You can’t buy the Bre&Co. Origami Watch for yourself. You have to give it to someone else. When they get it you they receive a message from you – preferably something truthful and meaningful. In turn, they can send a note back to you. It is, in short, one of the wildest and nicest “retail” concepts I’ve seen in a long time and the pieces are beautiful.

The $5,800 Origami is a handmade piece with a few interesting features. It runs and Eterna 3909A automatic movement and it includes an American-made rubber strap. The cases is made by Burger and Brown in Kansas City and the entire piece is assembled in New York. Then things get even more interesting.

The watch includes a gold coin embedded on the back of the watch as a “reminder of your value.” Founder Bre Pettis writes:

The Bre & Co. Origami Watch is made with a one-half-ounce American eagle liberty gold coin embedded on the back of the watch. It is embedded using the same kind of gasket that holds the sapphire crystal in place and the coin should only be removed in an emergency. The gold coin, always touching your skin and never revealed to the rest of the world, is your secret. The way it feels on your skin is a tactile reminder of your value. Lady Liberty on one side of the coin and a family of eagles on the other represent strength, courage, camaraderie, and compassion. Along with its sheer beauty, the American Eagle gold coin can be a useful currency in emergency situations and will likely hold it’s value in apocalyptic inflationary economies.

That’s right: in the case of a zombie attack you’ll have a gold coin to trade for food and shelter. It’s also a beautiful thought – that the person who got this watch as good as gold to you without the ostentation of a bejeweled Rolex.

Bre&Co’s founder, Bre Pettis, fell in love with watches after receiving a Cartier as a gift.

“Shortly after getting it, while wearing it on a business trip to Japan, I found that my Cartier watch helped start conversations with people who are driven by obsessive craftspersonship,” he said. “It opened up new ways to relate to those who share a passion for complex mechanical contraptions.”

The watch isn’t the only item on the Bre&Co. product list but I find it the most fascinating. It’s a beautiful concept – you can only give the Origami or receive it as a gift – and I think it changes the entire dynamic of the fine watch. We find ourselves lusting after “grail watches” that we buy ourselves and we forget to share our love of watches with others. That’s exactly what this is and that’s exactly why I like it.


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