw down crown and some might like to see better water resistance. On the flip side the polished bezel and attractive lines lend it towards the more dressy side, but it is perhaps a little too busy to be a strictly dress watch. Given that, it seems that perhaps the Cerberus meets its hybrid goal. It is up to the owner, really, how will it will work for either situation. The dial is the best part with its play on colors and interesting hands; all three of the dial options look great in person. A solid bracelet and well designed case round out this solid offering from Lew & Huey.

All three dial options of the Cerberus are available directly from Lew & Huey for $575 USD.

Images from this post:

Residing in North Idaho, James has been wearing a watch for over 35 years. With growth of the internet in the late 90s watches as an interest turned into an obsession. Since that time he has been a watch forum moderator, watch reviewer, contributor to Nerdist, and operates Watches in Movies in his spare time.
jamesenloe jamesenloe

24 responses to “Lew & Huey Cerberus Hands-On”

  1. Teeritz says:

    The blue/orange dial caught my eye a month or so ago. I do like this model, I have to say. It’s an Everyman watch that doesn’t slot into any particular category. Nice. And I’ll even forgive the fact that this is another Kickstarted brand. This watch has some nice and original design elements and doesn’t look like a clone of a watch from a bunch of other long-established brands. Thank heavens for that. I don’t think I could take another Kickstarted pilot’s or ‘Bauhaus-inspired’ watch.

  2. Richard says:

    I would highly advise anyone considering this watch to read this thread about defective Lew and Huey watches over at WUS. To make an educated decision before purchasing.

    http://forums.watchuseek.com/f71/orthos-mechanism-problem-1527490.html#/forumsite/20758/topics/1527490

    • Bud says:

      Not every watch maker is willing to take the time to argue with a customer! I’ll never buy a watch from him now.

      • Ed says:

        I agree. While I see what he was trying to communicate, his demeanor is abrasive and off-putting. In the half year I have been reading WUS, I have come across several posts where his responses are just like those in this particular thread. Any slight criticism, constructive or otherwise, is met with a paragraphs-long, retaliatory response. He seems to have a lot of fanboys on the site, though I cannot figure out why. In the end, one line of this thread stands out (paraphrasing, here); If you read this and think I’m the jerk, go buy a watch from someone else. I believe I will.

        • Grippy says:

          Anything taken out of context can be portrayed any way you want it to sound.

          He wasn’t rude to anyone in that thread. He didn’t browbeat anyone. It was just the opposite. People who don’t own the watch and never dealt with Chris jumped into it without even reading his side of it, or watching the video he posted showing how the crown actually operates. They just started hammering him.

          Then, when he spoke up in his own defense, people resorted to the old “this is bad PR” argument. To which he replied, if people read this – meaning the entire thread, not just his response to that point – and think he’s a jerk they shouldn’t buy from him. He answered every one of the guy’s emails very promptly and courteously, and when the guy wouldn’t accept his explanation of how to work the crown, Chris offered him a refund or hand-picked replacement. What’s he supposed to say at that point?

          But people want to make him out to be a jerk. Not the customer who threatened to go public with a complaint about something that’s not even a defect, oh no, he’s not the jerk. The guy who tried to help him, and offered him a refund or replacement, that’s the jerk, right?

          The forums are filled with guys who want to lecture him about how to run a business, but he’s actually running one. If he doesn’t agree with every comment people make to him, then they say he’s abrasive or rude. I’d like to see all the guys who criticize him try to do their job with a gang of people standing around critiquing every move they make, second-guessing every decision, and no matter what you do, nothing is good enough. Meanwhile, Chris does exactly that, successfully, and still goes out of his way to help others, growing his customer base and creating loyalty.

          How does he do it if he’s such a jerk? Explain it to me.

          • Bud says:

            Sorry friend. I’ve read several threads regarding his work. His ‘tude is offputting. I wouldn’t call him a jerk, but I prefer the oft forgotten “customer is always right” business model. The watch market is too crowed to behave differently.

          • Grippy says:

            Talk to any of his many repeat customers about how he’s treated him. He treats his customers very well. One guy who’s impossible to please trying to shame him on a public forum doesn’t mean he doesn’t provide good service.

    • Grippy says:

      I’ve purchased from Chris a few times, and traded emails with him. I can tell you first hand that he’s a good guy who offers outstanding service, as well as a great product at a very fair price.

      There’s more to that story than was revealed in that thread. I spoke to Chris about it offline, and he went out of his way to help that guy. If you read the posts from his actual customers, you’ll see a lot of them are repeat customers (I’m one), and many of them – who also own that watch – agreed that it was just a matter of the crown needing a little extra effort until it was broken in. It’s a spring-loaded screw down crown, it’s SUPPOSED to resist being pushed in. The guy wore the watch for a week, then started making up reasons to return it – the crown was just the last one. Chris responded to every one of the guys emails quickly and courteously. He explained to the guy how to operate the crown, but the guy just wouldn’t have it. When Chris offered him a refund or hand-picked replacement (to be sent at Chris’s additional expense), the guy insisted Chris pay the return shipping on the first watch, and threatened to publicly shame him if he didn’t give in. Chris could have gotten into all that, but he didn’t. He took the high road instead, and has taken a beating for it.

      If the product wasn’t good, the price wasn’t fair, and he didn’t offer good service, how do you explain the many supporters of the brand, their loyalty, and the fact that they keep going back for more?

  3. Rockhound says:

    First time to comment here – first off I’ll mention that I appreciate the thorough reviews and detailed photography.

    Perhaps this is a watch that needs to be held and worn to appreciate, but I’m not feeling it. Unfortunately, as much as I appreciate the watches from which inspiration was drawn, I can’t shake a pervasive cheapness from this design. Again, perhaps seeing it in person would alter my perception.

    I hate to be superficial, but for one, the brand name is awful. I get that it’s a homophone with some Chinese reincarnation concept, but it really isn’t appealing. Worse yet is the dog logo, which features prominently on the dial. Even in this price range I want a serious watch, and this logo just cheapens their watches. I get that they’re trying to convey some playfulness – not everything needs to be austere and formal – but this seemingly goes too far.

    Then they top that off with the monotype corsiva font for the logo and model name, which occupies the same space as comic sans or papyrus in the “fonts you should never use” category. It feels lazy and doesn’t belong on a watch dial.

    In looking at their site, I definitely prefer a few of the other colorways of the Legends model over this example, but all of their watches are let down by that dog logo and Powerpoint font selection.

    • jimbob says:

      This comment is so well written and justified. I couldn’t agree more, precisely why I’ve had my reserves about the brand. The logo is so cheap and the font for the brand name is exactly as you have described, written with a font that should be abolished. This is the same way I feel about H Moser & Cie, their font is a run of the mill Adobe Illustrator font from CS4 which I currently can’t recall the name of. It’s such an important part of a business, in fact it’s often the make or break, and in this case, it’s break.

      • Rockhound says:

        I’m a little confused how this response ended up on Worn & Wound…I posted this at Wrist Watch Review in December (3 months ago) regarding Lew & Huey’s Legends Racer model (hence the part about my first time to comment there).

        Unless this is a feature of Disqus that shares posts across sites, I’m guessing my account was hacked? Which seems odd if someone wanted to see this comment posted here, why not just copy the text? I guess I’ll change my password now…

        Otherwise, I do think the commentary on logo design and font selection still stands (although at least this offering has a better font used for the model name) and in light of the wonky crown behavior detailed above and questionable online attitude of the owner, I think I can safely pass on this brand. It’s simply too crowded to find this terribly desirable.

  4. R.K. says:

    Mehhh! Logo kills it for me. Too childish.

  5. Breezer says:

    That was was a C&R for me. True, WUS has “1.5 million” fan-boys for some reason, but this watch is definitely not worth the price point it’s at. I think I just went for the Omega look, but that was about it. Dial truly has a lot going on it – too much actually, but that’s a preference thing.

    Sales service is OK I guess, but owner’s constant raves about how everyone is after him got old quickly. He makes Pretty good quality, cheap Chinese watches, and sells it for a nice coin, which is fine and perfect, but some of his responses are off putting and unnecessary IMHO. I think he might have learned a lot of that bitterness from Ricardo, where basically most seemed to have flaws and issues, and he didn’t know how to handle that kind of load. It got better now, but sour taste remains.

    • Grippy says:

      Chris “raves about how everyone is after him”? Really? Post a link to one such rave. I get his newsletter. Never once has he mentioned anything like that. I’m subscribed to his brand’s thread on WUS. Never seen that. But reading blog comments like these here, it certainly seems like some people are out to hurt his business. What’s he said, other than acknowledging that he has his detractors? He’s also said he’s very fortunate to have so many loyal customers. Sounds like he’s willing to admit he’s not perfect, and sincerely appreciates those who support him.

  6. Krink212 says:

    Love it, minus the logo rip off of Keith Harring.

  7. TonyG says:

    I was on the fence about the red grey orthos diver but now that I found out about the crown mechanism defect I’ll probably be purchasing another piece. It’s a shame because I really liked the look of the watch. I value customer service and if that’s not somethjng I can get from a micro brand I guess I’ll have to look at other options.

    • Grippy says:

      If you like the Orthos, get it. I and many others can assure you Chris offers great customer service, and the Orthos is a great piece. Don’t let a handful of vocal haters talk you out of it. But it if you like it. Or don’t buy it if you don’t like it. There’s nothing wrong with the crown mechanism.

  8. Grippy says:

    Again, he didn’t belittle the customer, and the guy’s watch wasn’t defective. If you watched the video Chris posted, and read the comments by others who actually own the same watch, as well as others with screw-down crowns, it’s a very common occurrence. It’s common for the gasket and/or spring in a screw down crown to make it a little tricky. Chris gave the guy a complete explanation, including instruction on how to get the crown in on the first try, every time, and when the guy wasn’t satisfied with that, Chris offered him a hand-picked replacement or refund. So no, I don’t agree he dropped the ball, or that it should have been handled more professionally. For whatever it’s worth, I also own the same watch, and the crown is tricky to get in, but a little lateral pressure gets it on the first try, every time.

  9. Grippy says:

    You mean a lot of WUS members who don’t own the watch agreed it was a defect. A lot of guys who own the watch said it wasn’t, and others chimed in to say they’ve had the same thing with other watches with screw down crowns. It’s caused by the spring in the crown and/or the gasket in the case tube. The crown is supposed to resist being pushed in – it’s spring-loaded and the gasket is there for water resistance, it’s supposed to create friction on the crown stem. The result is the crown can be tricky to get in. It doesn’t happen all the time, and frequently goes away with break in. There’s no mystery to it. Chris tried to explain it to the guy, but the guy wanted to insist it was a defect, at which point Chris offered him a hand-picked replacement, which he would send at his own expense. All the guy had to do was return the original watch, but instead he wanted to make his complaint public.

    • Stuckey says:

      Hey Grippy,

      I get that you’re a fan of the L&H brand and it sounds like you’re a friend of Chris. And I can definitely see your side as you’ve provided a nice rebuttal. But imagine if you didn’t have a personal relationship with Chris, would you still be okay with the crown “quirk”?

      Sometimes it’s difficult to be honest with a friend especially in an uncomfortable situation where money is involved. I once bought a Seiko Solar Dive Chronograph off a buddy of mine and there was a problem with the reset function. When I would reset the chrono function the seconds hand wouldn’t reset back to the 12 o clock hour.This issue bugged me for a while but I decided to just accept the issue because I didn’t want to hurt my friend’s feelings and it didn’t affect the chrono function’s ability to time/

      I can kind of understand where you’re coming from when you say you don’t really see the crown trickiness as a issue. However, in this case I don’t know Chris personally so for me if I had a L&H watch with the crown issue I would not be so accepting like other L&H fans. I feel like a lot of L&H fans are more reluctant to speak up as members who speak of defects or issues are often attacked or labeled a “hater”. Or the L&H fans simply don’t want to hurt Chris’ feelings and would rather accept the crown issue because they want to show their support despite having a defective crown. I would probably ask for a refund if I were put in that situation as I really value the hacking function to synchronize my time. Being unable to set the time to the exact second is a deal breaker for me and like some members in the WUS community see this as a defect.

      I would expect a perfect crown mechanism from any watch that I own. And as you can see from the many examples people seem to take issue with the way Chris has handled or in this case not handled the CS side of his business. Hope you can try to see the other side of the argument. If this wasn’t an issue why are so many people agreeing that it is a defect?

  10. Grippy says:

    What you call condescending, I call candid. People don’t always agree. I saw him get defensive a couple of times, but only after someone said something really insulting. Other times, I’ve seen him show amazing restraint, and take the time to give a courteous response to someone when others wouldn’t.

    Threads on WUS don’t get locked because someone criticizes a sponsor. They get locked when people start flaming each other and breaking forum rules, something he has no control over.

    I saw that thread your friend started about thinking about pulling out of the Orthos pre-order. He wasn’t attacked at all. People voiced opinions on both sides, and many saw the email Chris sent out apologizing for the delay as being a good thing, not a bad thing, the way your friend saw it, that’s it. If I recall, your friend stuck with his order, and posted positive comments about the Orthos after he received it.

  11. Grippy says:

    Why do you think that is?