Hands-On: The Brew Metric Gold Chronograph — Scratching The Itch For A Gold Watch With Gusto
Today, I’ll tell you all a little bit about my latest watch, the Brew Metric Gold. Over the last several years, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know John Ferrer, the owner and designer behind Brew watches. In that time, he has stayed true to his overarching design theme, but the refinement and execution have constantly improved. Having seen the steel versions of the Metric on the wrists of my fellow collectors and compared them to the Retromatic in my collection, the overall package is a step up. Once the latest version in gold PVD dropped, I knew I had to have one.
Friendship has benefits
I’ll be the first to admit that having a watch-focused podcast or writing about watches does have a few benefits. The most relevant one is the ability to experience watches from brands that do not have a retail presence. We all know that watches from big or small brands can look different in renders than in real life. Trying a watch on gives the tactile sensation of quality, wrist presence, and comfort. But trying on certain watches before purchasing, especially hot new releases, can be impossible.
My first in-person experience with Brew was with a sample Retrograph before having John as a guest on the Whiskey&Watches podcast. Getting to go hands-on with a watch is important before talking in depth with a brand owner. This is something we try to do as often as we can. The same goes for these types of hands-on reviews. As a collector, I find that these are the best articles for real-life pictures and reactions.
That said, I pulled the trigger immediately upon seeing this watch in my inbox on the day of its release! Having experienced a Metric on the wrist at a meetup, I knew the dimensions and overall package were excellent. I longed to try something in precious metal but did not want to spend five figures on a full-gold watch and bracelet. Plus, just look at this watch!
What sets this Brew Metric apart from the other references in the collection is obvious. The gold PVD treatment is very well done. While this is a yellow gold treatment, it is closer to the Moonshine hue than standard yellow gold. The brushed surfaces contrast nicely with the polished surfaces, and the PVD accentuates the level of detail in this piece. Compared to the all-brushed surfaces on the Retromatic bracelet in my collection, the bracelet on this version of the Metric is absolutely stunning. This is despite having more similarities than differences. The additional polished bevel on the edges of the bracelet amazingly accentuates the dramatic taper from the end link to the clasp. This is my favorite detail of the watch.
The case has a layered construction, another improved design element on the Metric compared to other watches in the collection. This improves the visual experience on the wrist as the details of the case construction are on display. Building up from the bottom, the case (which is square) and the bezel (which is square-ish) form layers that give the watch a thinner feel on the wrist. The dial aperture is round, but the crystal is similar to the bezel, which leaves room for polished gold around the corners of it. This plays with light to accentuate the black dial. Every surface and visual angle has had ample attention paid to it.
The Brew Metric Gold — subtle and striking
What really sets this Metric apart from its steel brethren is the dial. Eschewing the fun and funky colors of its predecessors, this dial is done completely in black and gold. The rehaut has been rethought with Arabic numerals every five minutes instead of the color pattern that includes a nod to the ideal time for brewing an espresso shot (between 25 and 35 seconds if you didn’t know, which I didn’t). This colorway is classic, and the execution here is excellent. The hands are brushed, while the indices are polished. The polished negative space around the matte black dial is a sharp contrast that makes it easy to tell the time at a glance.
Powering the watch is the VK68 meca-quartz chronograph caliber. Similar to the other watches that use this movement, it features running seconds at 6 o’clock and a 60-minute totalizer at 9 o’clock. The chronograph sub-dial is either shaded gold or matches the dial every ten minutes. This makes reading elapsed time at a glance even easier. As I tend to time things throughout my day, I find that feature extremely thoughtful.
What impresses me most isn’t the mechanical chronograph seconds hand that sweeps like it would in my Speedmaster. Rather, it is the running seconds. The small hand hits all 60 of the second markers, something that most quartz movements in this price bracket struggle to do. While mechanical movements dominate my collection, I have not been able to keep this one off my wrist.
Vintage wrist presence
In the release video for the gold Metric, John Ferrer mentioned that he is drawn to vintage watches but struggles to find a design that he can fall in love with. While I enjoy vintage designs, I tend to lean towards new watches because there is no worry about failing gaskets, replacement parts, or service history. The TV dials of the 1970s are evident in this design, and the proportions live up to the style. Measuring 36mm wide, 41.5mm long, and 10.75mm thick, this watch embraces the proportions of the era that inspired it.
The 41.5mm length is the “lug-to-lug” for this lug-less watch. Being so close to 40mm, it is quite comfortable on most wrists. Rectangular watches do tend to wear larger than their measurements. This does help with overall wrist presence and ensures that the 36mm width does not feel too small. The round dial has the opposite effect, visually shrinking the watch and focusing your attention. The effect is quite powerful. The Metric is almost a Goldilocks fit.
There is something about a gold watch that makes you more conscious of what is on your wrist, even if it is PVD and not solid gold. That the majority of the watch is brushed and not polished helps make it less flashy and more classic. There is just something about a gold watch on a bracelet that exudes confidence. You made a choice. This is not something that you stumble into.
I will be the first to admit that I am biased. I purchased the Brew Metric Gold before contemplating doing a review. The design, the finishing, and the colorway all spoke to me. As someone who had toyed around with the idea of trying out the all-gold look with a gold G-Shock, this watch fit the bill perfectly. Its design, execution, and value all play a part in this, but so does my familiarity with John and his brand. I knew that I would be impressed with this watch in person.
It is also noteworthy that the packaging has also improved. The Metric came in a very nice watch roll that is significantly more useful than the boxes we are so accustomed to getting. It is also perfect for Brew watches on single-row bracelets because it doesn’t require the watch to lay flat, the one thing this watch struggles to do (not an issue at all, unless you expect to store it that way).
I am smitten. This watch checks all of the boxes for what was “missing” in my collection, at least for the time being (my collection is always evolving; I am sure you understand). It has a vintage-style package, precious-metal looks, and a design that I have fallen for. If you have been bitten by the gold bug but aren’t quite ready to take a potentially expensive plunge, I would encourage you to look here. There are other offerings out there, but how the Brew Metric Gold (US$475) comes together is spectacular in person. You may want to look sooner rather than later, though, as Brew’s watches do tend to be available for about as long as it takes you to finish your espresso!
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!