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I’m no stranger to Brathwait. I was one of the first ever to release a review of their first model, the Classic Slim. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing the Minimalist Automatic, the Swiss Automatic, and the Swiss Classic. Ok, the names aren’t that exciting, and this model is just a tad more so – named the “Minimalist Luminous”. I’ve always found their watches to be great quality and aggressively priced, especially the gold Swiss Classic.
Let’s checkout the Brathwait Minimalist Luminous to see if it lives up to it’s brothers and sisters.
- Dimensions: 40mm diameter x 12mm height x 42.5mm lug to lug
- Weight: 76g
- Water resistance rating: 10 ATM / 100m
- Movement: Ronda Cal. 1004
- Lug width: 20mm
- Warranty: 1 year
- Price: $279 / £210
- Buy here: https://www.brathwait.com/products/the-minimalist-luminous-steel-melano-top-grain-italian-calf-leather-strap
The case of the Brathwait Minimalist Luminous is fully polished, with a slightly angular barrel shape. the 40mm diameter is decent, but the 12mm height is quite a surprise for a quartz movement – ideally it would be a tad thinner.
The lugs stick straight out a 45 degree angle; with a simple elegance to them.
The caseback is secured in place with 6 screws, which is also fully polished. It has Brathwait in the centre surrounded by various specifics which are laser etched.
Sitting on top of the case is a single domed sapphire crystal. As it’s only domed on top, you do get distortion at tight angles. It has a fairly decent anti-reflective coating, but the heavily domed nature of it still provides reflections.
The push-pull crown has decent grip and the Brathwait logo accurately but lightly engraved on the end. It’s rather small, and fits into scale with the case.
The dial is a sandwich dial – where the hour markers and numerals are cut out of the top level, revealing a lumed layer below. This is a nice surprise which I didn’t initially expect.
Personally I think they could do with the cut outs being thicker as they are a bit on the thin side which effects legibility. However, these cut outs are exceptionally neat and
As well as being sandwich, it’s also a domed dial – a sloped downward edging created an interesting visual impression.
A small seconds hand subdial resides at a lower level in the bottom half of the dial, with a lovely crisp cut out. The hand is black so a little hard to see.
The main hour and minute hands have thick black borders which reduces the size visually, also effecting legibility. The hands are long, elegant, pointed sword shaped arrows.
The printing is kept to a minimal on the dial which is fresh – the logo is located within the top half and there’s just the small seconds track around the small running seconds subdial.
This watch is named the “Minimalist Luminous” – so how’s the lume? It’s average and what you’d expect for a watch of this price to be honest. It’s just a shame they didn’t really go for it.
The strap comes loaded with quick release pins, which I always like to see – in my opinion every strap should come with them.
The leather has a very nice texture to it – super soft and supple, and feels great quality on the wrist. It has a matching black stitching.
The strap is loaded with a standard, but well constructed butterfly clasp, which is fully polished to match the case. It has the Brathwait logo deeply and accurately engraved on the top bar. I usually find it tends to get a bit uncomfortable after a long day’s wear, but that might just be me as I find that with all butterfly clasps.
The movement powering the Brathwait is the Ronda 1004. It’s Swiss Made and boasts 10 jewels. It’s gold plated and has a 25 month battery life. It’s not an exciting movement, but it’s dependable and well made. It’ll be a long-lasting and trustworthy movement.
As is usually the case, I find the quality of this Brathwait to be solid in terms of fit and finish. There’s a couple of things I’d like to change – the cut outs should be a little thicker, and the hands should be a bit more legible (not using a black seconds hand, and not as thick borders on the hours and minute hands).
Whilst these would be nice-to-have improvements, the dial is still a lovely part of the watch – well designed, with an uncommon domed / sandwich crossover.
With code JCF15, it makes it under £190 which is a very tempting proposition.