PUBLISHED BY Joshua Clare-Flagg ON 11 May, 2017.
I was proudly one of the very first reviewers to feature both the Brathwait Classic Slim and Automatic Minimalist. Without a doubt, their watches always prove to be great value for money; they are well designed, well built, all at a competitive price.
When they released their latest offering, the Swiss Made Automatic, I was very excited. This watch should literally take the timepieces to the next level. Better craftsmanship, better movement, same great design. Obviously the price is higher at $595 / £460, but for a Swiss auto that’s still a great deal. Let’s see if that is the case.
- Dimensions: 38mm diameter x 10mm height x 45.5 mm lug to lug
- Weight: 80g
- Water resistance rating: 100m
- Movement: Sellita SW260-1
- Accuracy: -2.8 s/d
- Lug width: 20mm
- Warranty: 1 year
- Price: $595 / £460
The dial of the Brathwait Swiss Made Automatic is a similar style to all their designs; minimal, classy.
The quality of finishing is exquisite. Although it’s simple in nature, everything is crisp and precise. The print work, hands, hour markers; all are perfectly executed.
The dial features thin and elegant, flat dauphine hands with lumed centres.
There are also applied baton hour markers. Polished to match the case, they are well finished and feature a little lumed pip at the base. This pip is a welcome little surprise, one that you don’t necessarily notice at first glance.
The lume used on the hand and pips is very strong; it lasts a while and charges quickly. It’s certainly above average for a watch of this price (apart from Seiko of course).
The running seconds hand is housed in the subdial at 6. The subdial sits at a lower level, providing a subtle sense of depth. The hand is a straight point.
The date window is located at 3 with a matching date wheel. It has an exquisite border surround to it, well executed under close scrutiny.
All of the printing across the dial is precise and fine. It’s all fairly minimal, the logo in the top half, a minute track, and markings for the subdial – not forgetting the Swiss Made text at the foot of the dial.
The case is a pleasant size at 38mm, one that is well suited to smart attire. It also has a reasonable weight of 80g, and an average height of 10mm. All result in a well balanced, comfortable wear.
The case is highly polished with a splendid variety of facets and angles creating reflections all over – just be careful that you don’t put any hairline scratches on the mirror finish. The case features thin and elegant lugs, fluidly sweeping from the case.
The domed top sapphire crystal provides a clear view of the crisp white dial. It’s single domed, so it distorts at tight angles.
The push-pull crown has the logo laser etched on end – I personally think it would have been nice if it was engraved however. It is easy to use, thanks to the very good grip.
The screw-in caseback is simple enough, with the logo located in the centre with batch details and other specs surrounding it.
The leather strap is made of premium top grain Italian leather. Let me tell you, it’s very soft, luxurious and feels beautiful. The top has a lovely natural matte finish to it, which I much prefer to a fake alligator stamp or patent finish.
I’m always happy to see quick release pins included on a strap, and Brathwait include them on all of their watches. They make changing straps simple and quick, without the risk of damaging the case or lugs.
The butterfly clasp is a fairly regular affair. It is fully polished to match the case, with some attractive pearlage on the inside. The top bar has the Brathwait logo deeply engraved on it.
One thing I have found is that the underside of the clasp can dig into the wrist a bit, so sometimes it’s difficult to wear it for prolonged periods of time – but I find that with all butterfly clasps so it’s not an issue directly related to the Brathwait Swiss Made Automatic.
The movement powering the Brathwait Swiss Automatic is the Sellita SW260-1. Whilst I’ve not come across this particular movement before, I’ve seen it’s brother the SW200 a good number of times – the only difference between them is the small seconds hand.
Sellita did a lot of subcontracting for ETA in the past before releasing their own equivalents to the ETA 28xx range. Many people actually prefer Sellita due to their newer tooling machines as well as adding in an extra jewel. Personally, I really like them and they always perform well. This exact movement is used in a number of other luxury watches, the most notable being the Baume & Mercier Clifton.
The SW260-1 has 31 jewels, a 38 hours power reserve, and of course runs at a high beat of 28.8k bph (8 ticks per second). It’s also a reasonably nice looking movement, so it’s a shame you can’t see it.
Using my Lepsi Watch Scope, I’ve measured the accuracy to be a very impressive -2.8 sec / day. That’s within COSC specs, which is a great plus.
I’ve always found that Brathwait watches are impeccably made. Their fit and finishing is spotless and their timepieces look impressive on the wrist.
The Swiss Automatic, however, takes this on a whole other level. The quality is staggering – it’s a real beauty thanks to lovely design and flawless construction.
Swiss Made automatics always demand a premium, but in reality $595 / £460 is a very good deal. Brathwait like to be a bit disruptive, and with their “transparent” marketing they’re doing a good job at that. It’s good that they’re also making decent watches to go along with it. The amount of watches going for around the $500 mark with Miyota movements in surprises me (no way should they be that much), so to pay a little bit extra for a completely Swiss Made timepiece is a no brainer.