When I first saw the Brathwait watches, I thought it was anot DW kind of brand, that sells, cheap 1$ china watches for a lot of money, but then I read more about them on forums and what I found really intrigued me. The watch has stainless steel case, slighthly domed sapphire crystal, swiss movement, stainless stell mesh bracelet and for all that 185$.
Brathwait is named afater Richard Brathwait, “the world’s first acclaimed gentleman”. A British poet, he introduced the notion of the gentleman in 1631 when he published “the complete guide to the English gentleman”. If he was alive today, what watch would he wear? The watch manufacturer bearing his name would no doubt believe it would be theirs.
The Brathwait Classic Slim is without doubt a smart dress watch. Measuring in at 40mm in diameter, and a very thin 7.5mm tall, it is extremely easy to fit under the shirt cuff. With a lug width of a very popular 20mm, it’s easy to switch the strap with an endless selection of others.
The case itself is made of 316L stainless steel. It is covered by a quality polish, which is extremely reflective. It looks like an excellent quality polishing job.
The Brathwait also boats a 1.9mm thick domed sapphire crystal, with a layer of anti-reflective coating on the underside. Whilst the AR coating provides an appealing blue hue, it doesn’t appear to be the most effective at reducing reflections. This adds to the nightmare of trying to photograph this watch, it’s hard to get a decent face-on shot without seeing yourself in the reflection. Realistically, though, in everyday life it’s not a big deal. Reading the time is still quick and easy thanks to the simple dial. Also cool that Brathwait decided to go with sapphire crystal not just a reguler glass. It add’s that little luxury feel to it.
The lugs are very shapely. Looking at the case side-on, you’ll see that they are rather thin and reasonably long, with a gentle curve downwards. From above, they’re a baton shape with slightly curved edges. They’re well designed, and of course, excellently machined.
The push-pull crown is extremely small (as in, about 2mm in diameter), but it looks good and it’s easy to change time too. It actually suits the watch well from a design perspective.
Moving on to the shape of the back of the case – it’s much wider on the top side, so it’s angled in toward the caseback. This gives the appearance of the case being thinner than it actually is.
Just like the rest of the case, the caseback is polished, with a flawless finish, and is secured in place by 4 screws. Where these screws fit is all surprisingly tidy for a watch at this price. The caseback also has some information deeply engraved on it. Nothing fancy, just “Brathwait” along the centre, and other watch specifics around the outer edge such as “Swiss movement” and “sapphire glass”.
Dial has a very light beige colouring, which provides a smart appearance and good legibility. The next thing you notice is the applied hour markers. Thin and long, they look elegant, and don’t detract from the simplicity of the watch. They are also surprisingly well made and applied for a watch at this price. They are all plain stick batons, with a polished finish as high quality as the case, and are aligned and applied perfectly. Around the outer edge of the dial is a very minimal printed minute track, consisting of thin black dashes at every minute between the applied hour markers. The printing is clean and crisp, with no smudging apparent. Bar the logo, this is the only printing on the dial, keeping it super clear.
The logo is in the usual position centred in the top half of the dial. It is printed rather than any sort of applied logo, and also is quite a small font size. A plain sans-serif font has been used, making sure there’s no unnecessary complication with the dial. Personally I think the logo is great, and keeps up with the now popular minimal design.
The final aspect of the dial to discuss is the hands. The minute and hour hands are both the same polished stainless steel as the case and applied hour markers. It’s good to see continuity like that throughout the watch. They are a thin and elegant long triangle shape, with a smaller triangle on the back end as a counter weight. They also have a 3D appearance to them, being slightly raised in the middle, which creates a nice variety of shades of reflection of light based on the angle you are looking at the watch.
The second hand is a red lacquer finish, allowing it to stand out from the equally as long hour hand. It is also thinner, being a thin stick rather than an arrow or triangle shape, and has a wider rectangular counter weight. When you have a dress watch with very thin hands it can be hard to differentiate between the minute and second hands. With the Brathwait Classic Slim watch, however, they have done a good job of creating a visual distinction between them, making reading the time at a quick glance easy.
The bracelet is stainless stell mesh bracelet. It’s a good quality bracelet and clasp mechanism works very well too. For hairy guys like me, it will be a hair puller, but once you put it on, and wear it through out day you wont feel any discomfort.
Powering the Brathwait is a Swiss Made quartz Ronda movement. A good choice, as you could easily slap in a cheap Chinese or Japanese quartz movement that costs a fifth of the price ($2 vs the $10 Ronda) but that would cheapen the idea of the watch. Instead, the Brathwait houses a decent, rugged quartz movement which is unlikely to let you down and just keep going until the battery runs out. Although not specified, it’s likely to be one of their standard 3-hand quartz movements, providing 4 years life span, and accuracy to -10/+20 seconds a month.
Overall you get a whole lot of a watch for the price. You won’f find better deal like this from any other brands. The watch wears good on daily basis, sport activities or going to opera with suit. And this one is definitely better choice than any of Daniel Wellington watches.
Price: 185$ @ www.brathwait.com
- Dome sapphire glass, 1,9 mm thick w/anti reflective coating.
- AISI 316l stainless steel.
- Swiss quartz precision movement.
- Water resistant to 100 meters /10 bar (328 feet).
- Case: 40 mm wide and 7,5 mm tall (1.57 x 0.26 inch).
- Stainless steel mesh strap: 20 mm wide (40 mm case), 18 mm wide (38 mm case) 16 mm wide (36 mm case)
- 24 cm long (0.78 x 9.44 inch).