Bremont: The Quintessential British Watch Brand

Today, across the pond, Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee.  Sixty years ago, she took the throne of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.  Over those sixty years, the UK has made some significant impacts on the world, Lotus, the Jaguar XK-E, the McLaren F1, the Rolling Stones, Top Gear, HP Sauce, and Fish & Chips (though I think that may be older than 60) to name a few.  So, in honor of HM’s Jubilee, I thought I’d take a look at a relatively new UK export that is making splash in the watch world: Bremont.

Nick and Giles English, Founders of Bremont

First, a quick history.  Bremont was founded in 2002 by two brothers, Nick and Giles English through their passion for all things mechanical.  The two brothers share a lifetime love of aviation, horology and tinkering which stems from time they spent with the father, Dr. Euan English, an aeronautical engineer and tinkerer.  Their father, a former RAF pilot also taught the brothers how to fly, which explains the deep aeronautical theme present in all the Bremont watches.  

The brothers moved from an appreciation of horology to founding a watch manufature through tragedy.  On 4 March 1995, Nick and his father, Euan, were flying their WWII vintage Harvard, practicing aerobatic formations, when they failed to recover from a inverted spin that went wrong and crashed.  The crash broke over 30 bones in Nick and took Euan’s life.  That accident caused the brothers to dive deeper into their lifelong love of watches and found Bremont seven years later.

Upon starting their watch company, the brothers had to come up with a name.  The family name English would be a bit too on the nose for a UK brand.  Fortunately, they had a story which offered the perfect solution.  Sometime in the late 1990s, Nick and Giles were flying an antique bi-plane through France in weather that was not exactly ideal.  Not surprisingly, when you combine rough weather and an 60 year old plane, you’re likely to end up on the ground sooner than you would like, which is exactly what happened to the brothers English.  They were forced to make an emergency landing in a French farm field.  

Eager not to involve French aviation authorities, Nick and Giles were ecstatic when the farmer, whose field turned into a mini Aéroport Paris-Charles de Gaulle, offered his assistance.  The brothers stored the plane in the farm’s barn overnight and stored themselves in the farmhouse.  The farmer proved to be a more than apt host, as he was an ex-military pilot and amateur clock maker, much like Nick and Giles’ father.  After spending the night swapping aviation stories touring the farmer’s workshop, Nick and Giles had found a friend and kindred spirit in their host.  The farmer’s name: Antoine Bremont.  

So, now the brothers English has a name for their watch company, Bremont.  Now, that the hard part was finished, they could begin with the watches.  Or, at least that was the theory.  Bremont may have been founded in 2002, but it took five years of development before their first watch was ready for sale in 2007.  While they wanted their watches to be distinctly British, the brothers understood they needed the experience and technology of Swiss manufacture.  So, they set up the Bremont atelier in Bein, Switzerland.  The first Bremont watches have a shared nationality.  The design and some of the components were done in the UK with the final assembly in Switzerland using Swiss-made mechanical movements.   No quartz here.  And, every watch is a certified Chronometer.  

Bremont B-1 Marine Clock

Today, Bremont is extending the British watchmaking tradition, assembling and manufacturing more and more of the components and watches in Britain.  The Bremont B-1 Marine Clock is fully designed and built in the UK.  The brand hopes to move beyond having just a portion of their watches and parts created in Britain in fall of this year, when they plan on moving all assembly to the UK.  As it stands, all design work in done in Britain.  

When you look at a Bremont watch, their connection to flying is obvious.  With the contrast stitched leather straps, oversized crowns & pushers and clean dials. There is a definite tie to the old Smith aeronautical gauges.  (On a side note, Smith was actually a UK offshoot of Jaeger LeCoultre’s instrumentation division.)  Bremonts have the same gentleman sportsman feel as IWC, Bell & Ross, Triumph, Jaguar and Morgan.  

Currently, Bremont only produces about 2,500 watches per year over ten production models and a few limited editions.  I’m a big fan of the P-51 Mustang and Norton Motorcycle limited editions, which is probably because I’m a big fan of the P-51 Mustang and older Norton motorcycles.  

Anyway, for a relative newcomer, Bremont already has a pretty colorful history and a distinct personality all their own (their motto is “Tested Beyond Endurance).  I hope to add a Bremont to my collection soon.  Today, Queen Elizabeth II and her 60 year reign may have the UK spotlight, but something tells me Bremont may steal some light of their own over the next 60 years. 

Here are the details on Bremont’s line of production watches:

ALT1-C Classic

Movement: Calibre 13 1/4″ BE-50AE Automatic, 28 Jewel, 28,800 vibrations per hour
Power Reserve: 42 Hour
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Date, Chronograph with Second & 30 Minute Counters
Case: Hardened Stainless Steel
Diameter: 43 mm
Thickness: 16 mm
Caseback: Display Back

Dial: Metal Dial with Nickel Hands
Luminescence: SuperLumiNova C1
Crystal: Domed, Scratch Resistant & Anti-Reflective Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance: 100 Meters
Bracelet: Leather Strap, Kevlar Strap or Stainless Steel Bracelet
Certification: COSC Certified Chronometer 

ALT1-P Pilot

Movement: Calibre 13 1/4″ BE-53AE Automatic, 27 Jewel, 28,800 vibrations per hour
Power Reserve: 42 Hour
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Date, Chronograph with Second, 30 Minute & 12 Hours Counters
Case: Hardened Stainless Steel
Diameter: 43 mm
Thickness: 16 mm
Caseback: Display Back

Dial: Metal Dial with Nickel Hands
Bezel: Internal Bi-Directional
Luminescence: SuperLumiNova C3
Crystal: Domed, Scratch Resistant & Anti-Reflective Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance: 100 Meters
Bracelet: Leather Strap, Kevlar Strap or Stainless Steel Bracelet
Certification: COSC Certified Chronometer 

ALT1-WT World Timer
Movement: Calibre 13 1/4″ BE-54AE Automatic, 25 Jewel, 28,800 vibrations per hour

Power Reserve: 42 Hour
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Date, Chronograph with Second, 30 Minute & 12 Hours Counters, 24 Hour UTC and World Time Zone
Case: Hardened Stainless Steel
Diameter: 43 mm
Thickness: 16 mm
Caseback: Display Back

Dial: Metal Dial with Nickel Hands
Bezel: Internal Bi-Directional with Global Time Zones

Luminescence: SuperLumiNova C1
Crystal: Domed, Scratch Resistant & Anti-Reflective Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance: 100 Meters
Bracelet: Leather Strap
Certification: COSC Certified Chronometer 

ALT1-Z Zulu
Movement: Calibre 13 1/4″ BE-54AE Automatic, 25 Jewel, 28,800 vibrations per hour

Power Reserve: 42 Hour
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Date, Chronograph with Second, 30 Minute & 12 Hours Counters, 24 Hour UTC and World Time Zone

Case: Hardened Stainless Steel
Diameter: 43 mm
Thickness: 16 mm
Caseback: Display Back

Dial: Metal Dial with Nickel Hands
Bezel: Internal Bi-Directional

Luminescence: SuperLumiNova C1
Crystal: Domed, Scratch Resistant & Anti-Reflective Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance: 100 Meters
Bracelet: Leather Strap, Kevlar Strap or Stainless Steel Bracelet
Certification: COSC Certified Chronometer

Supermarine S500
Movement: Calibre 13 1/4″ BE-36AE Automatic, 25 Jewel, 28,800 vibrations per hour with Anti-Shock Mount

Power Reserve: 38 Hour
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Date & Day

Case: Stainless Steel with Inner Soft-Iron Faraday Cage
Diameter: 43 mm
Caseback: Screw-In Back

Dial: Metal Dial
Bezel: Uni-Directional Rotating Bezel with SuperLumiNova Coating

Luminescence: SuperLumiNov
Crystal: Domed, Scratch Resistant & Anti-Reflective Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance: 500 Meters
Bracelet: Integrated Rubber Strap or Stainless Steel Bracelet
Certification: COSC Certified Chronometer 

MBI
Movement: Calibre 13 1/4″ BE-36AE Automatic, 25 Jewel, 28,800 vibrations per hour with Anti-Shock Mount

Power Reserve: 38 Hour
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Date & Day

Case: Hardened Stainless Steel with Inner Soft-Iron Faraday Cage
Diameter: 43 mm
Caseback: Screw-In Back

Dial: Metal Dial
Bezel: Internal Bi-Directional

Luminescence: SuperLumiNova
Crystal: Domed, Scratch Resistant & Anti-Reflective Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance: 100 Meters
Bracelet: Calf Skin Leather Strap or NATO Military Nylon Strap
Certification: COSC Certified Chronometer
 

U-2
Movement: Calibre 13 1/4″ BE-36AE Automatic, 25 Jewel, 28,800 vibrations per hour with Anti-Shock Mount

Power Reserve: 38 Hour
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Date & Day

Case: Hardened Stainless Steel with Inner Soft-Iron Faraday Cage
Diameter: 43 mm
Caseback: Screw-In Back, Limited Edition has Display Back


Dial: Metal Dial

Bezel: Internal Bi-Directional

Luminescence: SuperLumiNova
Crystal: Domed, Scratch Resistant & Anti-Reflective Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance: 100 Meters
Bracelet: Calf Skin Leather Strap or NATO Military Nylon Strap

Certification: COSC Certified Chronometer

SOLO
Movement: Calibre 13 1/4″ BE-36AE Automatic, 25 Jewel, 28,800 vibrations per hour

Power Reserve: 38 Hour
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds & Date

Case: Hardened Stainless Steel
Diameter: 43 mm
Caseback: Display Back


Dial: Metal Dial with Nickel Hands

Luminescence: SuperLumiNova C3 and BG W9
Crystal: Domed, Scratch Resistant & Anti-Reflective Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance: 100 Meters
Bracelet: Embossed Leather Strap or Titanium Bracelet

Certification: COSC Certified Chronometer

BC-F1
Movement: Calibre 13 1/4″ BE-36AE Automatic, 25 Jewel, 28,800 vibrations per hour

Power Reserve: 38 Hour
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Day & Date

Case: Hardened Stainless Steel
Diameter: 39 mm
Caseback: Display Back


Dial: Metal Dial with Nickel Hands

Luminescence: SuperLumiNova C3

Crystal: Domed, Scratch Resistant & Anti-Reflective Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance: 100 Meters
Bracelet: Embossed Leather or Kevlar Strap or Stainless Steel Bracelet

Certification: COSC Certified Chronometer

BC-S2
Movement: Calibre 13 1/4″ BE-36AE Automatic, 25 Jewel, 28,800 vibrations per hour

Power Reserve: 38 Hour
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Day & Date

Case: Hardened Stainless Steel
Diameter: 43 mm
Caseback: Display Back


Dial: Metal Dial with Nickel Hands

Luminescence: SuperLumiNova C3

Crystal: Domed, Scratch Resistant & Anti-Reflective Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance: 100 Meters
Bracelet: Embossed Leather or Kevlar Strap or Stainless Steel Bracelet

Certification: COSC Certified Chronometer

Photos from Bremont.com.  

Author: Nick Glasnovich

Founder & Executive Editor of TickTickVroom.com.

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