Five Bremont watches to check out in the metalZach Blass
The pandemic has really taken a toll on businesses around the world, with many consumers locked down and unable to visit storefronts in person. In terms of watches, this has proved a real shame as it is always fun to pop into your local boutique and go hands-on with some novelties in the metal. Fortunately, the Bremont Boutique in Melbourne has reopened, which means fans of the brand can once again pop in to visit the British manufacturer and check out their attractive and robust offerings. Obviously, I am located in New York, but I recently visited the Madison Avenue Bremont Boutique to get a closer look at all the watches in store and pick five favourites for you to check out – wherever you are in the world.
Some watch lovers have steered clear of Bremont due to the larger diameters typically found in their catalogue. But now there is no excuse thanks to the new S302 GMT diver, with a scaled back case 40mm in diameter that wears nicely on the wrist. Its matte black tone exudes an almost blue tint under direct light and, paired with the warmth of sage, orange, and red accents, proves a winning combination with a slight vintage bent. A stepped 24 hour scale inner bezel ensures little clutter to the dial while also making the GMT complication very easy to read. A date complication blends into the dial with a white on black disc at 3′.
The case is forged from DLC-treated stainless steel to fight against scratches, and leverages the brand’s robust Trip-Tick® case construction for increased shock resistance. Inside the watch, beneath an engraved caseback, is the modified Bremont BE-93AV chronometer grade automatic caliber with 38 hours of power reserve – based upon the ETA 2893. Price: $5,600 AUD
Bremont MWII Flying Tiger Limited Edition
Designed in collaboration with renowned actor and aviator Michael Wong, the MWII Flying Tiger Limited Edition pays tribute to the first American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force in 1941-1942, nicknamed the Flying Tigers. The matte black dial is clean and legible, with a subtle “MW” nod to the Wong in place of the ninth Arabic hour numeral. The blued hands really catch the eye, and the warmth of the sage accents on the dial evoke a touch of vintage patination. Limited to 500 pieces, the 100 metre water-resistant watch is 43mm in diameter. The Trip-Tick® case is matte brushed black DLC-treated stainless steel, but three barrel options are available at the discretion of the buyer.
The model I tried on had a black barrel, the textured caseband component that has the appearance of guilloche, but it is also available in blue and khaki as well. Beneath the black-tinted glass of the sapphire caseback you’ll find the modified caliber BE-36A, a 38 hour power reserve automatic movement rated to be chronometer grade. Price: $7,500 AUD
Bremont Argonaut Azure
The Argonaut Azure really caught my eye with its blue sunburst dial and orange rubber strap. It’s quite a colourful ensemble and would definitely be a fun and robust diver for summer. It is also part of the Her Majesty’s Armed Forces collection, which takes inspiration from the original “Dirty Dozen” watches commissioned by the British military for World War II. This collection marks the first time civilians can buy Bremont military watches created in collaboration with Britain’s Ministry of Defence.
The 42mm stainless steel diver is water resistant to 300 metres with a inner timing bezel operated by a screw-down crown at 4′, the time and date adjusted by the screw-down crown at 2′. The case is primarily brushed, with mirror polished bevels to the lug and ridged accents of the caseband for added flair. Inside the watch is the chronometer rated, and heavily modified, BE-92AV movement, which I should mention is based on the ETA 2892 caliber but overhauled with a slew of upgraded components for added protection against shock and magnetism. The orange rubber strap is very supple and soft, yet rugged enough to withstand active daily wear. Price: $4,750 AUD
Bremont Supermarine Chrono
If a black/gilt colourway is your jam, with a reverse panda register colour scheme, then you may want to check out the Bremont Supermarine Chrono Black. The watch packs a ton of complications, offering a chronograph, GMT, and calendar complication all in one. The bezel insert is made of ceramic, laser etched with a 24 hour scale that corresponds to the central GMT hand on the matte black dial. Its gilt-toned railroad minutes track is a nice classic touch, and the stepped outer minutes track situated in the inner bezel makes the time all the more legible.
The 43mm stainless-steel watch leverages a more utility-driven brushed finish, with even the five-piece link bracelet entirely brushed on its front. The watch is quite thick at 15.87mm, but the robust chronograph GMT watch is also 200 metres water resistant – so the tank-like build at least backs its size with specs, and to be fair the lugs have a nice camber around the wrist.
Visible beneath an exhibition caseback is the Bremont modified caliber BE-54AE, which I believe to be a heavily upgraded Valjoux 7754 movement. The automatic chronometer movement features 48 hours of power reserve, a Glucydur balance, Anachron hairspring, and Nivaflex mainspring – all of which assist in fighting magnetism and shock. Price: $10,000 AUD
An absolute staple of the catalogue, the Martin Baker II is inspired by the largest supplier of fighter ejection seat technology to the British Military Martin-Baker. The MBI is only available to those individuals who have ejected using a Martin-Baker ejection seat and can be identified quickly by its red aluminium barrel. Fortunately for civilians, however, the MBII is available for purchase and can now be tailor-made utilising the Martin-Baker configurator. Using the configurator, buyers can choose between two case finishes, three dial and nine barrel colour configurations, an exhibition or solid caseback, 11 strap options, and a choice between pin/buckle or a deployant buckle to realise your very own personalised Bremont watch.
Of course the only option off of the table is the signature red barrel of the MBI. I got to try on the pre-configured MBII-BK/Orange with a matte black dial, orange knurled aluminum barrel, and black corder strap with orange stitching and an orange rubber underside known as the ‘Chalgrove’ high-performance bi-material strap – which was really comfortable for the record. The 43mm watch is 100 metres water-resistant with a robust B-EBE2000 hardened stainless-steel case construction. Protecting the BE-36AE automatic chronometer grade caliber inside is an inner soft iron anti-magnetic Faraday cage to protect movement against magnetism and a patented protective anti-shock movement mount for greater stabilisation. MBII-BK/Orange Price: $6,800 AUD