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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

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Brussels Expo 2018: Saving the best for last!

Brussels Expo 2018: Saving the best for last!

Its movements are from the most remarkable ones used in the industry.
Its collection fits into everyone’s wardrobe.
Welcome to Zenith. A brand that has been around since 1865 and probably won more awards than anyone else in the industry. Zenith has over 2300 awards , over 300 patents designed movements for about 600 different versions with innovative designs like the gravity control gyroscopic module.
But the future of tradition has arrived. The new Defy collection. This timepiece which is currently only available or actually not available anymore in limited edition is probably the worlds most accurate mechanical watch. It takes the El Primero and the Zenith Gracity control to a new challenge and to a whole new level.
Though the new design for the El Primero classic will be a hit, especially since this year Zenith will be celebrating 50 years for this iconic contribution to the watch industry, I believe that the Defy zero G and the like will be a huge hit at the Basel 2019 show. This Zenith Defy was the last watch I expected to see today and was worth the trip and the day just to get a this on my wrist.

Next year I assume with some (hopefully minute) changes, the Defy will be more available at larger but still limited quantities and the price will also be a drastic change (for the better!). So I would definitely not hesitate and get that ticket on their waitinglist before Basel 2019.

Just my two kopeks.

Oh and yes, for those that know me…there is no date on this baby, I will just call it pain for beauty but indeed…against my principles. Thanks for noticing 😊

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Seiko Recraft


I stumbled upon this guy and knew that this belonged on my wrist.
The vintage, the green, the open back, well the movement is not my favorite, but still a nice workhorse.
Even the price is amazing, so I will not mention that it’s a shame it’s not sapphire crystal and that I wish I can read time in the dark.
There is a lot to say about Seiko. Yes, some people look at me and seem surprised I am wearing a Seiko. First of all, you obviously know very little about this brand. Secondly…WTF? You don’t need a Patek to look good. Okay, maybe it helps a little, but I would gladly keep this guy in my collection.
So, where was I? Ah yes, so here is the thing, the vintage DNA is awesome and most people that go for this, seem to have chosen the vintage square case or as some call it the tv case look.
I preferred the round face. I think because it had the vintage look and the round face brought back more of the styles that I was used to and not what my parents remembered.The green has many names like electric green, Hulk, vintage green or even racing green. I actually choose for English green, because of the old Rolls Royce’s and Land Rovers.
Another feature I only discovered after I owned it, is the dual date. Not just the obvious day and date, but the fact that you can choose the English day (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday) or on the same watch simply choose for the French days (Dimanche, lundi, mardi). Would have been cooler if the first 12 hours of the day are in one language and the next 12 hours in the other language, but still a cool option.
It’s a great conversation piece, it matches pretty much anything in your wardrobe and it’s fun to wear.
The dial is very readable and I like the raised inner dial which adds a nice touch. The bracelet is really nice with a mix of brushed steel and a durable buckle and not some cheap butterfly buckle which I have already encountered on more expensive watches.
I am wearing this lovely timepiece almost a week now and am really enjoying it. Don’t hesitate, real watch for your buck!

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Azimuth Mr Roboto

Whether you remember Rosy from the Jetsons or the golden robot C-3PO from Starwars, when thinking of robots, we don’t look to the future but remember our youth. Actually quite strange if you think about it. Robots are supposed to be part of the future, yet instead of thinking of the year 2100 we think back to the 1950’s or 80’s.
I definitely smiled when I got my hands on Mr Roboto. At first I was like, seriously…your kidding. But as a Mona Lisa that just sees you from any angle, Roboto or R2 for friends, just kept looking at me, and I smiled.
This one-eared funny faced time-machine was gonna had me wrapped around my wrist within minutes. And I didn’t care about the 47.5mm wide, 55mm long, and about 19mm thickness.
My wife was like, “your not serious?” but she didn’t even expect an answer as I put on my dinner jacket for the gala event we were about to attend.
We became very close that evening, yes, we bonded. Due to its weight I needed to have him a little tighter than I usually tend to wear my watch, but I could almost feel that heart pumping. That pumping at 28,800 VPH was just the talk of the evening at my table and beyond. Oh and everyone likes a partner at the gala with an open back, don’t you agree?
Yep, there aren’t many like these around. Like the one I walked in with, all men wanted to get close to me and especially once they found out that what I have is limited edition.
I even met Nick who brought his big eyed Azimuth to the gala, but more about him later.
Getting the time is not as complicated as it may seem, you do just have to look him right in the face. Much easier than expected and quickly get the hang of it. Roboto just needs and loves when you stare.
No one looked at this timepiece as a toy or gadget, everyone (okay, the men around me) were quite intrigued and enjoyed the concept and the memories it brought along.
I guess you can’t expect anything less from an Italian designer based in Switzerland. Giuseppe is a brilliant mind and no, he did not create Pinocchio looking watches, but he did take his designs to a different level. The unique design (which you should appreciate the fact that all is done in-house) the complications and innovativeness are the reason why Switzerland and Italy share borders. Italian design and Swiss timekeeping. What else can you ask for?
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