Nestled in the Deep Ellum district of Dallas, BREDA (opens in new tab) is an independent watch brand run by a small team with a shared appreciation of design. Operating out of a studio that doubles as their store, design office and collaborative workspace, BREDA pride themselves as a non-conformist collective who make minimalist designs more accessible.
Does pushing the envelope result in translate into practical watches people actually want to buy, though? Well, it depends what you're after.
Out of the box, BREDA watches certainly look the part. The utilitarian designs certainly stay true to their brand message, and the stripped back aesthetic would easily suit a variety of situations. If you're looking for a smart casual timepiece, this is it. Topped off with a bank-friendly price tag, BREDA watches suddenly put crafted, minimalist within reach of those who previously couldn't afford them.
But how do they fare day-to-day? Once they're on your wrist, it immediately becomes apparent where that low cost comes from. They're comfortable enough to wear but the feel of the strap material doesn't do the careful design work justice. Aside from having the same texture as a bag strap, the materials don't feel like they would hold up to regular use without the wear and tear starting to compromise the overall look.
The problems continue when it comes to actually reading the watch face. Depending on which model you've got, seeing the hands becomes difficult in even just overcast conditions, and there are no built-in lights to help you out.
The final watch we were sent was a silver/black women's model, which had a high quality watch face and slightly better leather straps than the rest. This watch was a better balance of functionality and minimalist design, and felt like you were getting more than your money's worth.
However, by chasing the minimalist angle, BREDA have dropped the day and date from most of their watch faces. You could argue that with a smartphone on hand you're never far away from finding this out, but then that poses the question of why do you even need a watch anyway?
The BREDA watches are definitely a case of you get what you pay for. Here you're forking out (a pleasantly small sum) for attractive, minimalist style in favour of flawless functionality.