Among those who love Art Deco architecture, there are few more important buildings on the West Coast than the Eastern Columbia Building in Los Angeles. Located a few blocks from Pershing Square on Broadway, this ornate blue department store building (currently used for luxury condominiums) blends Art Deco and stylized neo-Gothic elements for its famous neon-lit clock tower. For Art Deco-inspired independent watch brand Bremoir, the Eastern Columbia Building is more than just a moody and stylish emblem of old Los Angeles — it’s an inspiration. After the success of its inaugural Chrysler Building-themed Lexington series, Bremoir turns its attention to this Los Angeles landmark to capture some of the unique spirit of West Coast Art Deco for the wrist. The new Bremoir Eastern refines the brand’s formula from earlier models, combining an open, swoopy sector dial concept with a handsome movement, versatile case architecture, and commendable fit and finish to create an easy-to-wear conversation piece for architecture fans and watch enthusiasts alike.
The Bremoir Eastern’s 39mm wide stainless steel case largely carries over the Lexington’s basic silhouette but streamlines a handful of key elements. The sporty, contemporary, and angular shape is arguably slightly mismatched with the Art Deco theming of the design, but it does allow the watch to slip easily into a broad range of occasions. With that said, the squared-off lugs, broad triangular polished case side chamfers, recessed caseback, and brushed slab case sides do emphasize the height of the case on the wrist, leading to a more substantial feel than the 10.7mm overall thickness might suggest. Bremoir adds a brighter, more ornamental feel to this case design with its tall polished bezel, which abandons the Lexington’s terraced motif for a smooth sloping execution. It’s a bezel that catches an immense amount of light on the wrist, naturally framing the dial with a vivid, dynamic highlight. Like the Lexington, the Eastern is topped with a sapphire display caseback and is rated for a middling 50 meters of water resistance.
Bremoir concentrates its tributes to the Eastern Columbia Building on the dial of the Eastern. The matte midnight blue dial surface forms a deep, reserved graphical base for the rest of the design. Bremoir uses a bright and nuanced sky blue for its printed hours ring, adding a playful contrast to the color palette while paying tribute to the turquoise-hued terra cotta tiles that line the walls of the Eastern Columbia Building. The brand also interprets this ring in stylized, suitably architectural ways, radiating out luminous stripes from the rings at the hours and adding stately circular frames around the applied Arabic numerals at 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock. Interestingly, neither these handsomely light, flowing numerals nor the matching polished gold baton handset have much in common with the actual design on the clock tower of the Eastern Columbia Building, instead aiming to evoke the feel of the building’s overall design language. As an isolated piece of Art Deco design, this dial does work remarkably well, but Bremoir adds in a more direct reference to the building with its hour indices. These small, terraced gold indices take their inspiration from golden spiral ornaments that top the tower itself, and add a deep, enthralling layer of highlights to the dial at changing angles. However, while the Eastern’s dial is airy, elegant, and appealing, this heavy dedication to Art Deco styling cues does hamper day-to-day utility, particularly due to the lack of a full minutes scale.
Inside the Bremoir Eastern beats the STP 1-11 automatic movement. Sourced from Fossil Group and often found in modern Zodiac models, the STP 1-11 is a dependable, up-and-coming alternative to the classic third-party Swiss movement options, with broadly comparable performance to ETA and Sellita including a 44-hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. Bremoir goes above and beyond the standard STP 1-11 for its watches, however, with assembly and quality control performed in the United States by Fine Time Solutions. The finishing on the Eastern’s movement is head and shoulders above the standard STP 1-11 as well, with a genuinely compelling, Art Deco-inflected tri-toned rotor finished with Côtes de Genève and the brand’s evocative “Time Worth Remembering” slogan. Beneath this, each bridge is fully finished in perlage for a bright, detailed look. To complete the package, Bremoir fits the Eastern with a simple contrast stitched leather strap in warm honey brown.
Creating the second watch for a young brand is no easy feat, but the Bremoir Eastern broadly succeeds in its tribute to the classic Eastern Columbia Building for the wrist, with flowing, stylized visual touches atop an impressively versatile base platform. The Bremoir Eastern is available now through the brand’s e-commerce platform. MSRP for the Bremoir Eastern stands at $985 USD as of press time. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.