April 30, 2023
by Ariel Adams
Chinese watchmaker Behrens has been making a big splash in the horological world with its innovative and inspired timepieces that flirt with high-design principles but also offer a lot of relative value. What put Behrens on the map recently was a collaboration with Konstantin Chaykin (aBlogtoWatch review here), but the rest of the Shenzen- based company’s watches are also really cool. New for 2023 is the Behrens BHR030 “20G,” a funky-shaped ultra-thin watch that is sure to attract attention.
The Behrens 20G watch isn’t entirely ready yet — the piece I photographed is a non-working prototype, but Behrens promises that the BHR303 will be ready soon. The “20G” name refers to the weight of the watch which is about 20 grams (just the case without the strap). While the timepiece isn’t trying to break any records, what it is trying to do is something very challenging: to create a very thin case with a very thin movement — both curved rather than flat. That the entire package is lightweight is really just an added bonus.
Produced from mostly grade 5 titanium, the Behrens 20G watch is most notable for its asymmetric four-sided case design. Behrens says the case is 42mm by 38mm, but I am not exactly sure what points on the case are being measured. You can, however, see how it fits on the wrist in the photographs. The case is taller on its left side than the right, and over the dial is a curved sapphire crystal.
The 20G watch is 5.2mm-thick and water-resistant to 30 meters. In order to keep the size compact, the watch case doubles as the movement plate. The entire dial is a view of the manually wound movement, which, in the BHR030, will operate at 4Hz with 38 hours of power reserve. Behrens reminds us that the movement (also mostly made from titanium parts) is both designed and made in-house. The movement has two retrograde indicators to display the hours and minutes, along with a power reserve indicator located at the top left of the movement. Legibility isn’t exactly the strong suit of the Behrens 20G, but it’s a very provocative, expressive message on the wrist. Note, however, how the hour and minute scales are printed on the bottom of the sapphire crystal. I happen to think the watch is both beautiful and deeply compelling from a horology perspective. No doubt this timepiece will find plenty of fans out there.
The overall design composition of the 20G is modern, but it also merges with traditional horology given the design of the movement and the exposed mechanics. The BHR030 is very much a timepiece for today’s generation of watch lovers who mostly desire a contemporary look, but one that evokes trendy elements of today’s watch-collecting culture. The Behrens BHR030 very much does that.
The lugless design of the curved titanium case uses custom-cut Viton rubber straps here seen in white. Viton is a brand name of a fluoroelastomer blend that is very similar to the material used for many Apple Watch straps. The thin, comfortable, and tough Viton strap material has a matching titanium buckle that goes with the look of the 20G watch case. I’m very excited to wear the final version of the Behrens BHR030 “20G” watch, as it is a real looker and does not come with an overly pretentious price. The current anticipated price for the Behrens BHR030 20G watch is $7,500 USD. Learn more at the Behrens website here.