Over the course of its existence, WatchTime New York has become a launch pad for watch brands to introduce new watches to the American market, and the recently concluded 2021 edition of the event was no different. Among its highlights was the first U.S. appearance of the Bremont Longitude, a limited-edition trio of watches from the British watchmaker paying tribute to the storied history of global timekeeping in Britain, and also, significantly, the first Bremont watches to be produced at its new, 35,000 square-foot manufacture outside London — including its movement, the new Caliber ENG376.
The launch of the new design comes on the heels of plenty other notable releases from Bremont this year, including the all-purpose Supermarine Chrono and Supermarine S302 GMT Diver watches, the lightweight MB Savanna, and the latest watch to emerge from Bremont’s England Rugby partnership, the RFU 150 GMT Diver.
The Longitude, like several other of the British watchmaker’s models, was produced in partnership with Royal Museums Greenwich, the modern recorder of the historic Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London, from which GMT time, and later global time zones, were first conceptualized and implemented. Recalling the watershed timekeeping work of the observatory — much of which was based on global locations largely derived from longitudinal positions — Bremont not only named its watch the Longitude, but also added various motifs to it that evoke Britain’s historically significant horological contributions.
The three models are cased in steel, rose gold or white gold, and feature a variety of differing accent and dials colors. In silhouette, the cases resemble other variations of Bremont’s increasingly recognizable style, complete with large rounded lugs and a stepped-style, multi-piece case construction dubbed Trip-Tick. The case wears comfortably but slightly large on the wrist at 40 mm by 49 mm in dimension, with a thickness of 12.5 mm. It features a screw-down onion crown that recalls those seen on vintage pocketwatches. However, despite sharing this element, the gold versions of the Longitude are only capable of a 50-meter water resistance while the steel models offer a somewhat hardier 100-meter water resistance.
Scanning the dial under the sapphire crystal, we come to the first explicit motif on the Longitude, namely a raised central globe debossed with the watch’s namesake longitude lines. A meridian line in red runs from the 12 to 6 o’clock positions, adding a touch of color and meeting up with a color-matched ball-shaped power reserve indicator that turns from white to red when fully charged. The indicator is another nod to timekeeping history, recalling the red ball hoisted atop the Royal Observatory of Greenwich at 1:00 pm each day to help set Standard Time across the region and world since 1833.
Aside from its various symbolic elements, the dial is plenty appealing on its own, with a contrasting outer minute ring, applied and lume-filled markers at most positions, broken up only at 3 o’clock by a big date display and then again, in parallel, at 9 o’clock with an indented subdial for the running seconds. A pair of vintage-influenced, nickel-plated hands sweep over the face to display the hours and minutes.
For a watch already steeped in intrigue by its aesthetic inspiration, its most significant aspect lies within: the new Bremont Caliber ENG376, the first variation of the caliber ENG300 (below) announced in mid-October 2021 and hailed as Bremont’s first movement assembled and largely manufactured at its The Wing, its manufacturing facility in Henley-on-Thames, U.K. While developed with Swiss know-how derived from an exclusive partnership with mechanical expert THE+, Bremont has taken the original base caliber K1 and upgraded it, re-engineering 80 percent of it, and also developing the domestic manufacturing capabilities to produce the movement within the new facility.
The automatic ENG376 features a silicon escapement, a custom balance bridge, and a tungsten rotor recalling the industrial style at Bremont’s new manufacture, and like the base ENG300 features an impressive 65-hour power reserve and chronometer accuracy. Setting the ENG376 apart from the standard 300 is its use of original brass from the historic Flamsteed Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, London, which forms a ring along the caseback and is engraved with the serial and edition number of the timepiece. This subtle element serves as the final motif recalling historic British horological prestige.
The Bremont Longitude will be available for purchase globally in early December, with the steel edition limited to 150 pieces and priced at $16,995, and the rose-gold and white-gold versions, limited to 75 pieces, marked at $23,995 and $24,995, respectively. A portion of each sale will benefit Royal Museums Greenwich, Bremont’s partner for the limited-edition, commemorative launch.
To learn more, visit Bremont, here.