Inside the Bremont x Williams event for the Australian Grand Prix Inside the Bremont x Williams event for the Australian Grand Prix

Inside the Bremont x Williams event for the Australian Grand Prix

Fergus Nash

The Bremont boutique in Melbourne is nestled within the halls of St. Collins Lane, a shopping arcade in the heart of the city centre. Last Thursday, just 2.6 kilometres to the south, thousands of people from mechanics and volunteers to journalists and spectators began to swarm upon Albert Park Lake for the very first day of the 2022 Australian Grand Prix. An F1 Thursday is all about building the tension for the upcoming track sessions, gathering perspective by interviewing the drivers and teams, and letting the world follow the drama through a packed schedule of media content. Watch fans are blessed by the inherent ties between motorsport and timekeeping, and an even smaller crowd was blessed with access to Bremont’s event that celebrated their collaboration with Williams Racing.

Bremont x Williams event

We’ve covered the Bremont WR-22 before — a classic racing chronograph that channels the motoring thrill through electric blue and red highlights. Those colours link to the futuristic Williams livery that’s sported on their current car, although there is some negative superstition associated with red on a Williams.

Alex Albon, a Formula 1 driver returning to the grid after a year on the sidelines, took to the stage to talk about F1, celebrity status and what role watches play in his life. Beyond the heritage connections of motorsport and watches, Bremont and Williams share a number of similarities. Both companies run operations in Oxfordshire, England – a point of pride for their homegrown industries. The fact that Bremont are an aviation-inspired brand also links to Formula 1, in that the lateral forces the drivers withstand on-track are just as extreme as those faced by the pilots who fly supersonic jets.

Bremont x Williams event

Albon also spoke about the complex relationship the drivers hold with the crew behind Netflix’s Drive To Survive. He recognised the benefit of a global TV show bringing more attention and support to the sport, but conceded that this comes at the cost of blatant invasions of privacy. Not only is there stress around being spied on, but the drivers’ personalities are at the mercy of the Netflix editors too. Other drivers like Max Verstappen and Lando Norris have already spoken out about how the show manipulates things to create extra drama, which raises the question of how sustainable the series may be in the long run.

Bremont x Williams event

Overall, the impression from the event was that both industries have a lot of mutual respect. Alex Albon admitted to not previously being a massive watch fan, but the way the technology, engineering and marketing intermingle make it impossible to not have exposure to the watch world as an F1 driver. Albon’s eventual 10th place finish in the race itself was impressive too and certainly would have made Bremont proud.