New Release: The Brellum Pilot Power Reserve LE.2 Chronometer
Not all pilot’s watches are created equal. What I mean by that is that it’s a diverse genre of watches. First, you have the giant monochromatic heritage models, faithful to the true aviation timekeepers of yore. They are stark timepieces that keep legibility and functionality at the forefront of their designs. And then you have their fresh-faced contemporary counterparts. The Brellum Pilot Power Reserve LE.2 Chronometer comes in somewhere in between, but much closer to the latter. With a healthy dose of classic Flieger looks, the appeal of more modern dimensions, and a high-quality COSC-certified movement, this latest release comes in hot with a stunning green dial.
Having recently covered the Brellum Wyvern GMT, I was happy to hear from Sébastien announcing the release of the limited-edition Pilot Power Reserve. I love the aesthetic of pilot’s watches, but my taste goes to the two extremes. I love a plain, time-only Flieger. Just three hands, numerals, and ideally, no date. On the other hand, I feel that there’s a certain appeal to a busy-dialed pilot’s watch. The flight-instrument feel of the sub-dials and indicators suits the overall aesthetic well. This is where the Brellum Pilot Power Reserve falls in terms of design. And when it comes to a busy dial, execution is everything. There’s a fine line between a sharp-looking one with thoughtfully designed elements and an utterly hot mess.
The Brellum Pilot Power Reserve LE.2 Chronometer
I’m happy to say that this new Brellum is the former and not the latter. Looking at the beautiful green dial, which is undeniably busy, you find a sense of balance. Obviously, the watch features a chronograph complication, with running seconds, elapsed minutes, and 12-hour registers at the 6, 9, and 12 o’clock positions. This leaves room at 3 o’clock for the power reserve indicator, as well as the date and the brand name. The fact that all positions on the dial are covered and that the four respective hands are evenly spaced from the central pinion lends that balanced feel to the dial design. Two satin-brushed applied numerals can be found between each position, catching the light nicely and adding dynamism to the watch. At 12 o’clock, a large lume arrow with two dots on either side provides a hint of the heritage Flieger look.
The hands found in the sub-dials have a classic alpha shape, typically found on pilot’s watches. In contrast, the central hour and minutes hands, in true Brellum style, have a more modern and dynamic cut-off alpha design to them. The seconds hand has a classic slim shape, with a red tip and a sharp counterpoise. Again, we see how Brellum juxtaposes classic elements with more modern design cues, integrating them beautifully. In keeping with this theme are the case and strap. Classic lines, pushers, and a big crown crafted in 316L stainless steel make up the 41.8mm case. The relatively reduced size (for a pilot’s watch) is most welcome, as it keeps the proportions to a more modern standard, and provides 100m of water resistance, in case your flying takes you to warmer climates. The integrated brown leather strap suits the look of the watch beautifully — again, modern but classic.
Do a barrel roll!
Most of us won’t be performing any aerial stunts any time soon. But this watch provides you the opportunity to witness one whenever you flip the Brellum Pilot Power Reserve over. Looking back up at you through the AR-coated sapphire case back is the beautifully decorated Valjoux 7750-based Brellum BR-750-PR Chronometer movement. Its skeletonized rotor features an engraved outline of an airplane, which barrel rolls over the movement as the rotor turns. On the gold-toned rotor, you’ll also find the “limited edition” text, as well as the specific number (out of 17) of the watch. The movement itself features perlage, Geneva stripes, and blued screws. The thin bezel around the sapphire case back is also engraved with the brand name as well as other bits and pieces of information about the watch.
You’ll interact with the movement via the two pump pushers and the large, signed crown. These will operate the functions of the chronograph as well as adjust the time and date. As previously mentioned, the movement indicates its remaining power reserve (out of 45 hours) at the 3 o’clock position. Rather useful, as thanks to the watch being a COSC-certified chronometer, you won’t need to reset it often as long as it continues to run. Other features of the watch include the wonderfully box-domed, AR-coated sapphire crystal, which adds a nice bit of vintage charm. The sunburst green dial is also domed, and the finish variations across the minute track and sub-dials provide plenty of depth.
To sum it up, Brellum has given us a very special limited edition release of one of their strongest offerings. The classic combination of green and brown makes this my favorite offering in the Pilot Power Reserve lineup. Only 17 numbered pieces will be produced and made available on the Brellum website today! The brand expects to start shipping them out in the middle of December 2021. For this green-dialed Flieger on the leather strap with a deployant clasp, you can expect to pay CHF 2890. A metal bracelet is available as well, for an extra CHF 270.
For more information on the Pilot Power Reserve LE.2 Chronometer and other available models, please consult the brand’s website here.