These vintage themed watches from Brew are a must-have

Sub-$500 duo watches put a slab of 70s nostalgia right on your wrist

Brew Watches Metric
(Image credit: Brew Watches)

I spend a lot of time looking at the best watches. My Instagram algorithm serves up little else, and I write about new timepieces a couple of times a week here at T3. So it’s rare for a watch to cut through the noise and beg me to buy it as much as the Metric from New York-based Brew Watches.

I hadn’t even heard of Brew before this week, yet now I’m frantically working out how to afford a Metric. And challenging myself on whether I could really, honestly get away with wearing a fully gold (plated) watch without drawing a lot of attention.

The Metric has been around for a little while now and is available with a multi-coloured colourway called Retro Dial. But it was when I saw the Max Gold and PVD Black options that I truly fell for the Metric. That said, the Gold & Black is also pretty great, retaining the all-gold case and strap of the full-gold model, but with a black dial toning things down ever-so-slightly.

Let’s leave the gold corner for now and take a closer look at the Metric in PVD Black. Like its siblings, the case measures a modest 36 x 41.5mm, with a 10.75mm thickness and a lug width of 19.85mm. You could certainly call it gender neutral, and that 36mm width is really what made me think the Metric could be my next watch. It feels like the old standard for 42mm men’s watches is behind us, and smaller is (finally) better.

Brew Watches Metric

(Image credit: Brew Watches)

There’s a sapphire crystal on the front and behind that you’ll find a black dial with red details and numerical minute markers around the circumference. Yes, it looks a lot like the Porsche Design Chronograph, especially with how the minute numerals sit on the sloping edge of the dial. But the Brew’s square case does just enough to give it its own identity.

That said, Brew isn’t afraid of leaning into the Porsche inspiration. A marketing image shows the watch being worn by the driver of a Porsche, and the timepiece is described as being inspired by cars of the 1980s.

A pair of sub dials add interest without clutter and I like the chunkiness of the chronograph push buttons and crown, used to adjust the Seiko Instruments hybrid VK68 mega-quartz movement. This gives the second hand a smooth, sweeping motion while the watch itself is powered by the quartz. It lacks the appeal of an automatic mechanical movement, but for $475 (£404.84 plus VAT for UK buyers), I think it’s a steal. Water resistance is 50 metres and the case and strap are both stainless steel with PVD black coating.

The gold model with black dial is mechanically the same (and costs the same too), but with the stainless steel finished in PVD gold. I think the black dial just about does enough to tone down the all-gold case and dial, resulting in a watch that shouts but doesn’t quite scream. Above all else, it's unashamedly 70s, and I respect it for that.

Alistair Charlton

Alistair is a freelance automotive and technology journalist. He has bylines on esteemed sites such as the BBC, Forbes, TechRadar, and of best of all, T3, where he covers topics ranging from classic cars and men's lifestyle, to smart home technology, phones, electric cars, autonomy, Swiss watches, and much more besides. He is an experienced journalist, writing news, features, interviews and product reviews. If that didn't make him busy enough, he is also the co-host of the AutoChat podcast.