Many thanks to reader Ben W. for sending in the style tip on this brand.
There seems to be a bit of a disconnect here. Brathwait’s marketing makes a theme out of slamming the “luxury” watch market, claims that they (Brathwait) are introducing “transparency to luxury watch making“… and then sells minimalist quartz watches for $150, and Japanese Miyota powered watches for $300+.
There’s not a damn thing wrong with the Miyota 9015 movement. Quite the opposite. And the automatic models are going to find themselves some fans. But luxury? Of course it depends on your interpretation of the word, but a lot of watch fans will give Brathwait’s use of that word the side-eye. Nice? Sure. Absolutely. They’re in the Orient and Seiko ballpark. But Brathwait might want to ease off on how they’re claiming to upset the luxury watch apple cart, and how their $150 quartz watches could otherwise be sold for $500. It’s not believable, and the sanctimony gets a little old.
Minimalist design without looking forgettable or plain.
Yet the Brathwait automatic models fill a niche. Plenty of guys love the minimalist watch look. It’s why the quartz-powered Daniel Wellington brand has done so well. But your choices get much more limited if you’re a fan of automatic/mechanical movements. The Brathwait automatic slips into that void nicely.
That Miyota 9015 movement does a couple things most Japanese automatics around this price can’t do: It hand-winds at the crown, and it hacks (the seconds hand stops when you set the time). Hacking is fine and all, but the hand winding at the crown is a very useful option to have. Instead of swinging your watch around to get it up and started again, you can simply wind it at the crown and go. Or, you can wind it before you got to bed at night, and not have to worry about it running out of juice.
40mm in diameter with a subtly domed sapphire crystal.
It is a minimalist design, and the details have had some thought put into them. Instead of using boring hands that look like they were ripped off a stick-figure facing the Spanish Inquisition, Brathwait decided to go with some curves. Each of the three hands has a slim propeller shape. Even the counter-weight to the red second hand has that dual sided swoop.
Each hour is represented by a silver dot indice, as well as an extremely subtle, tonal, recessed line on the dial. Those lines give the dial just a bit of texture without losing the minimalist theme.
Quick release spring bars make for easy strap switching. No exhibition case back.
Case diameter is 40mm, which is easy to wear for most. Crystal is a very slightly domed Sapphire. Water resistance is a welcome 100m. The leather straps are attached by way of quick release spring-bars, as opposed to the usual spring-bars that require a tool to manipulate.
The shipping and returns policy is key. Free shipping, worldwide, and returns are free as well as long as you email them and get it sent back within 30 days of delivery. That’s huge. Knowing you’re off the hook for return shipping can make all the difference in the world. That way, you can determine for yourself if Brathwait’s looks & quality live up to the price, whether you consider them to qualify as “luxury” or not.