The Bremoir Lexington is not the first Art Deco watch. While there are plenty of vintage models made during the height of Art Deco’s popularity, recently, microbrands have started revisiting the iconic style. It’s not a perplexing choice for a design: the bold lines, geometric ornamentation, and use of diverse materials make Art Deco a romantic and dramatic source for any watch. Most recent Art Deco watches simply attempt to capture the spirit writ large, whereas the California-based Bremoir has taken specific inspiration from one of the most famous buildings of the movement, New York City’s Chrysler Building. Even putting the Art Deco aspect aside, the Bremoir Lexington captures elements of its muse as beautifully as any watch with such niche design cues.
On the Wrist
The Bremoir Lexington immediately charms with its stepped bezel and copper hour ring, both of which catch light in their own way. The finishing is tops, with a beautiful polished ribbon chamfer extending from lug to lug. Legibility is never an issue, though the indices can appear flat and dark without the right light.
The watch sits well enough on the wrist (mine is 7in), but won’t be winning any awards for fit. It’s helped a bit by a recessed caseback, but tall lugs ensure that the lug-to-lug and case height are both felt in full. Fortunately, neither dimension is substantial, so the net effect is one of perfectly reasonable wrist presence.
Light really helps this watch come to life. Even the logo is aided by light at the right angles. The strap is comfortable and the watch can accommodate a number of other options–though a NATO is right out, mostly for reasons of aesthetics and decorum.
It’s lovely to have a watch that commits so fully to itself. Whether born of the designer’s mind or inspired by an old building, too often watches have a great case or a great dial, but not both. The Bremoir Lexington manages the balancing act. The Chrysler Building’s influence is clear in the triangular markers around the radiant copper hour track, which mimic the hallmark windows found at the top of the building. The numerals are also classic Deco, with their inflated curves and sharp angles and edges. So you know, the Lexington will come in four dial variants: black with silver ring, blue with silver ring, brown with copper ring, and the blue and copper seen here.
In the two above photos, you’ll notice a few things about how the dial can change with the light. First, see how the dial color itself shifts from a lighter sky blue to a late evening shade, something just after sunset but right before nightfall. Second, note how the light can play differently–sometimes partially–off both the beveled stake markers and the cardinal numerals. Finally, look at the Bremoir logo: in the first, the copper text and the printed minute markers are rather flat, almost dull; in the second, the light has caught it in such a way as to lift it off the dial a bit and give it life. That occasional dullness was the only aspect of the dial with which I took issue.
I’m positively gaga about this lume design. There’s an obvious discrepancy between the lume of the hands and that of the markers, and some might argue that luming a dress watch is a no-no. But I think doubling down on the deco motif is a big win that makes up for the just-adequate lume application.
Case and Strap
If it weren’t for the copper ring on the dial, the stepped bezel may be the very first thing you noticed about this watch; it may have been anyway. The bezel pulls directly from the Chrysler Building’s upper-story arched façade as it transitions to the iconic terraced crown at its top. The pull-out crown on this watch is nothing special, but the combination of finishes is. Every facet of the watch is features incredibly fine finishing and the transitions having an enviable crispness. The lugs are somewhat short and make no huge effort to drop down. This makes them rather thick, too–almost thicker than the caseband. As such, the strap at times looked awkward against the height of the lug box.
While I could’ve done without the undeniably sappy text on the rotor, the rotor design itself is a nice continuation of the deco inspiration. Along with the perlage on the movement bridges, I think it justifies the use of a sapphire caseback, which is not always the case.
The caseback is recessed into the case itself, preventing the bulbous underside profile that’s all too common on automatic watches. It’s not a lot, but it is further proof that Bremoir is paying attention to small details.
The quick-release leather strap that comes with the Bremoir Lexington is one of the nicer stock straps I’ve had. The leather is soft and pliable, with no break-in period, which is my preference. Of course, none of this is surprising, as the straps are supplied by Delugs (with Bremoir branding), a favorite here at The Watch Clicker.
Not willing to miss an opportunity to add extra Art Deco flair, the stepping of the bezel is repeated on the polished clasp (the Bremoir name is etched on the underside).
As is plain to see, there aren’t many issues pairing the Bremoir Lexington with other straps. Even though the lugs are tall, the lug holes are positioned high, meaning thin straps can work. A missed opportunity on my part: the squared lug box is just begging to be paired with a straight-end bracelet, even one that isn’t fitted.
You may be asking: “If it’s so directly inspired by the Chrysler Building, why not call it the Bremoir Chrysler?” I think the answer is obvious, but perhaps you’re not familiar with the very well known auto brand of the same name (and from which the building took its name). Instead, the Bremoir takes its name from the Chrysler Buildings address: 405 Lexington Ave.
While many watches with such direct inspiration attempt to do too much, the Bremoir Lexington captures beautifully the essence not just of the Art Deco movement, but of the Chrysler Building itself, seamlessly incorporating the building’s most recognizable features. The result is a simply gorgeous dress watch.
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Bremoir Lexington Specs
Swiss STP 1-11 Automatic
*Height of the watch from the wrist to the top of the crystal