Hello everyone, and welcome to another of my reviews. In this article, I’ll review a watch and a pair of accessories from the local fashion label Black by Blue Brave.
Black by Blue Brave – Video Review
If you’re interested in seeing hands-on footage of the products, do watch my Youtube review of the Black Classic Sunglasses, LOVE WINS bracelet, and HS7 watch below:
Black by Blue Brave – the Brand
Black by Blue Brave is a Singaporean brand that was founded in 2017, and describes itself as a “fashion brand specializing in professional watches and accessories”. It first garnered traction for its women’s watches, offering intriguing designs such as the Cherry Blossom, Swan Lovers, and Butterfly Lovers.
It then expanded its offerings to men’s watches, before branching out further into accessories such as eyewear and jewellery. The brand stylized its name into 4Bs, with the logo representing the quadruple “B” values of being bold, brave, proud and you.
Without further ado, let’s see if its products are any good.
Black by Blue Brave HS7 Watch – Review
Let’s start by looking at the HS7 watch, which has decent specifications for the price.
Firstly, the HS7 uses a flat sapphire crystal. As mentioned in my previous reviews, I’m a huge advocate of sapphire crystal due to its inherent scratch-resisting properties. I always look for sapphire crystal in my modern watches as it adds significantly to the watch’s durability. It also has a water resistance rating of 100M, making it perfect as an everyday watch.
The HS7 is powered by the automatic Miyota 8N24 movement, which is unsurprising as it’s one of the few affordable skeletonised movements in the market today. It beats at 21,600 bph, hand-winds, and has about 42 hours of power reserve, but does not hack. Interestingly, Black by Blue Brave has done away with the traditional rotor, instead opting for a full-sized one that resembles the wheel of a sports car. It’s certainly a striking decision and one that is rarely seen at this price point.
The HS7 comes on a glossy black faux alligator strap with red contrasting stitching and a matching black buckle. Though not genuine alligator – that would cost half the price of the watch itself – the faux alligator strap still feels premium, with clear stamping and a comfortable lining. The strap also has quick-release pins, though its integrated nature makes it hard to find off-the-shelves replacements.
According to Black by Blue Brave, the HS7 is “heavily inspired by the aesthetic of modern-day sports cars”, with the dial in particular meant to evoke the speedometer of sports car. The semi-skeletonised nature of the dial gives the watch a sense of depth, while also enhancing the sportiness of the HS7. I appreciate how the hands are also skeletonized, keeping them thematically relevant. The rim-like fixture at the centre of the dial is cool as well, reinforcing the automotive inspiration of the watch. In addition, the black and red aesthetic is well-done, with the red accents managing to provide sharp contrast without looking garish and obnoxious.
However, there are a few aspects that I didn’t like about the HS7, the chief of which being the non-functional chronograph pushers. When I first received the watch, I was confused as to why there were chronograph pushers when the watch was time-only. I then found out that the pushers are non-functional, and only there for aesthetic purposes. I suppose the brand thought it would make the HS7 look more sporty, but I’m not a fan of non-functional features on watches. The same goes for the bezel, which is fixed. I would have preferred a rotational bezel, or perhaps even a tachymeter one (like the Speedmaster) – those would have been more thematically relevant to the automotive nature of the watch.
Another inspiration I picked up upon was the Hublot-esque lugs. In fact, even the semi-skeletonised dial and numerals can be said to be inspired by the Hublot Big Bang, although the HS7 is original enough in its execution to not be labelled as a homage. Overall, the entire package is masculine and sporty, and should suit those who prefer more striking watches well.
With a case diameter of 43.5mm, the HS7 is large, but not overly so. A key reason is the short lugs, which make the watch wear more like 42mm. It’s also not the slimmest at 12.5mm thick, but it will still slide underneath a shirt cuff, although just about.
All in all, I would say that the HS7 by Black by Blue Brave is a good value. At S$367 (after the promo code below), you get a watch that has decent specifications and is a striking presence on the wrist (just see the photo above). It’s not perfect by any means, but if you just want a sporty, fashion-forward watch that doesn’t cost a bomb, then the HS7 is a good option.
Black by Blue Brave Black Classic Sunglasses – Review
The brand also sent me a pair of its trademark sunglasses.
Like the HS7, the Black by Blue Brave’s Black Classic Sunglasses is big and bold. In terms of fit, it’s on the slightly larger side, making it great for those who prefer sunglasses with more presence. The lenses themselves are slightly translucent too, allowing the eyes to be slightly visible while still providing protection.
Up close, one can see that the legs of the sunglasses are translucent too. The brand’s logo is also nicely embossed, while the frame is thick enough to provide structure.
I actually quite like the black classic sunglasses – it’s subtly elegant. I can see myself wearing it at the beach, or perhaps simply on a sunny day outdoors. It has a classic silhouette but is bold and striking enough to command attention without being over-the-top. And at S$92 (after the promo code below), it’s well positioned as a mid-range offering – more expensive than those from Miniso, but also significantly cheaper than Ray-Bans.
Black by Blue Brave – LOVE WINS Bracelet
Last but certainly not least, Black by Blue Brave also sent me its LOVE WINS bracelet in honour of the recently concluded Pride month.
I’ve reviewed bracelets before – here, here and here – but the LOVE WINS bracelet has to be my favourite. Like the watch and the sunglasses, the LOVE WINS bracelet is meant to be a conversation starter, with an array of rainbow gems set upon a rose gold plated silver bracelet.
Yes, you’ve read that right – the bracelet is crafted from 925 Sterling Silver, making it technically precious metal. The stones are cubic zirconia, which are man-made gemstones that are meant to resemble diamonds, albeit at a fraction of the price. Its natural colourlessness allows manufacturers to colour them with colouring agents, as is the case here.
I absolutely love this LOVE WINS bracelet. One of my absolute grail watches is the “Rainbow Daytona”, though that’s obviously way out of my league. Wearing the LOVE WINS bracelet makes me feel like I’m wearing the bezel of the Rainbow Daytona on my wrist, and it scratches the itch until I’m (hopefully) able to afford one. It’s brilliantly (pun intended) executed, with the rainbow cubic zirconia stones catching the light beautifully. And at S$127 (after the promo code below), it’s actually fairly affordable for a 925 Silver bracelet that’s adorned with cubic zirconia stones.
Conclusion – so Black by Blue Brave “shiok” or not?
When viewed from a fashion lens, the offerings from Black by Blue Brave certainly live up to their billing. The HS7 watch is a striking automotive-inspired watch that’s backed by decent specifications, the Black Classic Sunglasses is a stylish wardrobe staple, while the LOVE WINS bracelet is a fun and quirky accessory that will spark conversations. If you’re more adventurous in your fashion accessories, then Black by Blue Brave’s products should do the trick without coming across as ostentatious. Despite its numerous physical locations (the brand’s flagship outlet is at 313 Somerset), prices remain somewhat affordable, allowing you to look great without burning a hole in your wallet.
Those interested in purchasing from Black by Blue Brave can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” for 25% off all items from its web-store. After the discount, the HS7 watch can be had for $367, the Black Classic Sunglasses at $92, and the LOVE WINS bracelet at $127. As an accessories label, Black by Blue Brave seems to be growing from strength to strength – can’t wait to see what other accessories this homegrown brand offers next!
Specifications of HS7:
|316L Stainless Steel
|Up to 10 ATM
P.S: Check out The Shiok Store here – it serves as a curation of my favourite products from my favourite brands.
P.P.S: Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.