The watch itself is appropriately generic in style to serve as a palette for personalized colors. It doesn’t per se look like any other watch out there (though the Rolex Daytona is clearly a design inspiration), yet has a sufficiently familiar look to satisfy most tastes. Inside the watch is a base Swiss ETA 2892-A2 with a reference 2222 chronograph module produced by Dubois Depraz (4Hz and about 42 hours of power reserve). For those who prefer a Swiss quartz movement, Brüggler offers the Ronda 5040.D, which is designed to fit into the exact same dial configuration (but at a lower price, of course).

I opted for the steel case because I like the finishing on it, as well as the attractive matching steel bracelet. Case and bracelet finishing is very good, with nice touches such as polished edges to contrast against the otherwise brushed surfaces. I further love how the bracelet features a handy sliding micro-adjust feature, which you also typically only find (made this well) in name-brand high-end Swiss timepieces. The bracelet itself has a bit of an uncommon design with the skinny center-link, which helps add personality to the watch. Many people who order a Brüggler Chronograph might actually get one of the leather or rubber strap options simply because the colors can be better matched to their unique dial configurations.

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Let me state my two main issues with the watch right now. First is that I found the colors on the screen when personalizing the watch to not exactly match the colors that I saw on the timepiece itself. For example, the dial I designed was meant to be a bit more yellow, and because it was printed on a metal dial, ended up being a bit more metallic than I expected, and the color differed a bit because of the base brass color of the dial. Brüggler has a robust library of watches it has made for people on its Instagram page, but I wasn’t able to find one with a representative yellow dial. More so, consumers shouldn’t necessarily have to go that far in order to know exactly what their watch is going to look like. Thus, I recommend that Brüggler include more pictures of actual watches during the personalization design process so as to help consumers better understand what they are getting.

My second issue with the design is the hands, which I find to be a weaker element of the design. Brüggler acknowledged the issue and said that they are working on larger, better looking hands. Even their design personalization interface on their website has been updated with the larger hands, but at the time this particular watch was made, the older, smaller hands were still used. Brüggler shared the interesting, albeit common story of fighting with designers over this fact, only to realize that many suppliers will push to make hands too small unless really pushed otherwise.

What did impress me was the variety of colors and ways of applying them on the dials that Brüggler included into the personalization interface and production. You can easily spend an hour or more playing with various designs and not come up with one you like. My advice anytime you want to personalize a watch (or anything for that matter) is that you consider at least one point of visual inspiration first, or else you will just be seeing what looks good to you in the moment. Imagine what you will be wearing that watch with, what you might be doing while wearing it, and what message you want it to send to others.

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Even though each Brüggler Chronograph is actually made to order (which again, is not an insignificant part of the value proposition) the company promises a delivery time of about six weeks after the order has been made. In Switzerland’s watch industry, that is very fast. Though with that said, Brüggler says that for certain special models such as those in precious metals or with gem-set dials, the wait times could be longer. They do after all have to wait for them to be produced.

Armchair watch enthusiasts will no doubt take issue with the price for timepieces such as this and the specific model you see here came in at $3,400 USD after customization. I don’t disagree that it is pricey, but I don’t feel like it is unduly expensive for what you get. The target demographic Brüggler is focused on is more interested in getting a Swiss made watch suited to their particular personality and taste, as opposed to getting the best bargain possible. This again illustrates the difference of opinion many people have as to whether a timepiece is a commodity or something which should focus on exclusivity. Too many timepieces are still the former, even though the majority of mechanical watch buyers are hunting for the latter.

Necessary Data
>Brand: Brüggler
>Model: Customizable Chronograph
>Price: $3,400 USD as configured
>Size: 40mm
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes, after coming up with a design that means something special to me.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Someone willing to pay the premium for a real Swiss made product who also wants a somewhat customized design. This is certainly a watch in a rare class without much competition.
>Best characteristic of watch: High quality components in a more or less 100% made in Switzerland watch that highly exceeds “Swiss Made” standards. Customization process offers made to order products in a larger variety of colors with many elements on the dial to choose colors for. Refined design makes watches conservative enough to be given as a gift, even to a stranger.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Difficult for most consumers to understand the cost of production for Brüggler and how that translates into their retail prices. In other words, seems expensive to most consumers. Hands on test unit production model are too short, even though more appropriate hands are planned. Not enough dial design variety aside from color changes. Colors chosen when configuring design using online interface don’t always look the same in real life when in the finished product.

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