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Tirtza Pap

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Brellum Duobox Classic LE.3 – getting what you want part I

Watch enthusiasts come in all shapes and forms. I should know as I consider myself one of them.

Besides that we are often not understood, the one that usually doesn’t understand is our partner.

But this too will pass. Or so I hope!

However I was very excited about this watch. I had seen its press release and tried getting my hands on it as soon as I could, but had missed the boat.

So now the entire game changed. Usually the way it works, you see a watch you like, and price permitting you go in and either order it, add yourself to a waitlist maybe or sometimes just plug (in your credit card) and play its on your wrist).

Here however it was different. Welcome to Sebastien. A perfectionist par excellence, 4th generation watchmaker and a fun detail for me was he is my age. When my email was answered that we are sorry sir, but as this watch was a limited edition we are sold out, I decided to call Brellum.

Knowing that Brellum is a microcompany I figured that I might actually get someone on the line that can help me. To my surprise I had no one less than Sebastien himself on the other end of the horn.

This was a breath of fresh air, we had a nice little chat, didn’t help much to get my watch….YET.

Brellum, a fairly small company for the moment, which personally I believe can and will change one day has produced many stunning timepieces. I love his design , his personal touch to make his movements COSC certified. So this Duobox LE.3 has a Valjoux 7751 base movement and he basically plays around with this himself to get the COSC certification.

As a guarantee of quality and respectability, all BRELLUM watches proudly display the Swiss Made designation. This distinction is reserved for brands that comply with the requirements of Swiss federal legislation.

In addition to the Swiss Made label, each movement of a BRELLUM watch also adopts the «Certified Chronometer» certification standards (COSC). This label is only reserved for the movements of watches which successfully pass a constraining group of tests which determine the precision and stability of each movement. Validation is carried out by an independent body known as the Contrôle Officiel Suisse de Chronométrie (COSC).

Each BRELLUM watch comes with its own individual certificate of chronometry where each measurement result is recorded. Only 6% of the total Swiss watch production, as is the case with BRELLUM watches, has the designation «chronometer officially certified» inscribed on the dial.

Only 6%, yep you guessed right, many of your high end 10 times the price watches in your collection or on your I want list, do not have the COSC certification.

Now actually Sebastien said 6%, but actually some quick research proved him wrong. According to Wikipedia, its now down to 3% !

Now its all nice and fluffy hearing that a watch is COSC certified, let me enlighten you what this entails.

To have a watch pass the certification, the movement must be sent to one of the COSC labs where it immediately goes through the following: tests the numbers engraved on the movement (in relation to the list supplied by the applicant), the movement is placed in a 5-slot clasp, the movement is wound according to the brand’s supplied guidelines, and the parts are placed in a temperature controlled enclosure for 12 hours at exactly 73.4°F (23°C). Then, over the next 15 days, the parts of the wristwatch go through daily tests. Each day, the clocks and watches are measured and reassembled. At the end of that time period, the wristwatches are judged by seven different criteria: average daily rate, mean variation in rate, greatest variation in rate, the difference in rates in horizontal and vertical position, largest variation in rate, and variation in rate depending on temperature and rate resumption. You can see the exact specifics below. If the watch passes these guidelines, it is officially awarded the certification.

Keep in mind that this 3% reresentaiton, still means that over 1 million watches carry certification.  The main players would probably be Rolex and Omega, but Breitling and Panerai are probably the biggest users and certification holders today.

So yes, Sebastien belongs to this elite group and can hold his head up high with his accomplishments.

So, I told you that it was love at first sight, I told you he was sold out, I told you that he has a unique certification, but there was one more thing I didn’t mention yet. On this awesome watch, Sebastien decided to seriously make a limited edition. There are 13 pieces on this planet.

Limited to a production run of only 13 copies, the movement of the LE.3 is also adorned with special decorations, a numbered rotor, decorated and treated in 5N pink gold.

A little node near my heart then released a valve which opened up an adrenaline gasket and put me in to challenge mode.

Who doesn’t love a challenge. Me want cookie!!!

I stayed in touch with Sebastien here and there and followed all his new endeavours, but vowed that my first Brellum will be this limited edition.

Long story short, or is the opposite, anyway a couple moons later out of literally nowhere, Sebastien who was probably sick and tired of me nudging him, put me in touch with Mr. R.

A watch collector and Brellum enthousiast. He still had a few Brellums in his collection and was willing to part with this one.

About 3 emails and one paypal later, my long awaited desire was on its way to me.

I have unboxed probably hundreds of watches, a large chunk for my private collection, but when this puppy arrived, I was excited. Really excited.

There she was! Nr 4 of 13 watches ever made from this collection is home. Me got cookie!

I must admit that I really love this watch. I have worn it not only more often that I usually wear a watch. I tend to change weekly. Some of my acquaintances and passionate watch friends will literally change watches daily. I like my weekly routine. Unless I need to match up for something specific at an event, I will usually plan which watch I want to wear next week. However I really kept my Brellum Duobox for some very important occasions in my life.

I am actually staring at it now like I often do when I wear it. The face seems larger and though there is a lot going on around the actual watch, in addition to the chronograph, the anthracite dial features the triple calendar functions with date, day and month, the day / night indicator and the moon phase display feature and the use of roman numerals it still keeps that very classy look. I got lucky and have the grey strap with a blue stitching which I really love.

I don’t often do this, but I tend to take it off and look at the stunning open back. So yes I admit looking at the engraved detail limited edition 04/13 makes me smile, but the large glass back gives you a lovely look at the inner craftsmanship of this beauty.

Even my better half who usually just doesn’t get it, admits that this is a keeper.

There is a certain weight that his watch has, which is not really very heavy but its not a lightweight either. Maybe I am wrong and didn’t take out a scale, but on my wrist it’s a very similar weight to my IWC Portuguese. I know I might be exaggerating or  sound crazy that I notice the weights, but I really like a good weight and certain feel on my wrist when I wear a watch. This way you actually feel you  are wearing something.

The butterfly clasp has a nice finishing on the back and the Brellum name on the inside and as well in logo design on the outside of the clasp.

Living up to today’s standards, the strap has the easy release buttons which is really nice too.

It wasn’t an easy challenge, but well worth the weight and very happy and proud owner of the Brellum.

Thank you mr R. and thank you Sebastien! Keep up your great work and looking forward to seeing more of your work in the future!

Caliber   BRELLUM BR-751-TCMP Automatic Chronometer (Valjoux 7751 base)

Certification  Officially Chronometer certified movement (COSC)

Decoration  Perlage, Geneva stripes, blue screws, numbered rotor from 01/13 to 13/13                    decorated with the Brellum logo and gold 5N coated

Technology  25 jewels, 28’800 A/h, 46 hours power reserve; Incabloc, Glucydur Balance,      Nivarox Alloy Hairspring typ Anachron

Function   Hours, Min., Sec., triple calendar (day, date, month), chronograph, day/night indicator,    moon phase indicator Case Material  Stainless Steel 316L, DIN 1.4435

Dimension  Diameter 41.80mm, thickness : 11.20mm without crystals, 16.20mm total

Crystal   Box sapphire crystal with anti reflexion coating on both sides Dial   Anthracite, domed, indexes with luminous material (Superluminova) Hands   Hours and Minutes with luminous material (Superluminova)

Water resistance 50m, 5ATM

Case back  Stainless Steel, numbered with box sapphire crystal, anti-reflection coating

Weight    On genuine black alligator leather strap mounted on decorated steel folding clasp, 120g