Back in early 2012, we brought you our exclusive interview with Ted Brown (founder of Berkbinder & Brown) and our (again, exclusive) review of the original T46 Tool Watch. Today, we’re back again with another product from B&B, the T46 V2. As you might surmise, the V2 has some changes from the original – will it be as well done as the original?
To wrap it up in a word, yes. The V2 carries on the same design aesthetic that we saw in the original, with a handful of minor tweaks, as well as one major one. That major one? While the V1 we reviewed came with a bronze case (which is where my interest in the material likely stems from), the V2 instead opts for Titanium in a bead blasted finish.
This gives the case a much different look (as you might expect), as well as reducing weight by about 40% from the bronze and steel versions (it weighs in at 114g). The case size has also increased slightly, going from 46mm to 46.3mm; case height has remained unchanged. On the front side of the case, the bolt circle has been expanded a bit, allowing for a new gasket to be fitted; around back, the size of the engraving has been increased.
Also on the back of the case, we still have the internal lug pockets, which have been increased in size a bit to allow the watch to sit a bit better. The strap is another spot that I noticed a pretty significant upgrade from our first go-round with the T46. This time, it’s made of Horween Chromexcell, which means the strap should last as long as that titanium case does.
Tucked into the case, you’ve got an ETA 2824-2 automatic movement. You’ve also got sapphire completing the case “sandwich”, with the top crystal being 3mm thick, and the exhibition caseback holding a 2mm crystal. With those in place, and the crown screwed down, you’ll have a 100 WR rating.
In wearing the watch, I was reminded quite a bit of the original T46 (which makes sense), and that was a watch that I enjoyed quite a bit. The V2 follows in those same footsteps, albeit in a case that doesn’t have that same warm feel that the bronze did. Of course, this also means you won’t have the patina developing on the case; on the flip side, the titanium should be very robust and handle just about anything you’d throw at it.
And now, we’re brought to the last major difference between the versions. Given that titanium costs a bit more than bronze, and is more difficult to machine (these cases come from solid bar stock), it’s not too surprising that the pricing has jumped a bit. While the bronze encased T46 watches go for $1795 (up from $1495 when we first reviewed them) for bronze, this new titanium T46 V2 carries a pricetag of $2,595.
Yes, that’s a premium price, and it’s not going to be for everyone (for those, there are still the bronze and steel cases). This is a watch that carries forth that rougher, machined aesthetic that we’ve talked about (see here), and I seem to have an affinity for in some regards. With the introduction of titanium, you’ve got a much lighter (but still strong) piece than we’ve seen before in other examples, and that’s the big differentiator for this model.
In all of the lineup, I still prefer the bronze case, but I like that Berkbinder & Brown are introducing the variations in the T46 model, giving potential buyers some choices in how their watch will look. There are some other, non-T46 models that we’re told are in the works – as those come to fruition, we’ll look to bring you hands-on reviews. berkbinderandbrown.com