Swiss boutique watchmaker Brellum has been noted for their direct-to-consumer marketing approach and affordable yet refined collection, and they have recently released an update to their Duobox Chronometer series. The new watch, dubbed the Brellum Duobox Havana Classic, differentiates itself from its predecessor, the Duobox Chronometer which we reviewed here, with a new “Havana” brown sunburst dial and matching leather strap. The Brellum Duobox Classic has a lot going for it to begin with, so it’s worth introducing this new dial option that is a less common dial color.
The Duobox Havana Classic’s dial is tastefully executed with its applied steel, three dimensional hour markers, deep brown sunburst dial, and pulsometer track at the perimeter. We also have a nicely done stainless steel case with alternating brushed and polished surfaces in a very reasonable 41.8mm width. A large engraved and deeply knurled crown sits between polished chronograph pushers. Thick box section sapphire crystals cover the dial up front and allow easy viewing of the movement and its Brellum-decorated rotor around back. These two thick box section crystals (with anti-reflective coating) provide for the Duobox model name and also give the watch some serious thickness at a not insignificant 16.2mm.
A real star in the Duobox show is the inclusion of ETA’s longstanding workhorse automatic chronograph caliber, the 7750 that Brellum has COSC chronometer-certified. Produced since the 1970s, the ETA 7750 is known for its high degree of robustness and dependability – with 25 jewels, 28,800 bph rate, and a 46-hour power reserve. Brellum’s election to take the extra step of having the watches chronometer-certified demonstrates their intended position in the watch world as a competitive producer of reasonably priced watches which aim to please the new crop of watchmaking-interested buyers. It also, of course, means the Duobox keeps great time.
The Brellum Duobox Chronometer was the very first release from the brand back in December of 2016. When we first reviewed the Duobox Chronometer, we were impressed with the vintage-inspired aesthetic, chronometer certified 7750 movement, sapphire front and rear box section crystals (hence the Duobox name), and middleman-free business plan. If anything, our only complaint about the watch was the relative lack of actual novelty in the overall design, which reminded us of quite a few other watches.
Comparing the original to the new Brellum Duobox Classic Havana, Brellum have again produced a nice-looking chronograph with some design features from some of the great chronographs of years past and with a higher-end movement complete with chronometer certification. Considering the fairly reasonable cost of entry, especially given the COSC movement and attention to detail on the Duobox, the new Brellum Duobox Classic Havana could be a no-brainer for those who like the concept and the cigar-smoking, bourbon-sipping color scheme. However, those looking for a major update or any real change and the next thing from the brand other than the color and strap option will be left wanting. The new Brellum Duobox Classic Havana will retail for 2,390 CHF on a leather strap or 2,450 CHF on a Milanese mesh bracelet with removable links and a dual expansion clasp. brellum.swiss