You can never guess exactly what New York-based microbrand Brew's next watch will look like, but you can bet it'll be original, well designed, retr0 in style, affordable and somehow linked to coffee culture. Sure enough the brand's newest watch, called the Metric, is all of those things: a '70s-inspired quartz chronograph with a unique look and accessible price of just $395. It's about as hip a watch as you can get for the money.
Brew doesn't really do traditionally round watches, and the Metric's squarish case, bracelet style and asymmetric dial clearly reference a funky '70s aesthetic. The Metric's concept and functionality, however, draw more on the 1930s: specifically, watches that were designed to help you remember to add a coin when using a pay phone (remember those?). They did so with a chronograph (stopwatch) feature and markers on the dial at three minutes when your time would run out.
Because this is a 21st century watch, however — and the idea of putting a public payphone to your face sounds pretty gross — Brew has updated the concept to be relevant for modern, coffee-drinking urbanites. As with previous Brew watches, the telephone timer has been reimagined as an espresso timer with chronograph markings between 25 and 35 seconds — the exact length of the pull (depending on the individual barista and espresso machine). It also happens to offer a nicely symmetrical aesthetic.
In addition to a vintage watch enthusiast's eye for design and detail, Brew tends to offer the moderate case sizes that feel closer to watches of past decade as well on trend at the moment. (To be fair, Brew was early to the trend.) The Metric's case is 36mm, with contrasting finishing that continues through to the bracelet, and it runs on a Seiko VK68 Meca-Quartz movement. Sapphire crystal and details like applied indices contribute to a higher-end feel despite its price.
The Brew Metric comes in two dial variations of white with blue highlights and a more colorful and '70s-feeling black-dial version. Brew watches tend to sell out, so act soon if you want one. They're available for order now on the brand's website for $395, with shipping in late August 2021.