Microbrand Monday: Caffeine-Charged Brew Watch Co. Goes Mechanical with New Retromatic

Brew Watch Co., a U.S.-based watch brand best known for its industrial, espresso machine-inspired designs, recently unveiled the latest addition to its caffeine-charged collection, the new time-and-date Retromatic. The watch, whose design recalls that of Brew’s Retrograph chronograph first released in 2018, is the first fully-mechanical timepiece by the young brand, and comes as its first new model since the unveiling of the Mastergraph in the fall of last year.

The Brew Retromatic – Specifications

The Retromatic has a 36-mm x 39.5-mm rectangular case, which sits quite close to the wrist at a 10.5-mm thickness and is finished with a radial-style brushing. The model’s distinctive, funky curviness is similar to that of other Brew models, most notably the Retrograph mentioned above, and like all its predecessors features a coffee-bean signed crown on its right side. The Retromatic continues the brand’s use of hooded lugs, though in this model also offers an elevated level of style thanks to its appealing, flat-link steel bracelet with a butterfly clasp.

The dial greets us with one of four color options — green, black, blue, or burgundy — with the first three opting for yellow, white, and metal accents throughout, while the fourth eschews the yellow accenting in favor of an all-around clean metallic details. Each of these dials feature a unique texture, inspired by the circular cutouts seen in the drain-grates and heat extraction on bespoke espresso machines, which contrasts well with the smoother outer sector of the dial.

A chronograph-influenced minute ring, punctuated at each hour marker, occupies the outer edges of the dial, while the rest of the dial maintains a clean, minimalistic style, with a small date window at the 6 o’clock position, simple baton hands for the hour and minute, and a square-tipped lollipop-style pointer for the seconds. At the top of the dial we find the all-caps Brew logo and toward the bottom, the “Retromatic” designation along with a small reference to the automatic caliber inside the watch.

Like coffee beans, the Retromatic will be available in different varieties, two in this case, each distinguished by its movement. The blue- and black-dialed models will both use the Swiss Selitta SW200 automatic movement, which features a 38-hour power reserve and is often considered quite similar to ETA’s 2824 mechanism. The green- and burgundy-dialed watches will contain the Japanese Seiko NH35A automatic mechanism, which features a 41-hour power reserve and is often a caliber of choice for smaller, independent brands like Brew.

In Context

Brew has built something of a cult following, with the brand’s founder and designer, Johnathon Ferrer, becoming something of a microbrand hero among its fans. The company’s release of its first fully mechanical model is likely a dream come true for this group, as Brew has hinted at adding mechanical watches to its catalogue since its initial launch in 2015.

According to the brand, mechanical will be the “way forward” for all future models — which, if previous watches are any clue, will likely include a chronograph in the next year or two to come. This is significant not only because it represents a shift for the brand, but because Brew Watch Co. is often considered a leader among smaller independents. Making a full shift to mechanical may well be an encouraging sign for the microbrand space as a whole, as the market at large begins to take these smaller players more seriously.

Price and Availability

As of now, the Retromatics with Japanese movements are priced at $425 and will be limited to 300 editions, while the watches containing Swiss movement are marked slightly higher, at $495, and will be limited to 200 editions. All of the models are available now directly through Brew’s online store, found here.

To read our interview with Brew’s Founder and Designer Jonathan Ferrer, as well as our hands-on with the Mastergraph and Retrograph, click here.

For our last #MicrobrandMonday column where we goes hands-on with the Baltic Aquascaphe and interview the brand’s founder, click here.

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    Nice article. I like very much your microbrand columns and follow you regularly. Many thanks.

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