Bremont — the independent watch brand that’s bringing watchmaking back to Britain, and British aviation history into watchmaking — brings its latest limited-edition timepiece to U.S. audience for the first time at this weekend’s WatchTime New York event. Read on for more details about the Bremont 1918 Limited Edition, along with some live photos.
The watch was designed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the British Royal Air Force (RAF), the world’s oldest independent air force and an institution with whom the brand’s aviation-enthusiast founders, brothers Nick and Giles English, have long held close ties. The dial design incorporates features from traditional RAF sector clocks and includes, for the first time in a Bremont watch, an AM/PM indicator. The latter display, in a moon-phase-like aperture at 6 o’clock, depicts day and night by means of two air-battle scenes from history: the Supermarine Spitfire in a daytime dogfight during the Battle of Britain and an Avro Lancaster bomber on a nighttime search mission. Another first for Bremont: the use of a telemeter scale around the dial’s periphery, a feature that allows the wearer to approximately measure the distance to an event that can be seen and heard, such as a lightning bolt or torpedo strike.
Even more historical inspiration can be found when one turns the watch over, and spies through the sapphire caseback the automatic, chronometer-certified Bremont Caliber BE-16AE and its very special, propellor-shaped rotor. Like other Bremont historical limited editions with historical themes — such as the Codebreaker and the Victory — the 1918’s movement incorporates actual antique materials. Here, it’s an unprecedented four historic aircraft that fought with the RAF during both World Wars, all inserted into the rotor. In the center, and representing World War I, is a veneer of original wood from the Shuttleworth SE5a, a biplane that flew for the RAF in 1918. Each of the rotor’s three propellor blades are made from aluminum skin material from one of three World War II aircraft, two of which fought in the Battle of Britain: the Supermarine Spitfire, Bristol Blenheim, and Hawker Hurricane. The movement, which has a power reserve of 42 hours, is equipped with a GMT function and a chronograph in addition to the timekeeping the date, and the day/night indicator.
The Bremont 1918 Limited Edition comes in three versions, all with 43-mm cases in Bremont’s modular “Trip-Tick” construction: 275 pieces with stainless steel case and white dial, 75 in white gold with two-tone blue dial, and 75 in rose gold with black dial.