Hands-On: The Brellum Wyvern GMT Chronometer
If you think back to a couple of months ago, you might remember my coverage of the release of the Brellum Wyvern GMT Chronometer. Three models were released, each with a different colorway, but all packed with great features. I finally got a chance to get my hands on one to test out. So how will this brilliant value proposition on paper hold up on the wrist? After two weeks of wear, I think I’ll be able to give you a pretty good idea of just that!
I was quite positive in my initial coverage of the Brellum Wyvern GMT Chronometer (which you can find here). Most of my positivity came as a result of the combination of what the brand presented on paper and in pictures. The watch not only offered a sharp modern aesthetic, but it also bragged a brilliant chronometer-certified movement with a handy GMT complication. On top of that, you got all the accoutrements you’d expect from a contemporary watch from a Swiss independent — sapphire glass (on both sides), a nicely decorated movement, and a reasonably sized stainless steel case with a decent level of water resistance. And when it came to the price, it seemed you really couldn’t go wrong.
So, as you might imagine, this meant that my expectations were pretty high. Did the watch disappoint? Was it something else altogether in person? Had I been catfished? Well, I’m very happy to say that the watch does indeed live up to my expectations! In fact, it exceeds them. However, that being said, an extended first-hand look also revealed a couple of (admittedly small) issues I have with the watch. A lot of the time, when looking at press images, or even renders, it’s not quite possible to get a sense of what the watch will look and more importantly feel like in the metal. This is why, especially when looking at a brand whose watches you have not yet seen in real life, it is best to reserve judgment until you have.
Spending a week or two with the watch on the wrist is as good as it gets when it comes to being able to do so. So in this case, I’m confident in saying that I have experienced the Brellum Wyvern GMT Chronometer, getting as close to the ownership experience as possible. And I must say that the overall impression was rather positive. It can be quite easy to be a skeptic when it comes to a watch like this, and sometimes you have to allow yourself to be positively surprised. However, there were no surprises here!
Sleek and refined
My first impression of the Brellum Wyvern GMT was that it had a rather sleek feeling to it. The case is on the larger side of my preference, at 42.3mm in diameter. A 51mm lug-to-lug measurement certainly makes the watch feel large, with a ton of presence on the wrist. However, before tipping the scales the way of “too big”, the watch makes a comeback with the final dimension — its thickness. That’s right, this watch is incredibly slim, at just 10.9mm including a lightly domed sapphire crystal. This dimension single-handedly makes the watch extremely wearable. For those familiar, it sits flatter on the wrist than a Speedmaster. To me is as good as it gets for a sporty watch of modern dimensions.
Sure, the watch is not a chronograph, which accounts for the slimmer case. Its sleekness, however, doesn’t come down to just the case height. The Wyvern GMT’s elegantly curved lugs wrap around the wrist perfectly. Combined with the fitted rubber strap, the watch wears extremely comfortably. The streamlined design is heightened by a number of details that speak to the brand’s dedication to creating a refined product. The slightly scalloped bezel has a high-polished edge, both on the inner lip next to the crystal, as well as on the sides where it meets the case. The polished edge meets the chamfer on the side of the lugs and creates a nice cohesive line. This is also mirrored by the polished sides of the case back and contrasts nicely with the satin-brushed sides, as well as the subtle radial brushing on the bezel.
The Brellum Wyvern GMT Chronometer — details that matter
Moving on to the front side, there are plenty of small details on the sunburst blue dial that add a lot of depth to the watch. The dial is divided into four sections. There’s the raised rehaut, which features the minute markings and slopes nicely towards the center. Then we have the outer segment, where lume-filled applied hour markers line the dial. The 12, 6, and 9 o’clock numerals are also filled with lume. The 3 o’clock marker makes way for the date window, which is well-balanced by the large numeral on the opposite side. An inner 24-hour ring is there to provide a second time-zone display. It sits lower than the rest of the dial, contrasting nicely with a different finish. The center section of the dial contains almost all dial text, as well as the day/night indicator.
The underlined brand name sits at the 12 o’clock position, with the words “dual time” printed below it in yellow. This color detail matches the arrow tip of the GMT hand. It also matches the 24 on the second timezone display and a line on the rubber strap. At 6 o’clock, the word “chronometer” reveals the movement’s impressive achievement. The overall look and structure of the dial might remind you of the JLC Polaris. And this is not a bad thing, as the Polaris is an undeniably handsome watch. One final thing to point out is that I was not a huge fan of the day/night indication at first. Though it’s conveniently lumed, I couldn’t help but feel like I was being looked at by a pair of googly eyes just above the 6 o’clock position. However, I quickly got used to it and embraced the quirky look.
Under the sapphire
The automatic Brellum caliber BR-893-GMT can be seen through the watch’s sapphire exhibition case back. A skeletonized gold-colored rotor decorated with Geneva stripes and the brand’s Wyvern logo (a mythological dragon/bird/serpent hybrid from popular folklore) keeps the movement wound. The movement itself also features perlage and blued screws, so it really is something worth putting on display. The opening is relatively small compared to the size of the case. This means that Brellum had plenty of space to engrave some additional details onto the case back. The engraving is very nicely done, with the “Officially Certified Chronometer” text sitting under the crystal. In the space around the six screws that keep the back on the watch, you can find some additional information.
This includes the watch’s 100-meter water resistance rating (decent considering the fact that the crown does not screw down into the case), as well as the watch’s number. The brand, model, and the words “Swiss made” and “sapphire” are also engraved. These engravings are very nicely executed, as it’s the space around the text which has been removed from the 316L steel. However, you won’t feel the text engraved, as the gap is filled with some kind of clear lacquer. That’s a very nice touch! And speaking of nice touches, the crown on the Brellum Wyvern GMT is also worth mentioning. It is not just pleasant to operate, but it is also adorned with a Carbuncle logo. Pull it out once, and you can set the date and GMT hand. Pull it out further, and the seconds hand will stop, allowing you to accurately set the time.
There you have it — the Brellum Wyvern GMT Chronometer. It’s a watch that, for its CHF 1,995 price tag, offers a whole lot of value! Not only do you get a thoughtfully designed and well-finished watch suitable for any occasion. But you also get a well-finished chronometer-certified movement with a very useful GMT feature. The slender case makes for comfortable everyday wear, while the modern sizing gives it presence on your wrist. Personally, I would opt for the watch on a stainless steel bracelet instead of the rubber strap. This was my final qualm. Though it’s certainly not a deal-breaking issue, as comfortable as the high-quality rubber strap is, and as beautifully as it fits the watch’s lugs, I can’t help but feel that it belongs on steel.
If you’re a fan of independent Swiss watchmaking and you’re looking for a sleek, versatile piece that feels just at home poolside as it does under a suit sleeve, then the Wyvern GMT might be for you. Plus, the decent water resistance rating, chronometer-rated movement, and GMT feature really do make this the perfect watch for a holiday. What do you think of the Brellum Wyvern GMT Chronometer? Are you a fan of the blue? Or do you prefer the silver or black options? Let me know in the comments below. In the meantime, keep your eyes open, as more Brellum goodness is coming your way soon.
For more information, please check out the Brellum website here.