Going back to the beginning, to the first brand I reviewed on my blog, Berkbinder and Brown. As part of my 10 year anniversary, I am reviewing three different versions of the T-46, custom bronze T-46 V2 tool watch, I am also reviewing the stainless steel T-46 V2 and the custom Analog Motorcycle V3 T-46 (only 6 of these exist). For those of you who aren’t familiar with this American brand, it was founded by Ted Brown. Ted had a large construction company based in Chicago years ago. After many years working in the construction industry, Ted decided to sell the company and focus on spending time with his family and other projects. One of Ted’s friends would send him watches from his travels around the world. Ted being the curious tinkerer, would take the watches apart when they would stop working. One day Ted thought to himself “I could make a watch! A better watch! A reliable tool watch!” So he decided to do just that.
Fun fact: the T-46 was the second watch ever to be featured on kickstarter. In fact at that time, kickstarter didn’t want to allow Ted to do a campaign because they thought watches were too risky and there wasn’t enough interest from the public. Wait! What?!? Yes that’s a true story. Insane to even think about, but fast forward to the now, and think how wrong Kickstarter was. There have been so many watch kickstarter campaigns since then. Ted’s watches are extremely well made, full of great engineering and quality, exactly the type I seek out from the brands and the watches I love to have in my forever collection.
Ten years ago and still to this day, the case on the T-46 is absolutely incredible. It’s love at first sight, yet again. From the fixed bezel with the torx screw accents, to the knurled screw down crown. It’s these simple yet beautiful, purpose driven details that you all know make my horological berries tingle! I have featured all versions of the T-46 over the past several weeks on my social media that have led up to my featured review. I hope those of you on social media have enjoyed the posts!
The cases on these T-46 models share similarities and differences. I want to talk about the differences first. The difference in case materials used on each are so obvious that I don’t need to talk about that much besides one is bronze and the other is stainless steel. Both of the bronze T-46’s have lugs, something that the original T-46 didn’t have. The original T-46 was a lug-less, puck style case identical to the SS model here. The lug integration on the bronze is quite similar to the Tudor FXD for those of you familiar with that watch.
Like it’s bronze brother, they both have that tuna can shape. A shape which is a love affair that started two decades ago with my first “real” watch, the Chronoswiss Timemaster. Unlike it’s bronze brothers , the stainless steel T-46 is lug-less so right out the gate, you are going to get a “smaller than the dimensions imply” wrist wearing experience. This is yet another example folks of why you should just wear a watch and leave those dimension obsessed tantrums in the playpen where they belong.
This watch has some fantastic wrist presence and you can check out the pic below to see what I’m talking about. I love the blasted case finish on the stainless steel T-46. I love it’s simple, function driven design that is apparent throughout this piece, not just limited to the case. Speaking of function driven, the oversized screw-down crown, with its knurled edges is exactly how I prefer my crowns. All three models have the identical crown. Over-sized so it’s easy to grip whether you are wearing gloves or not, finished edges that allows optimal grip in all weather conditions and signed to add that overall finished look. What’s that? Why do I need to operate the crown with gloves or in different weather? I appreciate you asking and I am more than happy to answer. Being the watch nerd that I am, I like to reset the time to 10:10 for my pics. Then set it back to the regular time as I continue my hike and my peace in nature. That’s why 😊
The classic T-46 with a twist, a special and quite limited edition T-46 aka the Analog Motorcycle T-46. The added lugs, the domed sapphire crystal and the brushed steel sandwich dial are the differences between this piece and the OG T-46…..the stainless steel model.
I wanted to give this lovely oversized crown some love and attention. I treat the crowns on my watches as an adult fidget. I’m constantly getting grippy on the crown on all 3 versions of the T-46 watches. The knurled edges are perfect. I appreciate how robust this crown is to, definitely enough crown to get good grip on it. I love the how the details give the crown a very complete look. The details that I am talking about is blasted finish and the raised Berbinder and Brown logo. I wanted to do a series on this crown to give it the same amount of attention that Berkbinder did when designing & executing it!
Ticking away inside all three versions is the Swiss ETA 2824-2. A hell of a workhorse movement that has been beat to hell and back again a million time over the past few decades. In other words, it’s incredibly reliable. Only the Ti and SS versions have exhibition casebacks, the versions with the lugs have a clean solid caseback back.
All three versions of the T-46 have their own unique personalities and each one is a masterpiece of bespoke American watchmaking. I have to say that after 10 years, the T-46 still has that magical mystique encompassing it. The T-46 also has something that is becoming extinct in the watch industry, originality! I love when I see a brand producing unique and original watches. There is more and more regurgitation of the same old overplayed & tired designs. Thankfully, the passion driven brands like Berkbinder & Brown exist to help counterbalance things from completely going into pure redundancy.
What I love about the T-46 models are how the design is from the purpose driven mindset. Take for example the torx screws on the bezel. At first glance, one would surmise that the screw are only for aesthetics but under further experience with the watch, one would then realize the functional properties that the screws possess. We all experience those accidental bangs against a door frame, door knob, rocks, trees, etc…..the stainless torx screws act as the first line of defense, absorbing the major brunt of the bang. But they do look pretty damn badass nevertheless, especially on the bronze cases because of the contrast.
Each T-46 has that formidable wrist presence but wear remarkably comfortable. The bronze V2 and the Analog V3 both have short rounded lugs that nicely hug the wrist allowing for a great wrist conforming fit. The bronze T-46 come on a 5 ring zulu military black Horween Chromexcell leather strap with white stitching. A perfect strap for these watches. I found them remarkably comfortable during my hikes and other outdoor adventures. The bronze cases are made from alloyed 903 marine bronze which is the American counterpart to CuSn8. What I like about 903 from my experience is the patina is always much more impressive than the CuSn8.
So after 10 years, which T-46 is my favorite?!? The answer might surprise you. The Analog Motorcycle V3 is my favorite. Why? Well a big playing factor is the brushed stainless steel dial with speedometer styled numerals. I do like the numeral layout/style of the other two models, but there’s something a bit more cool about the speedometer style layout. I also dig the the Analog Motorcycles “A” logo filled in with black. I also like that the numbers used are the minute numerals, instead of the traditional cardinal 12, 3, 6 and 9, it’s now 60, 15, 30 and 45. I am a fool for the non traditional. I like that both bronze models have a stainless steel sandwich dials with brass plate underneath peeking through. This adds so much more depth and detail than the traditional matte black T-46 dials. giving the dial more detail and dimension.
If you are looking for an example of a bespoke American tool watch, then the T-46 may be that watch for you. If you are a gearhead like me, then the V3 is definitely a great option. I like that there is a T-46 for every type of tool watch fan. There’s a high polished bronze, a high polished stainless steel, a titanium, a blasted stainless steel, a reverse patina bronze…..like I said a T-46 option for whatever case material you may personally prefer. All T-46 watches have a water resistance of 330 feet. Each case is 46.3mm, with a height of 13.0mm. As I have mentioned earlier, this watch is a fantastic example of when dimensions wear much smaller than indicated. Each of the T-46 models is made up of a two-piece case that is sealed closed by a miniature bolt circle which has another functional purpose as opposed to just aesthetically pleasing. Berkbinder & Brown added an axial “O” ring gasket for added security and a better seal. What I really love about Berkbinder’s cases are that they are machined on a CNC lathe and milled from a solid bar stock. Old school manufacturing will always steal my heart.
No matter what preference you have for case materials or finishes, Berkbinder has a T-46 for you. You can check them all out by clicking this link: https://berkbinderandbrown.com/product-category/watches/
I want to thank Ted Brown for allowing me to spend some time with each one of these models. It was fun to revisit the T-46 after all these years. I also want to thank all of you for reading. It’s been one hell of a journey and I would not be still doing this if it wasn’t for your amazing support. I love sharing in the passion that exudes from this hobby. Much love and respect to you all.