Earlier this week, Bremont hosted its 2019 Bremont Townhouse event in New York City where we received the opportunity to view and handle the British brand’s latest novelties. (We also hosted a collectors’ dinner earlier in the week at Watches of Switzerland with Bremont Co-founder Giles English) The centerpiece of Bremont’s 2019 offerings is the so-called Armed Forces Collection, a trilogy of new models that were developed in partnership with the British Ministry of Defence. The watches, which take their inspiration from the famous “Dirty Dozen,” a series of watches commissioned by the British Army during World War II, represent the first Bremont Military timepieces available for purchase by civilians. They are also the only watches authorized by the MoD to bear the heraldic badges of all three of Britain’s military services, the Army, Royal Navy, and Royal Air Force (RAF). These badges are stamped on the solid casebacks of all three models, whose two-part cases are made of hardened steel, though not in the familiar ‘Trip-Tick” configuration of more expensive Bremont watches.
Like the original “Dirty Dozen” watches that were issued to military personnel of the time, the Bremont Armed Forces pieces meet a specific set of criteria for usage in the field, including water resistance, luminous markings on the dials, and chronometer-certified timekeeping accuracy. Like the rest of Bremont’s output, they are produced at the company’s ever-expanding manufacturing facility in Henley-on-Thames, outside of London.
The Bremont Broadsword, the model that most directly references the look of the Dirty Dozen watches, is a two-handed field watch with a date at 3 o’clock and a small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock. The black dial hosts white Arabic numerals and hands filled with custom mint-colored Super-LumiNova. Inside the 40-mm case is Bremont’s BE-95-2AV movement, which is chronometer-certified by COSC and carries a 38-hour power reserve. The Broadsword comes on a khaki green sailcloth strap. Price: $3,445
The Bremont Arrow, also in a 42-mm case, is the pilot’s chronograph of the new collection, powered by the chronometer-rated, automatic BE-51AE movement. Operated by a monopusher at 2 o’clock, this aviator-inspired timepiece features a central red-arrow-tipped chronograph seconds hand, a date window at 6 o’clock, and subdials at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock for 30 elapsed chronograph minutes and for running seconds, respectively. The matte black dial has mint-colored Super-LumiNova details. This watch’s strap is in RAF-style blue sailcloth. Price: $4,745
Doing dive-watch duty is the third new model, the Bremont Argonaut, which draws its name from the sailors of Greek mythology. Its 42-mm, 300-meter-water-resistant case is equipped with an internal, unidirectional rotating bezel operated by a crown at 4 o’clock, of the type used on vintage “compressor”-style divers’ watches. The self-winding BE-92AV caliber inside powers the three-handed timekeeping display as well as a date window at 3 o’clock. As the minutes hand is the most important indicator for a military diver, it has been emphasized by bright orange coloring. Mint-green Super-LumiNova on the hands and numerals also aid in underwater legibility. The Argonaut is mounted on a navy blue sailcloth strap. Price: $3,695
Moving on to the other new watches, the Bremont Supermarine S300 White shares a lot of technical similarities with previous S300 models. The dimensions remain the same at 40 mm x 13 mm, as does the BE-92AE chronometer-grade caliber with a 38-hour power reserve. The stainless-steel case features Bremont’s proprietary Trip-Tick construction. Water resistance is specced to 300 meters thanks, in part, to the screw-in caseback that features an engraving of the Supermarine Spitfire aircraft in relief, a nod to Bremont’s focus on aviation history. The sapphire crystal is domed and has gone through an anti-reflective treatment. There’s a color-matching date aperture at 3 o’clock. The numerals and indexes are coated in Super-LumiNova, as are the nickel-satin hands.
What makes the Supermarine S300 White different than previous iterations is primarily due to its painted white dial color that is complemented by a dark blue ceramic bezel. Following the Supermarine Waterman unveiled last summer in the S500 series, this is the first light-colored dial seen inside the S300 series. While dive watches with white dials aren’t necessarily uncommon, they are far less popular than black, gray, or blue dials. Offering up a lighter-toned option makes sense and serves as a nice contrast to the rest of the S300 series. Matching the overall wearability of the S300 line, the new colorway should appeal to those interested in dive watches as daily wearers compared to those looking at them as a professional investment. The Bremont Supermarine S300 White is priced in line with previous S300 entries at $4,095 and comes on a blue Temple Island rubber strap and an additional blue and white striped NATO strap (lug-to-lug is 20 mm).
The new S300 isn’t the only new dive watch on the menu. Bremont has also updated the Supermarine S2000, its most potent diver that was originally released in 2013. It boasts a water resistance rating of up to 2,000 meters and has a larger case diameter compared to the S300 at 45 mm. The S2000 is built using Bremont’s unique Trip-Tick three-piece case construction in hardened stainless steel. As with the 2013 model, extensive testing in the UK by Bremont led to the design and construction of the shock-resistant movement mount to help protect the watch from shocks. The movement is housed inside an antimagnetic faraday cage to protect the balance, balance spring and escapement from any effects of magnetism. The model features a helium escape valve and a crown protector has been built onto the side of the case. What’s new this year is the colorways, which feature either yellow or red accents on the bezel and dial, and an engraving on the caseback which features a submarine screw in relief.
The new Supermarine S2000 models are priced at $5,595 on a rubber strap and $5,995 on a bracelet.
The final new addition to the Bremont collection in 2019 (so far) is a celebratory timepiece that commemorates 10 years of the partnership between Bremont and ejection-seat specialists Martin-Baker. Bremont first started working with Martin-Baker all the way back in 2007 when the British manufacturer approached the watch brand to create a watch that could pass the same rigorous testing that the ejection seats themselves go through. It took two years of R&D work before the first Bremont/Martin-Baker timepiece was officially released and it was reserved for pilots who have been ejected from an airplane that uses a Martin-Baker seat (who else remembers this clip of Jimmy Fallon presenting his veteran father with an MBI timepiece in 2015?). Following the original MBI, the MBII and MBIII were released for civilian use and have become some of Bremont’s most recognizable timepieces.
This year, Bremont is releasing an anniversary GMT timepiece that combines all the traits that have made the collaboration a success so far. The Bremont MBIII 10th Anniversary model features a 48-click, inner-rotating bezel that uses the brand’s proprietary Roto-Click construction. Martin-Baker references abound throughout the watch with the white dial featuring an ejection danger triangle logo at 6 o’clock, and the caseback features an etching of an MK16 seat from an F-35 fighter jet. The stainless steel 43mm case, built by Bremont at its Henley-on-Thames facility, is enhanced via the knurled titanium middle. It’s priced at $5,584.
In other Bremont news, the brand announced that it would no longer be seeking chronometer status for its watches via Switzerland’s COSC standard; instead, all Bremont timepieces will be chronometer-rated to the ISO 3159 standard.
This article was written by Mark Bernardo and Logan R. Baker.