There are a lot of partnerships between watchmakers and prestigious brands of all stripes, and frankly, many of these relationships make our eyes roll. What does “watch brand X” really have to do with “car brand Y” anyway? Usually, almost nothing, except a desire to sell more watches, and more cars. But one partnership that we’ve always found genuinely interesting is the one between Bremont and Martin-Baker, the famed maker of ejection seats for fighter pilots. Why does this one stand out? It’s unusual, for one. We can’t think of another watch brand off the top of our head that has collaborated with an ejection seat company. To that end, we can’t even think of another ejection seat company. It also seems like a natural partnership for Bremont, a brand that dabbles in adventure watches of all kinds, but really has a knack for pilot’s watches. And, of course, a plane crash is at the center of the Bremont origin story, so there’s a very natural tie in there as well. The Martin-Baker watches are further set apart from other limited edition cash grabs by the nature of a handful of MB releases being made available only to pilots who survived an ejection by way of one of their seats. Not a watch you want necessarily, but one that you’re glad to have. So, these watches have an uncommon mystique and appeal around them, and today Bremont has introduced the latest entry into the Martin-Baker series, the MB Savanna, the first such watch in titanium.
The Savanna is so named for the prominent tan coloring found on both the dial and the case. That case is constructed using Bremont’s unique Trip-Tick three piece case construction, which creates a unique profile that accentuates the multi-piece architecture of the watch itself, and gives it a more modern look than a traditional pilot’s watch made the likes of IWC, Hamilton, or any of the other usual suspects who play in this genre. Speaking of IWC, it’s impossible not to think of their recently released Mojave collection when looking at the Savanna, given that they both feature a similar tan case. The differences, however, are more interesting, and you can see something quite traditional in the case lines of those IWC watches, while the Bremont’s design would imply that it’s taking a stab at something even more tech forward.
As you’d expect with a watch made in partnership with a company like Martin-Baker, there is an emphasis on durability through clever engineering running throughout the Savanna. Naturally, it’s highly shock resistant. Being ejected from an airplane has to be among the most shocking things a human being can experience, literally, figuratively, and in any other way you’d like to categorize it. The Savanna, like all Martin-Baker watches, passes thorough testing encompassing live ejections, simulated crashes, extreme temperatures, and excessive vibration. The movement is housed within an anti-shock mounting system that encloses the caliber within a rubberized shell, and the mount is then connected to the outer case by way of a flexible ring to further protect against sudden shock. The case is matte finished with a protective coating designed to keep it looking new even after it’s been put through the ringer, whether that’s an ejection or more mundane activities.
The dial is somewhat subdued, which is typical and appropriate for a pilot’s watch. Arabic numerals and sword hands are the defining features here, and they’re set against a dial that reads a tannish-gray color. In photos, it looks very nice, but we wonder about legibility in certain lighting conditions, as there isn’t a ton of contrast between the white numerals and the dial’s most prominent color. The large hands appear to have polished outer edges, however, and they’re filled with lume, so it’s quite possible they’ll read just fine in most situations.
Bremont’s BE-36AE automatic movement powers the watch. This is a modified ETA 2836 that has been COSC certified and given a custom skeletonized rotor. Additionally, the watch is water resistant to 100 meters, measures 43mm in diameter, and comes mounted on a tan rubber strap. The price is $5,795 for US customers after VAT removal, and we’re not going to lie here, that’s a lot of coin for a titanium watch with an ETA based movement. There is, however, some interesting tech involved in making the Savanna as robust as possible, and for the aviation enthusiasts out there, the Martin-Baker connection has real pull. The watch is available right now on Bremont’s website, and deliveries are slated to begin later this month. Bremont