Since its launch in mid-2016, Brellum has quickly become a leader in the arena of small-scale, value-focused Swiss watchmaking. The brand was founded by Sébastien Muller, a fourth-generation watchmaker from Porrentruy, a hidden town in Switzerland’s Canton of Jura with a storied watchmaking history. After turning 40, Muller made the choice to start his own brand so he could make a product that he, and his family, could be proud of.
The last time we visited with Muller for our review of the Duobox Pandial earlier this year, he mentioned that he was working on his first in-house movement with delivery expected near the end of 2018. We recently received word from Muller that the time has come to unveil the watch he’s been working on for the past 18 months, the Wyvern Manufacture Limited Edition.
The Wyvern Manufacture series consists of two new timepieces, one with a gray dial (LE.1) and one with a white dial (LE.2), set in a 42.5-mm, stainless-steel case. More importantly, and where the manufacture in the title comes from, the two new watches house a brand new caliber, the BR-18 manual-wound movement that boasts a five-day power reserve courtesy of the twin barrels. While this movement has been designated with the perpetually tricky term “in-house” by Muller, the watch actually uses the technical design of a Technotime 718 caliber as the base. Muller’s contributions include redesigning the bridges to have larger openings on the barrels, adding a new hairspring to reach COSC-certification levels, and including new hand-decoration like côtes de Geneve on the three-quarter plate and a matte opaline finish on the balance bridge. The appearance of the movements in the two models differ slightly as the caliber in the gray dial version is rhodium-plated with thermally-blued screws and the caliber in the white dial version is plated in rose gold. Manufacture status aside, it’s an impressive movement with a five-day power reserve and plenty of additional detail that is sometimes missing from similarly priced watches from larger companies.
Design wise, the Wyvern Manufacture models are attractive dress watches that feature a mix of bar indexes and Roman numerals. There’s a power reserve scale located between 4 and 6 o’clock that is segmented by day. Other than the power reserve, which helps hammer home the vitality of the movement inside, the watches are extremely clean. The branding located at 12 o’clock has even been minimized slightly, reading only Brellum/Chronometer/5 Days in moderate-sized text, compared to the excessive amount seen on the Duobox Pandial.
Speaking of Duobox, which refers to the “box-style” construction of the crystal (meaning the crystal juts up slightly before forming a dome over the dial), it makes its return on both the dial-side and caseback. Like I said when I reviewed the Pandial, this style of crystal adds some excess height (the crystal takes the watch from 9.5 mm to 13 mm in the Wyvern Manufacture) to the watch itself but also brings out a new dimension to the appearance of the dial and movement.
In case you were wondering where the “Wyvern” in the model’s name comes from, it’s based off a popular folktale in the region of Switzerland that Muller grew up in. A Wyvern is a dragon-like monster with wings, a bird’s body, and a snake’s head. It’s become somewhat of an identifiable motif for the brand with appearances throughout Brellum’s previous models.
Overall, this is another solid introduction from Muller and Brellum. Muller is producing the kind of value-driven and detail-oriented watchmaking that enthusiasts of all types can appreciate. The Wyvern Manufacture, with its specialized caliber, five-day power reserve, and COSC-certification, should appeal to those looking for a dressier daily wearer that still has plenty of mechanical potency and won’t be found just anywhere.
Both versions of the Wyvern Manufacture are limited to 23 pieces and are available for CHF 3,990 with delivery expected around the holidays.
Brellum also recently released an update to the popular Duobox Pandial with a fresh DLC-coating. Click here to learn more.