Introducing The Bremont RFU 150 Limited Edition

Bremont have just launched their new RFU 150 limited edition watch to mark their association with rugby and 150 years of the Rugby Football Union – hence “RFU”.  The RFU is the governing body for English rugby. As W&W’s UK correspondent, explaining rugby, that very English of games, to readers in the US, is something of a challenge. As this is an introduction to a watch with a rugby link, rather than an article about the game, suffice it to say that rugby is a little like football (not soccer, that’s different over here) but with 15 rather than 11 players and without the armour, detailed set plays and the rather splendid marching bands. 

Bremont’s new RFU 150 has a helium release valve and is waterproof to 500m. It has Bremont’s neat rubberised shock absorbing system that first saw the light of day on their MB series watches. This’ll make sure your watch survives getting shot from a plane in an ejector seat. The case is stainless steel. The unidirectional bezel is ceramic. The sapphire crystal is scratch-resistant. This is a nailed-on, robust, drop-kickable watch. Whatever you throw at it (or throw it at, for that matter) it’s going to survive.

This is sensible. After all, rugby has a reputation as a tough game. To duplicate the feeling of being tackled by an England forward (the big blokes at the front), simply have a friend drop a fridge on you. But watches are not particularly a rugby thing. In fact, the RFU’s rules pretty much prohibit wearing one on the pitch.

So what’s going on?

Bremont are not daft.  They know what they’re about.  This is not a watch designed to survive on the pitch, oh no, this is a watch designed to survive what happens off the pitch after a match.  

Anyone who has enjoyed a game at The Stoop, the home of English rugby at Twickenham, and the consequent journey around the area’s pubs will know that robustness is key to survival.  After the obligatory burger and pints at The Barmy Arms, a few more at the Blucher just off the Green, a couple at The Swan down by the river and a chaser or two before a big kebab finish at Twickenham Charcoal Grill things tend to blur a little. One is never quite sure what will happen – a feeling that can persist for a couple of days afterwards. You may believe 500m water resistance and a helium escape valve is a little OTT in a rugby watch, but until you’ve survived match day in Twickenham you probably shouldn’t diss it.

There are, to be fair, plenty of game-related elements to the RFU 150. The keen rugby-goer can ensure she’s ready for the sprint for the bar at half and full time by using the count down indicators on the bezel. The dial matches the blue of England’s alternative shirt colour and the caseback features the English rose – this one is the one the RFU designed especially for the 150th anniversary. And, at 6 where one might expect to see “London” is, appropriately, the word “Twickenham”.

The movement inside the 43mm stainless steel case is a self-winding BE-93-2AV based on the equally robust ETA2893-2 and running happily at 28,800vph for 42 hours. It’s a 21 jewel engine with a magnetic-resistant Anachron hairspring and a thermally-stable Glucydur balance.  If you’re late for the game – or last orders – it’ll be entirely your fault as it’s chronometer certified to ISO 3159.

And this is a good-looking watch. Bremont have done their usual fine job of making the dial readable with white Super-LumiNova hands standing out against the England blue dial. There are numerals at 12, 6 and 9 (there’s a date window at 3), Explorer-style. The minute, second and 24 hour second timezone hands all contrast with red tips. 

There’s a case for suggesting this is one of Bremont’s best-looking watches to date. And, let’s face it, if it’s built to survive a Twickenham match day not much else will phase it. 

Bremont are only making 150 of them and they’re retailing at £3,995 in the UK and $4,995 in the US. More from Bremont.

Related Posts
Mark developed a passion for watches at a young age. At 9, he was gifted an Omega Time Computer manual from a local watch maker and he finagled Rolex brochures from a local dealer. Today, residing in the Oxfordshire village of Bampton, Mark brings his technical expertise and robust watch knowledge to worn&wound.
markchristie mark_mcarthur_christie