Brellum is a Swiss company and watch brand, of whose origins and founder I wrote about earlier. This micro brand company’s first watch offering carries the name Duobox, and is, in the maker’s own words, a timeless dress chronograph. I’ve been wearing the Duobox for about two weeks now, so it’s high time we went over its particulars in a bit more detail.
Brellum Duobox DB.CH.100
First, let’s begin by saying that the Brellum Duobox is a highly finished whole, right down to the delivery packaging. The brand has been carefully constructed from the very beginning, which has become apparent starting from the very high quality pre-release teaser photographs shared on social media. It was this marketing that first caught my eye and raised my initial interest in the brand, which turned out to have a beautifully real story behind it.
But, returning to the watch, the delivery of which took about a week from order to my door. The watch and box containing it were packed with care into a cardboard box for delivery, with the padding being cut to the exact dimensions of the watch box. With the company focusing solely on direct distribution, this level of attention is a small, yet incredibly important detail.
The Duobox comes in a leather travel box that is housed in a stunning piano-finished wooden case. The case contains a cleaning cloth, warranty certificate and COSC certification. This full set is the definite article, in every way.
Stylish Dress Chronograph
The Duobox is a beautiful chronograph, available in three different watch face colours and many different strap and bracelet choices. I gravitated to the light watch face and black hand stitched leather strap, a classic choice to go with a suit.
The Duobox’s visual appeal is very evocative of the style of past decades, making the watch both elegant and giving it a vintage feel. When looking at the watch face for more than just a quick glance many enticing elements and details come into play, such as the angular indexes, the playful reflections of light from the sunray dial and the blue hand on the stopwatch. The ensemble is crowned by a slightly convex sapphire glass that successfully brings the vintage look to a modern timepiece.
Technical Fine Finished Quality
The Duobox is a technically high quality timepiece, whose movement is the legendary, and in this case chronometer certified (COSC) Valjoux 7750. This guarantees that the Duobox will, in myriad conditions stay accurate to exacting standards (-4/+6) meaning it will be no more than 4 seconds slow or 6 seconds fast in a 24 hour period. In the case of the model I had to test, it has been ever so slightly fast, by under a single second over a period of ten days. That is, for a mechanical watch, really impressive.
The watch’s crown has a very sensitive feel to it, making setting the time and date accurately a breeze, though pulling the crown out to its apex takes a bit of bravery. The chronograph function buttons are also quite firm, as is common with Valjoux movements.
The attention to detail is noticeable in the watch’s movement, which can be admired through the sapphire glass on the back of the watch. The blued screws, the perlage or pearl pattern achieved by grinding, Côtes de Genève striping and the Brellum wyvern emblazoned on the oscillating mass all telling signs of the work that has gone into finishing the Duobox.
The Duobox’s leather strap mounting features a quick locking mechanism on the spring bars, meaning the strap can be changed out without the need for any tools. This, of course, demands that the replacement strap has the same mechanism.
The Brellum Duobox is a wrist watch that can be a reasoned purchase due to its amazing price to quality ratio, but the true deciding factor behind an acquisition is the philosophy it embodies. A new and untested brand won’t yet be carrying any aftermarket resale value, but the direct from manufacturer to customer without any middlemen philosophy will speak to many. Especially since the watch design is so spot on.
Sporting the Brellum Duobox on my wrist brings me indescribable pleasure, as I know I am one of a very select few.
I can compare this directly with the experience of bespoke tailoring, where the customer is in direct contact with the artisan, without any middlemen. And if my clothes were to need mending or alterations, I could turn to any tailor worth his salt for the service. The same is true for Brellum watches. I can take the Valjoux movement based Duobox to any skilled watchmaker the world over.
Brellum can be found at brellum.swiss/en/
Pros and Cons
+ Timeless design
+ Excellent price-quality ratio
– Unknown brand
– Resale value unknown
In a Nutshell
- Model: DB.CH.100
- Movement: BRELLUM BR-750-1 chronometer (COSC), based on the Valjoux 7750 (automatic)
- Frequency: 28,800 vibrations per hour
- Power reserve: 46 hours
- Case material: Stainless Steel (316L)
- Dimension: 41.8 mm
- Watch thickness: 16.2 mm
- Watch glass: Sapphire crystal (anti-glare coating on the inside)
- Watch back: Sapphire crystal
- Weight: 120 g (with leather strap)
- Water Resistance: 50 m (5 bar)
- Bracelet width: 22 mm
- Watch Strap: Leather with stainless steel deploying buckle
Translated from the original Finnish by Jan Hoffman.