Midnight oil is going to be in short supply around Henley-on-Thames. Bremont must have got through most of it to get not one but six new models ready for Basel. Pour yourself the obligatory glass of something good and sit back – here’s a quick rifle through the display cabinet…
Bremont Jaguar Mk I and II
You’ll be relieved to hear that the case for this doesn’t contain aluminium chiselled at dead of night from John Coombs’ original E Type Lightweight prototype. Instead, Bremont have taken the design of their Bremont Lightweight E-Type and translated it from 18ct white gold and alloy to something rather more affordable – slimmer too.
The 43mm case of both watches is stainless steel and houses either Bremont’s rather gorgeous BWC/01 movement or their BE-50AE chronograph motor. Both are autos with the weight (visible through the sapphire display back) designed to resemble a Jaguar steering wheel.
The Jaguar design themes are clear; the hands resembling speedometer and tacho needles, the dials the black and red instruments themselves. You’ll set the time with a crown that’s tyre-tread etched.
The Mk1 runs the Bremont BWC/01 (the one you’ll find powering the Wright Flyer), developed with La Joux-Perret. The chronograph Mk II has the ETA-derived BE-50AE, C.O.S.C. certified. In both cases, the Bremont team have clearly spent a shedload of time modifying and decorating. The BWC, in particular, is a seriously attractive movement. Both beat at 28,800bph, somewhat higher than their automotive inspiration’s 5k rpm red line.
Mk I: $10950
Mk II: $6550
Model 1 and Model 247 Boeing GMT chronometer and chronograph
From stainless steel and automotive to titanium, ceramic and aviation. Bremont’s latest aviation-influenced watches show a real evolution in case and dial design.
Starting from the outside, both the Model 1 and Model 247 hold their GMT movements in aviation grade Ti 6-4 (for 6% aluminum, 4% vanadium) titanium cases. That’s the same stuff you build airframes from – and it’s scratch resistant DLC treated. The standard three-part Trip-Tick construction is here, but the design is new with slightly bevelled legs and, for the first time, allen-screws holding the strap. The allen screw theme carries on to the rear of the case too, with four screws (rather than the usual five) securing the display back. The Model 1 also has an integral crown guard that flows out from the body of the case.
The Model 1 protects its movement from magnetism with an inner soft iron Faraday cage and from shocks with an anti-shock movement mount.
The dials – black on the Model 1 and grey on the 247 – have applied indices coated with SuperLumiNova and straight, baton hands. The centre seconds and chrono seconds hands both feature the signature Boeing ‘tick’ at their points.
The bezels are a Bremont first – they’re ceramic. Again, you get SuperLumiNova, so neither of these watches will be a challenge to see in dim light.
Inside, the Model 1 is powered by Bremont’s 21 jewel BE-93-2AE automatic chronometer movement, beating at 28,800 bph. The Model 247 has a modified calibre BE-54AE, again automatic chronometer-rated but with 25 jewels.
There’s been a lot of comment about the Bremont/Boeing collaboration producing some of the English brothers’ most attractive watches. These two both have the attractiveness that comes from being designed to do a job and do it well.
Boeing 247 $7495
Boeing Model 1 $6450
Unsurprisingly for Bremont, there’s yet another aviation watch in the lineup. This is the U-22.
Should you find yourself hanging about at 100,000ft for 12 hours or so at -50 degrees, at least you won’t need to worry about your watch. Bremont has been testing the new U-22 with the American Lockheed Martin U-2 squadron in California to make them – as near as dammit – indestructible, even if you’re planning on ejecting.
With an aviation watch like this you’d probably expect an inner soft-iron Faraday cage and some serious shockproofing. You also get a stainless steel case that’s properly hardened and a BE-36AE automatic that’s C.O.S.C. certified powering the whole plot at 28,800bph.
The bi-directional Roto-Click bezel is a new design and features compass quadrants as well as SuperLumiNova. The other neat feature is the bronze case barrel. Apparently, the inspiration for the colour came from the anti-glare coating on aircraft canopies. The altimeter-style date is new for Bremont too and adds some more interest to the dial.
Rather amusingly, as well as being found on the wrists of nailed-on, hardcore pilots, British comedy actor Hugh Laurie apparently owns a U-2. Clearly a dangerous business, making people laugh.
The Bremont Z series has always been a bit, well, cluttered. Lots going on on an already busy dial. The new ALT1-ZT is very much cleaner and clearer. And blacker. A lot blacker. This works.
Someone’s staged a dawn raid on the the MB series workshop for hands, and the new sword design really does make it simpler to tell the time on the ZT. And the 24 hour function – one of the key elements of the Zs – is now on the bezel, de-cluttering the dial still further.
Unusually for a Bremont, the new, clearer dial uses applied markers. These are SuperLumiNova coated.
Whatever one’s thoughts on the design, there’s never been any doubt about how robust the Zs are. Plenty of military squadrons wearing them on- and off – duty. The latter may actually be harder on the watch, mind… The ZT uses the same trademark 43mm Trip-Tick case, cut from hardened steel.
In common with the rest of the Z series, the ZT runs a modified BE-54AE 25 jewel automatic movement, beating at 28,800bph.
Alt1-ZT – $6595