When most people think of watches, their next thought isn’t usually coffee. However, watches and coffee are undoubtedly linked. Browsing through the Instagram feed of a watch lover. you will see numerous photos of a watch balancing on a coffee cup. I can’t quite put on my finger on why the two seemingly unrelated things have such a bond.
Brew Watches have built their business on this bond. Jon Ferrer, the owner of the brand, is a coffee connoisseur and has worked his affection for coffee into his watches in the most charming ways. Last year, I reviewed the Brew Retrograph and this year Brew have launched the Mastergraph, the perfect blend of their previous watches.
On the Wrist
Art Deco is the first theme that came to mind when I first strapped the Mastergraph on my wrist. The slightly rounded square case of the watch and subdials combined with a circular dial (a departure from the Retrograph) evokes this feeling. The Mastergraph looks great for several reasons, but in the dial configuration seen here, it is that style of the early 20th century that rings the loudest.
The Mastergraph takes the one thing that may have turned off some from purchasing the Retrograph, the case shape, and makes it more mainstream. While square-cased watches are not all that common, the round dial brings back the familiarity to the everyday watch lover.
Brew have done a nice job in the overall proportions of the Mastergraph to not make it feel squished despite its 38mm case width. The dial and bezel don’t look out of proportion and the corners of the case act as a suitable substitute for traditional lugs.
Despite being essentially the same thickness as the Retrograph, the Mastergraph feels much thinner. I attribute this to the addition of the bezel on the Mastergraph. The main body of the case doesn’t look thick, especially when viewed from the side. This all comes up to an exceptionally thin-feeling watch at only 10.5mm.
Silver dials can be difficult to read when the hands are polished and contain lume. They tend to blend in with the color of the dial. This is only partially true for the Mastergraph. While there are certain times that the hands blend into the dial, most of the time the subdials create contrast between the dial and the hands. Brew also added a small black strip on the central portion (in relation to the dial) of the hands which also helps mitigate readability issues.
The dial of the Mastergraph feels familiar to anyone who has handled the Retrograph. Brew have created somewhat of a signature shape for their subdials and they have carried over into the Mastergraph. The black rounded squares contrast the silver sunburst dial to create a panda dial.
Brew is using the Seiko VK68 mecha-quartz movement to power the Mastergraph. If you’re familiar with my other mecha-quartz reviews, you’ll know my dislike for the 24-hour AM/PM complication the movement uses but that isn’t the fault of Brew. The movement allows for a smooth sweeping chronograph hand when activated and a quick snap back to 0 when reset.
The silver sunburst of the main dial complements the case perfectly. It almost feels as though the case is part of the dial with the subdials pressed into it. Applied markers are another welcome upgrade from the Retrograph. They are all lume-filled with polished surrounds, further enhancing the Art Deco look of the Mastergraph.
Case, Bezel & Strap
The finishing of the Mastergraph’s case is perfect. The brushing on the top of the case complements the sunburst of the dial as I mentioned previously. The corners of the case slope down slightly as they extend outwards, creating dynamic reflections when the light hits them. Because of the unusual case shape of the Mastergraph, this effect is not seen too often.
The sides of the case are completely polished, including the top of the bottom of the case. The hooded lugs help create a seamless effect from the watch to the strap. The strap fits in perfectly to the lugs and provides the same benefit the Retrograph did: straight end-link bracelets look fantastic.
Brew’s signature coffee bean-stamped crown adorns the side of the case along with the pushers. The pushers perfectly align with the 2 and 4 o’clock positions. Because of the shape of the case, the pushers are extremely easy to press. The crown is large and easy to grip thanks to the small knurling pattern.
A dive-time bezel is something that one might not expect to see on a chronograph. The additional timing complication is not too common, but it is a welcome addition to the Mastergraph and completes the look. A call back to the Retrograph (and what I hope will become a calling card of Brew) are the additional hash marks between 30 and 35 seconds, the ideal extraction time for espresso. It’s a great personal touch added to the watch and I’m happy Brew brought it back with the Mastergraph.
A black leather strap is included with the Mastergraph. I’ve been happy with the quality of straps included with Brew’s watches and this one is no exception. It is comfortable and pliable out of the box. It also features quick-release springbars for easy strap changes, something I would be thankful for if I were to change straps. The hooded lugs can sometimes make strap changes difficult.
The Mastergraph is the perfect evolution of the design of the Retrograph. Brew have taken what made the Retrograph and their first watch, the HP-1, great and brought it all into the Mastergraph. It’s a watch that may not appeal to everyone due to the case shape, but I do feel it has an even broader appeal than the Retrograph. It’s a smart-looking watch.
Brew have once again hit it out of the park with the Mastergraph. There’s a lot of value packed into this watch and the minor grievances I had (like the readability) are not enough to deter me from wanting to add one to my own collection. If you’ve been on the fence about picking up a Brew watch, the Mastergraph is the perfect one to start with.
Check out the Brew website
Check out more Brew reviews from The Watch Clicker
|Lug-to-lug Height||41.5mm||Lug Width||22mm|
|Crystal||Domed Sapphire||Strap||Leather Strap|
|Water Resistance||50 meters||Lume||Super-LumiNova® C3|