Given that Swiss independent brand Brellum exclusively produces COSC-certified chronometers and has a total output of just 299 watches per year, the entire company’s annual production comes in significantly below what many other brands produce for just one of their limited-edition models. Consequently, whenever Brellum creates one of its own limited-edition pieces, the quantity is less than a few dozen examples, and as its latest new release of 2023, Brellum has announced a new limited-edition version of its flagship Pandial sports chronograph. Embracing a dark monochromatic colorway with a black dial and a matching DLC finish, the new Brellum Pandial LE.5 DD DLC Full Black Chronometer represents the fifth “LE” version of the Pandial, and it will be produced as a limited edition of just 33 examples.
While the Brellum Pandial is a separate model from the brand’s Pilot series chronographs, I’m fairly certain that these two collections share the same middle case design, and just like the Brellum Pilot LE.2 GMT Chronometer that I reviewed earlier this year, the black DLC-coated stainless steel case of the new Pandial LE.5 DD DLC Full Black Chronometer measures 41.8mm in diameter with a lug-to-lug profile of approximately 51.8mm. However, while the Pilot series has a simple thin polished bezel, the Brellum Pandial is fitted with a tachymeter bezel that slightly extends past the edges of its case to bring the overall width of the watch up to 43mm. On the right-hand-side of the case, you get a signed crown flanked by a set of pump-style pushers, and just like the brand’s other chronograph models, the Pandial incorporates Brellum’s DuoBox case structure, which features two convex box-shaped sapphire crystals fitted to both the dial side of the watch and its screw-on display caseback.
With an overall thickness of 15.9mm, the Brellum Pandial LE.5 DD DLC Full Black Chronometer is hardly a thin watch; however, the DuoBox case design helps mitigate what might otherwise be a very chunky presence on the wrist. Not including the additional height of the two sapphire crystals, the thickness of the watch measures 11.7mm, and this significantly helps to reduce the visual perception of its overall size. Meanwhile, the curved profile of the caseback crystal decreases the surface area that comes into contact with your wrist, and this allows the watch to remain more comfortable during humid days or prolonged periods of continuous wear. Despite the fact that neither the crown nor chronograph pushers screw down to the middle case, the Brellum Pandial LE.5 Full Black still offers users a fairly respectable 100 meters of water resistance, while the DLC-coating applied to its various case components increases their surface hardness up to 800 Vickers (approximately four times harder than traditional stainless steel).
Just as its “Full Black” name would suggest, the dial fitted to the Brellum Pandial LE.5 DD DLC Full Black Chronometer is also finished black to match its case, although it features white text paired with polished hands and hour markers to ensure that the display doesn’t suffer from a lack of contrast. The overall design and 6-9-12 register layout has been carried over from previous limited-edition Pandial models, and unlike the standard-production versions that have date windows set within their sub-dials at 6 o’clock, the Brellum Pandial LE.5 DD DLC Full Black features a dual-calendar display with both day and date windows appearing at the 3 o’clock location. Additionally, just as you would hope, both of the calendar discs are black with white printing in order to match the dial and create a cohesive overall appearance.
The sub-dials on the Brellum Pandial LE.5 DD DLC Full Black Chronometer are oriented in the traditional Valjoux 7750 layout, with the running seconds for the time at 9 o’clock, a 30-minute counter for the chronograph at 12 o’clock, and a 12-hour totalizer placed at the 6 o’clock location. Small printed luminous triangles serve as the hour markers at the cardinal points, while the rest of the indexes are represented by applied polished batons that have thin black stripes running down their centers and small luminous squares set into them. The polished handset follows a similar design established by the hour markers, and the central hour and minute hands receive luminous inlays with matching black stripes running down their center sections. Although all of the Super-LumiNova used on the Pandial LE.5 DD DLC Full Black appears white in the daylight, it emits a green-colored glow in the dark, and while the luminous elements themselves are all relatively small, the lume glows rather brightly and significantly helps improve the watch’s low-light legibility.
Just like other dual-calendar versions of the Pandial chronograph, the new Brellum Pandial LE.5 DD DLC Full Black Chronometer is powered by the brand’s Caliber BR-750-2 automatic chronograph movement, which is based upon the core architecture of the popular Valjoux 7750. As such, the Brellum Cal. BR-750-2 runs at a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 46 hours, and just like every single watch that Brellum produces, the Pandial LE.5 DD DLC Full Black is a COSC-certified chronometer, and it is therefore guaranteed to run within the strict timekeeping tolerances of -4/+6 seconds per day. Additionally, since the movement sits on full display below the convex sapphire window in the caseback, Brellum ensures that the Cal. BR-750-2 is properly decorated with perlage, blued screws, Geneva stripes, and a skeletonized rotor that has been given a black DLC finish and adorned with the brand’s dragon emblem and each watch’s individual limited-edition number out of the 33 total examples.
Similar to a number of previous releases from the brand, the new Brellum Pandial LE.5 DD DLC Full Black Chronometer comes as a set with both a stainless steel bracelet and a two-piece Nebur Tec fabric strap. The stainless steel bracelet (press images included in the gallery below) features a five-link design with a clasp that has a double push-button release, and while the construction of the bracelet is similar to what can be found on the brand’s standard Pandial models, it now features an entirely jet black DLC coating to match the finish on the case. Meanwhile, the black Nebur Tec fabric strap features fitted ends to create an integrated appearance with the lugs, and it tapers from 22mm at the case down to 20mm where it meets its signed deployant buckle. Operated by a double push-button release, the deployant buckle is surprisingly well-decorated, and the outer portion is adorned by the brand’s logo with the internal sections embellished by a fine perlage pattern.
Although the Brellum Pandial LE.5 DD DLC Full Black Chronometer is objectively a rather large watch, considered case proportions allow it to wear surprisingly well for its size, and the all-black color profile of this particular model further helps to minimize its visual presence on the wrist. Additionally, just like all of the watches that Brellum produces, everything is very well-executed on the Pandial LE.5 DD DLC Full Black, and it’s hard to find any real shortcomings in regards to its actual construction or the level of attention to detail that is present throughout the watch. Despite having a DLC-coating on its components, the new Brellum Pandial LE.5 DD DLC Full Black Chronometer costs the exact same as the previous limited-edition version of the Pandial, and it is accompanied by an official retail price of CHF 2,776 (or approximately $3,100 USD, at the time of writing). Unless you have personal preferences that don’t align with this particular 33-piece limited edition’s aesthetics or size, there is ultimately very little to criticize about the Brellum Pandial LE.5 DD DLC Full Black, and it represents a highly compelling option for those who want an all-black Swiss chronograph that exists in truly small-batch numbers. For more information on the Brellum Pandial LE.5 DD DLC Full Black Chronometer, please visit the brand’s website.