Bremont brings large scale watch production back to the UK with the opening of The WingThor Svaboe
Bremont has long been considered Britain’s largest watch brand. Now the founders, Giles and Nick English, are looking to build on that success after opening the doors this week to their much anticipated manufacturing and technology centre, The Wing.
With the Bremont Manufacturing and Technology Centre (AKA The Wing), Bremont are looking set to stretch their lead, after their 19-year quest to increase vertical production on what is already a strong range of hardy tool watches.
Through the shots of photographer Alan Schaller we get the first glimpses of what is a 35,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility at the edge of Henley-on-Thames in South Oxfordshire, to a scale not seen in the UK since the 1960’s.
This facility essentially brings the Bremont mission statement to life: “To make exquisitely engineered mechanical timepieces on British soil with the lofty objective of reinvigorating the nation’s horological past, using our adventurous spirit, passion for detail, desire to innovate and dedication to the highest quality of customer satisfaction.”
Time+Tide has reported at length on the exciting revival of British watchmaking (check out our article series “11 days of Londoners” ) and, personally, I’m a staunch believer in the growing market force of independent brands. We now have encouraging picture of micro and small brands in Britain operating at a scale not seen in decades. The inauguration of The Wing will only serve to underline what is a long-awaited renaissance for the UK as a watchmaking nation. As the single largest manufacturer of watches on British soil, Bremont is sending an important signal to the Swiss valleys, and with a goal of a 20% increase in staff numbers per year, this is merely the beginning of a new chapter.
The Wing is designed by local, award-winning architects Spratley& Partners and has a strong sustainability focus that includes a living roof and a recycled air heating system.
The new facility gives the English (fitting surnames, I know) brothers an end-to-end manufacturing centre for mechanical watches, with CNC machining, finishing and assembly as well as an on-site boutique and entertaining space. The goal of Bremont as it always has been, is a renewed focus on the UK, through increased in-house production of parts without the reliance on a non-domestic supply chain. This is something underlined by Brexit, while in addition, Bremont sees themselves as facilitating an increased need for third party manufacturing in the wider British precision industry.
For those of you not familiar with Bremont, they are well known for their tough tool watches, with an emphasis on exploration and the world of motor racing and aeronautics. Bremont is currently working with partners like Rolls-Royce and Williams F1, and their longstanding partnership with Jaguar can be seen in our article published earlier this week on their limited edition for the 60th Anniversary of the E-Type here.