Bremoir Lexington and The Roaring 2020's
You knock on a large, unwelcoming door and a speakeasy window opens up. Two eyes fixate on you and then a gruff voice demands, "What's the password?!" Glancing down at your wrist, and circling back to his gaze, you reply "Lexington" with a mix of confidence and uneasiness. A few moments later, the door swings open, revealing a menagerie of sights and sounds. You take a few steps in and your body is filled with jazz music. Cigar smoke fills the air and a group of people effortlessly glide past you, cocktails in hand as they make their way to the dance floor. The year could be 1922, or 2022. You ask yourself, "Is this a dream?" Then you realize that you've embodied the spirit of the Bremoir Lexington as you strapped it on your wrist one evening before heading out to make your own memories.
Bremoir is a brand built upon Art Deco, and more specifically the Age of Art Deco and its hallmarks - architecture, fashion, music, spirits, and lifestyles. If you were asked to describe an Art Deco watch, one might expect you might rattle off any number of a handful of contemporary, rectangular watches that harken back to the styling and since become timeless. Or, you might wander deep into a vintage catalog, to the chapter featuring many of the American-made watches that were in their heyday at the time, like Bulova. The Bremoir Lexington is neither of those and in fact, takes its own distinct route. One that could be argued, is as quintessentially Art Deco as they come.
The Bremoir Lexington might choose to remain androgynous as a watch type, but I'm going to at least shape some of the contours. Only going off pictures and descriptions, I think it can be easy to miscast the Lexington. It is not a diminutive dress watch. It is not square or rectangular. It is in fact, a pseudo-dive watch case with modern proportions and robustness. But its details, and there are many, are more on the nose than almost any watch out there.
The specs: 316L stainless steel in a 39mm case. 48.5mm lug to lug and 10.7mm in height with a sapphire crystal and exhibition case back. Inside, a Swiss-made STP 1-11 movement ticks away at 28,800 beats per hour and maintains a 44 hour power reserve. I've had some experience with this movement lately and perhaps its becoming a more viable option for brands that want or need to look outside the usual suspects. It's a clone of the ETA 2824 and functions nicely, keeps accurate time and when the need arises, should be quite serviceable. The Lexington is water resistant to 50m and comes stocked with a 20mm Delugs leather strap that includes a stepped pin buckle that matches the bezel... nice!
Now to the details. This is where the Lexington truly shines and differentiates itself from most other watches. It is directly inspired by the Chrysler Building, an iconic Art Deco skyscraper in NYC. Its name is derived from its address: 405 Lexington Avenue. Upon its completion in 1930, the Chrysler Building was the tallest building in the world, a record that would stand for a mere 11 months. Today, it is still the world's tallest brick building with a steel framework and is a national historic landmark, lauded as a paragon of Art Deco architecture. There are nuggets throughout, which Bremoir has drawn inspiration for a number of design choices for the watch.
The first thing that jumps out is the incredibly detailed, stepped bezel. Bremoir says it rises into the sky like a skyscraper and I won't dispute that. Not many folks play with a bezel design to this degree and its the first major clue that this piece is going for the Art Deco look. There's a mix of polished and brushed surfaces which play nicely together and again, preventing it from being defined as a sports or dress watch. If the stepped bezel makes an immediate impression, it's the dial that's here to keep your attention. It should be described as a sector dial, complete with a chapter ring available in multiple finishes that drives home the point. Arabic numerals are 12, 3, 6 and 9 are applied taken from the Chrysler Building's impressive entrances. The hour markers are inspired by the Chrysler Building's entrance doors and spire triangles - applied, faceted and polished. Lastly, the minute markers are also inspired by the intricate metalwork of the entrances to the building, eschewing the standard railroad markers or dashes found on most other watches. Suffice it to say, details matter and the Lexington has them in spades.
There are four colorways (keep your eyes peeled for more) that are very vividly described on the Bremoir website: Tuxedo, Cloud Club, Morocco, and Cohiba. Go and read the copy, its very evocative of a mood, and a time and place. It might easily get you daydreaming on your next jaunt with one of these on your wrist. For me, the two models with the copper chapter rings are where I might park myself. The Cohiba, with its brown dial, might be more distinctive, and the Morocco's blue dial more versatile.
On the wrist, the Lexington is sturdy. This is what I referenced earlier, when thinking it might be miscast. That's what I did before having it in person. One might think, Art Deco design, stepped bezel, roaring 20's - this has to be a smaller timepiece. The reality is, its a sort of cushion case that could easily pass as a dive watch if it had different dressing. In fact, I think it even wears slightly larger than the 39mm noted on the spec sheet. It feels ready for whatever the day is going to throw at you at it and depending on your strap choice, it would transition into whatever the night has in store too. If this were your personal day to day style, it could probably serve most any function you needed from a watch. More likely though, this might be a watch to add to an existing collection because you appreciate its distinctive and thoughtful design and solid construction. There's an aura of "Let's see where the night takes us" to the Lexington and maybe that's what draws you in.
You can find the Lexington, as well as more information about Bremoir, at their website https://www.bremoir.com/