Bremont is a brand that hasn’t gotten enough coverage here on worn&wound. It’s not that we don’t like British watchmaker; on the contrary, we’re big fans of a number of their watches (the MBII and the Supermarine are two exceptional feats of engineering). But with their entry-level pieces going for anywhere between four and five thousand dollars, Bremont is priced higher than most of the brands we focus on. That said, as with other brands that offer something exceptional at the price, whether in terms of construction, movement, style, etc, Bremont’s chronometers (they are all certified, after all) are something to behold, and worthwhile aspirational pieces. This year at BaselWorld 2014, they unveiled a handful of watches that majorly impressed, ending up as one of the highlights of the show as a whole.
First up is Bremont’s collaboration with aerospace giant, Boeing. I can see you rolling your eyes, but trust us; this collaboration is not a shallow marketing ploy. Bremont took full advantage of this partnership, gaining unprecedented access to Boeing’s material and manufacturing technology at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Sheffield, UK. The result: the wonderfully over-built Bremont Boeing Model 1 and Bremont Boeing Model 247.
The Model 1 is a 3-hander in a 43mm case featuring a new crown-guard design and Bremont’s patented Trip-Tick construction. The Model 1 is built using Boeing’s proprietary 465 steel, an alloy that is far more scratch and corrosion resistant than 316L stainless steel. Aesthetically, the design is one of modern minimalism with a dash of military. The metal dial comes in either black or white, and features inlaid markers, black-bordered rectangular minute/hour hands, and a distinctive asymmetrical seconds hand. Surrounding the dial is a thin sapphire bezel that is bi-directional. Remarkably, the cases are being made entirely in-house in the UK. Even most “Swiss Made” brands, don’t actually produce their cases in Switzerland anymore, so this is a great achievement and speaks to what goes into the pricing of the watches, which is fairer than one would expect.
The Model 247 is the chronograph in the series, and carries over many of the design cues from its 3-handed brother (the general aesthetic of the dial, the case and bezel designs, and the use of aviation-grade materials). The incorporation of sub-dials is wonderfully balanced, with Bremont opting for a bi-compax layout that makes great use of the space. Flipping either watch around will reveal a beautifully decorated movement with a custom turbine-inspired rotor.
Both the Model 1 and the Model 247 come with Bremont’s Seattle Hybrid (leather-polymer composite) strap and NATO military Bremont Boeing nylon strap. Future releases for both models will feature Boeing’s aviation-grade Ti-64 titanium.
Model 1 MSRP: $5,450 USD
Model 247 MSRP: $6,750 USD
Bremont also showed off their brand-new limited edition Supermarine Terra Nova, the result of another collaboration. Bremont, working with famed explorer Ben Saunders, developed the Terra Nova to accompany Saunders on his 2014 world-record-breaking Antarctic expedition. Saunders, along with his teammate Tarka L’Herpiniere, traveled 1,795 miles by foot across Antarctica, completing the ill-fated Terra Nova expedition first attempted by Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his team in 1912.
Both Saunders and Bremont made the weight of the watch a top priority, so the Terra Nova is the brand’s first watch to be made from aircraft-grade titanium. Special attention was also given to protecting the movement from the elements. As such, the case is water resistant to 500m, and the movement is encased in a Faraday cage and a patented anti-shock movement mount. To deal with the extremes of Antarctic weather, the movement was also specially oiled to withstand -40°C, a temperature that would disable a quartz mechanism.
Aesthetically, the Terra Nova is styled similarly to the rest of the Supermarine line. The case is based off the 43mm model, and features both satinized and polished titanium surfaces. The finishing on this model is worth special note, as the lines where different surfaces meet are exceptionally sharp. The hands and dial make good use of color with a yellow GMT hand, red-tipped seconds hand, and a beautiful black metal dial with red and white text.
The quirkiest design element is the bi-directional sapphire compass bezel with SuperLumiNova. When in the poles, magnetic compasses don’t work, so the bezel comes in handy. The Terra Nova comes equipped with either a titanium bracelet or a very comfortable integrated rubber strap. This is a limited edition of 300, so you’d better snatch one up now if you’re interested.
MSRP: $5,995 USD
Finally, we got to play with another GMT addition the Bremont lineup, the MBIII. The Martin-Baker series is named after the British aviation company responsible for supplying nearly 70% of the world’s airforces with fighter ejection seat technology. To test this line, Bremont pushes their watches to the limit by simulating the extreme procedures Martin-Baker uses for their ejector seats. With the immense success of the MBII, the MBIII is no big surprise. What is surprising is the addition of a beautiful bronze barrel to the case (the original anthracite and orange are still available). The red-tipped GMT hand adds the perfect finishing touch to the dial (I always thought the MB line would do well with a GMT function), and completes the aviator-inspired look.
MSRP: $5,995 USD
by Ilya Ryvin