PUBLISHED BY Joshua Clare-Flagg ON 7 Aug, 2017.
I’ve reviewed a fair number of Brathwait’s: the Classic Slim, Automatic Minimalist, and the Swiss Automatic (they probably could do with a better naming tradition). Now I’m pleased to take a look at another one of their offering – the Swiss Classic. Not only one though, but two versions – the more traditional and classic Gold, and the more casual black Gun Metal.
They both come in at a pretty crazy $159 / £125, and if they’re like any other Brathwait I’ve handled, they’re due to be great value for money – especially as they contain a Swiss Made quartz movement for this price. Let’s take a closer look.
- Dimensions: 38mm diameter x 6.5mm height x 46mm lug to lug
- Weight: 88g
- Water resistance rating: 10ATM / 100m
- Movement: Ronda (515?)
- Lug width: 20mm
- Warranty: 1 year
- Price: $159 / ~£125
- Buy here:
The case is a distinct vintage shape, with a domed sapphire crystal and retro angular case.
The quality of finish is excellent, with crisp edging and interesting angles for what is in reality a petite case. On the Gold version the case is fully brushed bar the bezel; which is polished. The Gun Metal version retains the polished bezel but utilises a more industrial and casual blasted finish on the case.
The single domed sapphire crystal has good AR coating – which is especially noticeable on the Gold version, but that’s probably just due to the lighter dial which tend to naturally show less.
The push-pull crown is very small and can be difficult to use; thankfully as the movement is quartz you won’t have to use it often. It is simple in design: with a rounded tip and minimal grip.
The screw-in caseback is also simple enough, with the Brathwait logo across the centre and details surrounding it.
The dial is also vintage inspired, thanks to the gold accents and the shape of the hour markers and hands.
The Gold version has a splendid sunburst / galvanic steel effect, which reflects the light in a circular motion. The Gun Metal model has a plain matte black base, which makes the dial a little bit plain in my eyes.
The printing on the dial is kept to absolute minimum – it’s literally just the logo in the centre of the top half.
The long, elegant hour markers are gold plated, and are pleasantly deep which signifies quality.
The hands are the same gold plating finish as the hour markers, and are a simple baton shape with pointed tip
The lumed centre consists of lume of adequate strength, but nothing to get excited about.
I do like a good mesh bracelet; and the offering on the Brathwait Swiss Classic is certainly impressive. It’s smooth, comfortable, and very well manufactured for the price.
The bracelet also features quick release pins, which you don’t usually see on a non-leather strap: making it easy to change (not that you would really).
The double locking buckle is a little tricky to adjust: make sure you release the lock from above rather than trying to wedge it open over the top thin bar. The top flap has the Brathwait logo lightly etched on top.
The movement used is just labelled by it’s manufacturer – Ronda. The model itself isn’t specified, although I’d hazard a guess at it being the 515. Whatever it is, it’s a Swiss Made quartz – so you’ve got a pretty good guarantee that it’s a solid, dependable movement that’ll last the test of time.
For the RRP of $159 / ~£125, there’s absolutely no denying that the Brathwait Swiss Classic is a much better choice than other designer alternatives such as Skagen. The Gold especially looks extremely luxurious for the price – it gives you the feeling that it looks much more than it costs, which is always great and one I look out for as a sign of a class watch.
It’s not a massive amount of money, but the fit, finish and appearance of the Brathwait Swiss Classic is excellent for what you’re paying. The Gold is my favourite, with the sunburst dial working so well with the polished gold and steel. The Gun Metal is still a lovely watch, but doesn’t have the same visual glamour.