Art Deco stepped out of the 1925 Paris International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts and placed its foot down on Lexington Avenue in New York. The Chrysler Building represents the height (pun intended) of what has become known as streamline moderne–a form of Art Deco characterized by bold curvaceous forms, aerodynamic lines, and sleek reflective materials. The Bremoir Lexington is a love song to this iconic monolith and to the design heritage which gave birth to it.
We don’t get many dress watches here at calibre321, but let me say I am glad the Lexington came our way. It would be easy for a tribute watch to descend quickly into sentimentalism and camp–particularly one dedicated to an iconic landmark–however, I will state from the outset that is not the case here. Let’s start with that dial. How could we not?
The Lexington dial is immediately arresting in its courageous complexity. The metallic-silver hour ring focuses attention, but the dominance of deep matte blue settles the eye. Resting at the junction of these two elements are a series of beveled, triangular indices that mirror the characteristic windows in the Chrysler Building’s spire. Several of these then bisect the hour ring, creating the impression of a stylized sun. The curvaceous Arabic numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12 blend seamlessly into this track. I also think the marquee brand font is an inspired choice, with its slightly larger Deco “M”. Further nods to the Chrysler Building’s design occur in the doorway-shaped minute-markers, modelled after the building’s entrance.
It is interesting to note that the majority of the Lexington case is brushed, and that it borrows heavily from vintage skin divers in its overall shape and in the addition of its large, coin-edge crown. This is not unlike the most recent release of YEMA’s dress watch: The Wristmaster. However, there are certain flourishes in finishing–such as the slim edge of mirror polishing that runs lug to lug along the outside of the watch–which elevate this design. Perhaps the most interesting element here is the beautiful step bezel, reminiscent of the Chrysler Building’s birthday-cake layered construction. This, along with the many faceted dial components, allows for a great deal of light play. The Lexington registers 39mm in diameter and 48.5mm lug to lug. The timepiece is also a svelte 10.7mm thick.
Another interesting design choice which sets the Lexington apart from its dress watch brethren is the lume. First of all, it has some. And it’s not bad, either–though the hands do shine brighter than the indicators. However, it is the forethought to have lumed the edges of the triangular window motif that is most attractive. It plays on the idea of the stylized sun, but quite simply makes for a visually stimulating layout.
Just when you think you’ve seen all the Lexington has to offer, flip it over. That way, you can verify for yourself that it is powered by the Swiss STP 1-11. Now, I’m a fan of an exhibition caseback–no matter what the movement–because I like to see the mechanics of things. But Bremoir have done a nice job with the decoration of this one. The rotor continues the Art Deco theme with a mix of gold, silver, and black highlights (though it could do without the line of text), and there is also perlage on the bridges of the movement. From a technical standpoint, the screw down caseback has also been recessed into the case itself to eliminate the bulge and allow the watch to sit more comfortably on your wrist.
The Lexington comes standard on a leather/suede strap made by Delugs. It has the added bonus a of polished buckle and pin designed to match the step bezel.
In total, there are four colourways in the Lexington line, offering variations of the above-mentioned layout: Tuxedo (Black/Silver), Cohiba (Brown/Copper), Morocco (Blue/Copper), and Cloud Club (Blue/Silver–featured here).
|Case||316L Stainless Steel|
48.5mm Lug to Lug
20mm Lug Width
50m Water Resistance
|Dial & Crystal||Flat Sapphire /w AR|
Applied Numerals and Indices
|Movement||Swiss STP 1-11 /w Rotor Decoration & Perlage|
44-Hour Power Reserve
/w Polished Stainless Steel Hardware
Watch packaging can often leave me indifferent. Ultimately, I would prefer that a brand invest more into its watches than cut corners so that the visual presentation can be enhanced. However, I do appreciate a simple watch roll or carrying case in place of a box, when possible. I like the practical. In the instance of the Lexington, I think Bremoir have struck a fine balance. The stylish leather travel case and its wallet-like insert–good for packing your spare straps and a springbar tool–feel like an extension of the timepiece itself, with their Deco printing and design. Rather than detract from the watch, the Lexington packaging seems only to contribute to the brand ethos.
The Lexington is long when measured lug to lug and has a relatively flat profile. As such, those with slimmer wrists might find that the watch “floats” a bit at the lug ends, despite the recessed caseback.
The Lexington is a watch with style and flair. While clearly it takes its cues from the 1920s and 30s, it seems to me that it is a wholly contemporary reimagining of them. It embodies the bold exuberance of the Art Deco style, but it is not “of” the era. The choice in colourway ranges from staid and classic in the Tuxedo, to playful and fun in the Morocco. There is a little something for everyone. The case finishing is top notch, and the dial is a thoughtful, well-executed design. Throw in a decorated Swiss movement and you have an attractive package.
The Lexington retails for $985USD. For more information, please visit the brand website.
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