The Brellum Duobox is a no-nonsense chronograph with retro-inspired design, powered by the robust and reliable Valjoux 7750. Elegant, nicely executed and offering excellent value for money – it is most likely one of the most affordable chronographs powered by a 7750 (and the best is that this movement is COSC certified… and that is almost never true in the below 5k price bracket!). This sounded promising enough to meet Sébastien Muller, founder of the brand, and go hands-on with the Brellum Duobox.
Sébastien Muller is connected to his roots, proud to represent the 4th generation of a family of watchmakers in the Swiss Jura. His eyes light up when he talks about his watches and how he came to create his own brand. Aged 42, with over 20 years of experience in the industry, he is driven by his passion for watchmaking and the will to do things his own way, with an ethic of no compromise.
When founding his own brand, his idea was to offer qualitative, elegant timepieces at an affordable price. The name Brellum is an anagram of Muller with the letter B added as a reference to his birth village, Bonfol, near Porrentruy. The proximity to the word ‘”Bellum” (war in latin) refers to the never ending battle of making his watches better and also trying to be better himself.
The Brellum Duobox makes a strong first impression with its elegant vintage-inspired design. The retro-inspired case, 41.8mm in diameter, features mushroom-type push-pieces and domed scratch-resistant glare-proofed box sapphire crystals on both sides of the watch. The front one protects the dial while the one at the back aims at allowing the chronograph movement to be admired in detail. This unusual choice also proves to offer great wearing comfort and allows for a rather lithe case band – we all know that the 7750 usually means rather thick watches. Not here.
The slightly convex dial features faceted hour markers and the characteristic Valjoux layout (12 – 9 – 6) surmounted with nicely dimensioned hands. The model we had to review featured a deep blue tone, creating interplay between the reflections. The brand symbol, the Wyvern is applied at 3 o’clock. This creature from the Jura/Franche Comté regional mythology is a dragon-liked winged beast whose story reminds us of what is essential and that focus is critical.
The Brellum Duobox is built around the ubiquitous Valjoux 7750, the legendary workhorse automatic chronograph. This robust, reliable cam and lever movement is nicely decorated and COSC certified. It is finished with Geneva stripes, blued screws and a Brellum oscillating weight. The Brellum Duobox comes on a choice of alligator leather strap or stainless steel Milanese bracelet with folding buckle.
Designing a fine Chronograph is not an easy task. Perfection is in the details and Brellum did a superb job with its Duobox. Priced at 2,450 Swiss Francs, it represents stunning value for money and it is indeed a worthy pick if you feel you do not need a famous brand name to impress your friends. One of the reasons that Brellum is able to offer such affordable prices is because Sébastien Muller sells his watches directly to clients (no distributor, no retailers or other middlemen). Brellum plans to manufacture a maximum of 299 watches a year. For more information visit www.brellum.swiss.
Technical specifications – Brellum Duobox
- Case: 41.80mm x 16.20mm – 316L steel – box sapphire crystal, box sapphire caseback with antireflective coating – water resistant to 50m
- Movement: BR750-1 calibre (Valjoux 7750) Chronometer certified by COSC – mechanical with automatic winding – 46h power reserve – 28,800 vibrations/h – 25 jewels – hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph, date.
- Bracelet: Milanese steel bracelet with safety folding buckle.
- Reference: DB.CH.112
- Price : 2,450 CHF