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Tuesday, March 5th
Brathwait is an American watch maker that prioritizes high-quality materials and simplicity in design, without the big mark-ups you'll find with other companies. They've been around since 2014, making them one of the newer brands in our review.
Only Brathwait brand watches
Obviously, we couldn't use a Citizen and Rolex watch for comparison here, with only Brathwait timepieces in the inventory. In fact, there are just three basic watch styles on offer: the Classic Slim Wrist Watch, the Swiss Classic, and the Automatic Minimalist Wrist Watch (with a significant price jump between the first two and the last one). Since there aren't hundreds of watches to consider, it's pretty easy to jump right to Mens or Womens watches and browse the selection.
Classic design with a variety of strap/face combinations
The Classic Slim watches use nature's "golden ratio" in its lines, while the Swiss Classic design was inspired by 1960s timepieces and features Swiss-made movement and luminous hands. Which one is better? That depends on your aesthetic, and there are plenty of color combinations in the watch face and straps (dark grey crocodile leather to stainless steel mesh) to suit your style. You can expect to pay from $120-$170 for any watch in these two designs, no matter if you're buying for a man or woman.
Highest-end watch is only $695
When you upgrade to Brathwait's Automatic Minimalist watch, you'll still get an "unpretentious design" - with a not-quite-humble price tag of $695 if you go all-out with the Swiss-made, limited edition. If you've been looking for a self-winding watch, this is the right place to look at the Brathwait store, and again, you'll have ample combinations of face colors and strap materials to make your watch as unique as you are.
Transparency in pricing
One of the most interesting things you'll see as you browse watches at this store are the completely transparent aspects of their pricing. Pick a watch and scroll down the page, past the customer reviews. There, you'll see Brathwait's costs on literally every component, from the strap to the case, and then what their retail price is. For example, on a stainless steel automatic, Brathwait's price was $269 and the total manufacturing cost was $146 - but comparable watches from other brands could easily be priced at $590 or more.
Free shipping, 30-day returns, 1-year warranty
If your order is over $50, you'll get free shipping; since all watches are easily more than that, you'll always get no-cost delivery unless you're just stopping by to get a new watch band. You can also return your Brathwait watch for free within 30 days of delivery; they call it their "see it before you keep it" policy, but your watch has to be in brand-new, unworn condition to be eligible. All Brathwait watches have a one-year warranty period.
BBB isn't impressed
Brathwait had only received three complaints at the Better Business Bureau in the last three years, and zero in the most recent 12-year period - and yet, the Better Business Bureau still gave this watch store an "F" rating for not responding to two of them. That's a huge penalty, compared with other retailers that get thousands of complaints and still have an "A+" rating.
You'll love this brand or you'll hate it
Then again, maybe the folks at the BBB peeked around in other places and saw what we did: shoppers are pretty evenly split between 1- and 5-star ratings for Brathwait. You'll get a great watch - or you'll get nothing. Your watch will work perfectly - or you won't be able to reach customer service to get it fixed. Are you getting the idea?
Buy a different watch
We really like the idea of this watch brand, but it falls apart in how it actually works out for customers. Buying a watch shouldn't feel like spinning a roulette wheel - will you be thrilled or horribly disappointed? Brathwait is our lowest-ranking watch store.
That question is almost more easily answered by where you should not shop: the mall or jewelry store! You might be drawn in by a beautiful timepiece prominently displayed in the window, but do you really want the sales pressure or higher prices once you walk through the door? We don't either.
Your best bet is an online watch store. Whether you're looking for the next luxury wristwatch to add to your collection or something classic-yet-affordable, you won't find a better selection at any brick-and-mortar store near you. Why browse a few dozen options from a handful of brands and be limited to the retailer's business hours, when you can see thousands of styles and brands whenever you get the whim to shop?
But wait. What if the watch doesn't fit? Or I don't like it when it arrives? Usually not a problem. Watch stores have already anticipated your concerns, and you'll usually have a generous return window if you need a refund or want to make an exchange. A few retailers even allow you to wear the watch for several weeks before you make your decision - as long as it's still in good condition, without a lot of wear and tear, of course.
Which watch store should get your attention? There are lots of options, and many of them would be a perfectly good choice for your new time-keeper. Here are a few ways you can narrow down the options:
To help you find the right timepiece for that someone special (or yourself!), TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked today's most popular online watch stores. From everyday wear to black-tie occasions, the perfect watch is out there. Ready to start shopping?
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