As long as the internet and watch enthusiasts exist, there will be arguments about what the first watch on Mount Everest was. But rather than discussing semantic possibilities of the interpretation of 60-year-old advertisements, we wanted to look at a selection of Mount Everest watches (not just which was first). Smiths de Luxe The source of much argument and marketing budget, the Smiths de Luxe was taken to the summit of Mount Everest. The dispute lies in whether the watch was worn on the wrist or kept in a pocket, but, regardless, it was carried in some fashion to the highest point on earth. The watch in question now lies in the London museum of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers. Rolex Oyster Perpetual Chronometer Rolex were a sponsor of the 1953 expedition to the top of Mount Everest, with each member of the group loaned one of a batch of prototypes to wear. These watches were offered with the expectation of their return upon completion of the attempt, to allow Rolex to test how the watches were affected by the altitude. The watch now resides in the Beyer Clock and Watch Museum in Zürich, Switzerland, after being provided… Read More
The upstart British brand has been producing aviation inspired timepieces since 2002.
When Bremont burst onto the scene more than 10 years ago they were disruptive outsiders in a staid and often slow-moving industry. Since that time, the brand has gone from strength to strength — something that's reflected in the solid, no-nonsense watches they make. And the Bremont 2019 collection is no exception, as we found out from co-founder Nick English … Bremont S300 White "It stemmed from the Supermarine … and the 300 is the 40mm version of that. We've come up with a white dial with a blue ceramic polished bezel, which is very, very lovely." Bremont MBIII 10th Anniversary "A white-dial GMT that has an amazing story attached. [Martin-Baker] make 75 per cent of the Western world's fighter ejection seats … for us it was amazing because it allowed us to put these watches through some incredible environmental testing." Bremont HMAF Broadsword "The British Ministry of Defence approached us and said, 'Would you like to work with us?' … the first one is called the Broadsword, and it's a tribute to the Dirty Dozen watches." Bremont HMAF Arrow "The Arrow is a monopusher chronograph; it's 42mm. I think it's got a simple but lovely face." Bremont HMAF Argonaut… Read More
Rodger Corser looks familiar, right? That's because he's one of Australia's most enduring and endearing actors. You'll find him fighting zombies in Glitch, chasing gangsters in Underbelly and stitching up wounds in Doctor Doctor. In the new season of the popular show, you may note a certain black and stealthy companion on his wrist: The Bremont U-2/51-JET. It complements a (pleasingly intergenerational) collection that we've explored previously in part in these videos. Rodger's new fascination is UK-based brand Bremont. The fit is obvious. The brand has acting pedigree, with Bremont gracing the wrist of Tom Hardy, Colin Firth, Matthew McConaughey and more. It has authenticity, with a quarter of sales going to the armed forces, who demand a superior level of reliability. And it has an honesty via a rugged build and masculine aesthetic that appeals to the Aussie sensibility. We asked Rodger to review the U-2/51-JET over an eventful week in his life — the one in which he was nominated for a Gold Logie, Australia's answer to the Emmys. I first heard about Bremont when … I was spending far too many hours on sites like yours! I found their story interesting for a new watch brand. From what I can… Read More
Brand ambassadors are an indelible part of the watch landscape. Fundamentally, an ambassador is someone — typically with a profile — who has a relationship with a watch brand, and endorses them. That's the broad brush stroke picture, but the reality is much more diverse. An ambassador could be a Hollywood A-lister who wore a watch for the billboard photoshoot and a contractually mandated number of public appearances, never to be seen again. Or it could be something much more targeted, where the relationship is less about getting the watch in front of the largest number of eyeballs but rather the right eyeballs. Bremont's relationship with Nirmal 'Nims' Purja is an example of the latter. You'd struggle to find a man who embodies the value and mythos of Bremont more than Nirmal Purja. The 35-year-old was the first Gurkha to join the elite Special Boat Service. These days, Nims is spending more time at altitude than at sea, as he's now a record-breaking speed climber, who earlier this year embarked on Project Possible — aiming to climb 14 of the world's highest peaks (all 8000+ metres) in a single season, or seven months (the previous record is seven years). And of… Read More
I distinctly remember the first time my interest was piqued in Bremont. Until then, I'd seen the brand around, but not been attracted to what appeared to be pretty plum conservative designs. I'd noticed the watch in Kingsman: The Secret Service and thought it was a clever, jolly appropriate spot for such a British brand, but again I hadn't particularly warmed to the look of it – and without the ability to blow up enemies with it in real life, had no pressing urge to learn more. But then, in a meeting with an Australian distributor, a conversation took a twist. He had a swollen black eye. "What happened to your face, Leon, are you ok?" I asked. Leon launched into a story about standing on a stool to do something in his back room. About falling and landing on a tiled floor. "But the real miracle," he said, "is that I actually landed on my wrist first and this is all that happened to my watch!" He proffered his wrist. On it was a Martin-Baker III on bracelet, and I inspected it closely – some marks on the bezel, a mini-bear claw swipe of scratches on the bracelet, but very… Read More
It's been a minute or two since we've been treated to an automotive limited edition from the English chaps at Bremont. And can I just say, it's been worth the wait. Today we've been treated to the latest chapter in their partnership with Jaguar (the first Bremont X Jag watch appeared in 2014), and this time around we've got a winsome chronograph that's a wrist-borne celebration of the mighty D-Type. The Jaguar D-Type first rolled out of their Coventry factory in 1955. Jaguar planned to make 100 of these distinctive 6-cylinder racers, but only got around to constructing 75. Until now. It might have taken them a while, but Jaguar are, through their Classic Workshop, constructing the final 25 — period correct — cars. If limited garage space is an issue, the Bremont Jaguar D-Type is perhaps the next best thing. A solid (as you'd expect from the brand) 43mm chronograph, featuring that Trip-Tick case design, and a bi-compax layout in a blue dial (inspired by the colours of the Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar race team) looks the part. Speedy, but subtle. This is not a limited editon (of 300 btw) that screams 'car-tie-in', and that's a good thing. But the… Read More
In a watch that was — surprisingly — not shown to media at the brand's recent townhouse events, Bremont has added to their 'tested beyond endurance' tagline with a new strap option for their Supermarine family. Details around the strap are scarce, but the press release describes how, in the event of a marine mishap, a simple pull of a ripcord causes the rubber strap to inflate, like a life cuff, improving your buoyancy, and the chances of the watch surviving the mishap unharmed. No official word on who Bremont worked with in the development of this technology, but given the brand's close working relationship with a range of aviation partners, I have no doubt they're well connected in the marine safety sector. However, I suspect that the technology is proprietary to Bremont. Also unclear is whether this innovative strap will be offered on other timepieces, or for purchase separately. For one, I would love to see this offered across their marine releases.
Walking into Bremont's brand new Melbourne boutique, it doesn't take long to work out the brand's military and aviation connection. If the spartan style of the watches didn't give the game away, the pictures of planes on the walls, the hanging model biplane, and the actual, very battered looking ejection seat sitting front-and-centre kind of give it away. Not that all those fine details were too easy to spot last night, as the space was packed with people who either loved the brand or were keen to find out more. And amongst the brand's most die-hard fans are the people who actually fly, and live the brand image, many of them military pilots. From the earliest days of the brand, Bremont has had a strong involvement with the military, doing custom pieces for members of the armed forces. These were the uber-cool, ultra-rare watches I tracked down last night and, boy, did I spot some good ones. Bremont's tagline is 'tested beyond endurance', and this watch proves the point. It was made for a RAAF EA-18G Growler — an advanced electronic warfare fighter — that took part in exercises with the US Air Force in Nevada. Except this plane didn't make it… Read More