I’d wanted a gold watch for a while, maybe a year or two. My grandfather had one that I received when he passed, a Timex Easy Reader with an expansion band. It stopped working and then, regrettably, got lost during a move. But my urge for a gold watch was more of a sartorial itch than a nostalgic one. There would be days when I’d look down at my outfit in the morning and say, “A gold watch would really tie this look together.” That thought was followed quickly by a pang of guilt at no longer having my grandfather’s watch, and a bit of disappointment in having a hole in my collection. I knew that if I had my druthers and a larger wallet, I’d probably do something predictably classic like a Rolex Day-Date. But I’m all out of druthers and my wallet isn’t quite that big.
I started looking at (much) more affordable options. Remember, this was a watch I expected to wear 10-20 times a year, tops. I wasn’t celebrating anything other than my fabulous self, and I already wasted enough money on that guy. While my grandfather’s Timex had a white dial, I did know that I wanted to go all out: gold case, gold bracelet, gold dial. And I wanted it to be new. Amongst brands I’m willing to buy, that really narrows it down. There’s a Seiko SKX that checks all the boxes, but I’ve never liked how that model wears and it looked incredibly cheap in product photos. My eyes became set on the 40mm Tissot PRX with a brushed gold dial. I’d tried other versions on and was pretty sure I’d like this. And then a little birdie told me that Brew was about to release an all-gold version of its Metric Chronograph. I’m not the biggest chrono fan, but I love both Brew Watches and its own Jonathan Ferrer. I decided to wait, and let me tell you, I’m glad I did because the Brew Metric Max Gold hit the spot.
Ferrer is a designer by training, and his acumen for novel but accessible design is on display with the Metric series. The 36mm case recalls the TV cases that were seen on watches from Omega, Bulova, and others in the 1970s. Crisp, straight brushing drapes itself across the case, with even the beveled edges of the bezel getting straight lines. The exceptions are few, but notable: the pushers, the chamfer that traces the case and continues seamlessly around the bracelet, and most overtly, the frame around the dial under the flat sapphire crystal. With these few touches of polish, this particular gold watch affords a good deal of restraint compared to its shinier alternatives. In a way, this watch is more about the color gold than the precious metal; while unavoidable bright, the finishing keeps it from being ostentatious.
While the bracelet of the Brew Metric Max Gold is not integrated, the hooded lugs and its form give one the impression that it is, and certainly, the effect is the same. Like those watches that do capitalize on the integrated trend, the Metric has a fluid silhouette with a bracelet that picks up right where the case leaves off and creates the appearance of a single piece on the wrist, like a tapered bangle. The entire package has a softness to it, avoiding any harsh edges or dramatic angles in favor of gentle curves and delicate lines. On the wrist, the experience of the 10.75mm-thick case is immensely satisfying, with proportions that perfectly suit my 7-inch wrist.
There is an important note that goes along with the bracelet and lugs. While the schematic offered on Brew’s site labels them as 20mm, the spec sheet just above it clarifies that they are in fact 19.85mm. I can’t quite explain the rationale behind it — the lugs, after all, are hidden, as are the connective portions of the end links — but it means you can’t just slap any 20mm strap in there. In most circumstances, this would be a dealbreaker for me as I constantly rotate straps. But the entire point of the Max Gold for me, and I’m guessing for most, is to have a fully gold watch. I don’t foresee myself ever taking it off the bracelet.
One of my requirements in getting a gold watch was that it have a gold dial. I didn’t want some half-assed ersatz gold watch with a dial that wasn’t also gold. What would the point of that be? That’s why the original gold Brew Metric with its black dial didn’t cut the golden mustard. The Max Gold checks all the boxes though: gold dial, gold indices, gold subdials. The only point where it falls short is the mostly black hands, but I was willing to give them a pass. With a radial-grained gold chapter ring that matches the grooving on the sunken subdials and a vertically brushed main dial, there’s plenty of texture here that helps define the dial’s different spaces. Between the blocky brushed gold applied indices with their black gullies and those sunken registers, you also get plenty of depth. The Brew Metric Max Gold lacks any application of lume, which at first I found to be disappointing, but got over quickly, especially realizing that on a $475 quartz watch, it would likely be disappointing.
The layout here is a bit atypical. Ferrer has used a Seiko VK68 meca-quartz, which usually has a 24-hour register at 2 o’clock and a 4:30 date. While the Metric line thankfully dispenses with the incredibly useless 24-hour register in every model, the 4:30 date regrettably appears in two variants, though it seems to be nicely nestled between two of the baton markers (think of the El Primero date window). If it had shown up here, though, I never would have bought the watch. Even though there is a lack of symmetry with such a two-register layout — 60-minute chrono counter at 10, running seconds at 6 — some balance is restored with the recessed rendering of the Brew Watch’s coffee bean logo. If you were to throw a weird 4:30 date in there, it would throw the whole thing off for me. As it is, the watch reminds me of two other chronos I’ve long admired: the original Heuer Monza and the quartz Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer.
The Brew Metric isn’t exactly the watch I had envisioned I’d end up with. It’s a chronograph, which I don’t usually go for, and it’s got those black elements on the dial that make it fall short of being all gold. That may seem needlessly particular but it’s my watch, so back off, man. In any case, at $475 USD, I can hardly complain. This watch brings joy every time I wear it. It is classy but affordable, with just the right amount of flash, and like all Brew Watches, it isn’t quite like anything else out there. To learn more, head over to the Brew Watches website.
Not 2 months after I got this watch, I found my grandfather’s Timex. I was visiting a local watch shop where I’d helped out a few years ago and found it sitting in a jumble of watches in the bottom drawer of the workbench. I realized I must have brought it in to see if it could be fixed. Having no luck, I must have left it there with a plan to replace the movement or something. One day I’ll try to get it fixed, but until and perhaps beyond then, the Brew Metric Max Gold will more than suffice.