During the summer and fall of 1940, Britain’s Royal Air Force fought a series of epic aerial conflicts with Nazi Germany’s Luftwaffe in what came to be known as the Battle of Britain. On the occasion of this historical battle’s 80th anniversary, Bremont, the quintessential British pilots’ watch brand, has released a special box set comprising a pair of special-edition watches. Buyers of the set, limited to just 80 pieces, will also receive a very special opportunity to fly in a historical wartime aircraft.
The two watches in the Battle of Britain set pay tribute to the two most legendary historical aircraft that fought in that eponymous conflict, the Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane. The BOB Spitfire is a chronograph-equipped wristwatch whose dial design is based on the Smiths clocks found on the instrument panels of Spitfire planes that fought in the Battle of Britain. The matte black dial’s tricompax arrangement features subdials at 12, 6, and 9 o’clock, a date window at 4 o’clock, and a central GMT hand to indicate a second time zone on the flange’s 24-hour scale.
The Spitfire watch’s 43-mm case, assembled in Bremont’s signature “Trip-Tick” style, is in black DLC-coated stainless steel, with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal over the dial. Super-LumiNova coats the nickel hands, and the chronograph subdial at 12 o’clock for 30 elapsed minutes is designed in the “Time of Trip” style of vintage dashboard clocks and imprinted with “1940.” Adding to the historical references, the watch’s solid caseback is stamped with a rendering of the timepiece’s namesake warplane, the Supermarine Spitfire. behind that commemorative covering is the movement, Caliber BE-54AE, with automatic winding, a 42-hour power reserve, and in the tradition of Bremont’s watches, a COSC chronometer certification. The watch is mounted on a black leather strap with off-white contrast stitching and a black DLC buckle.
The other watch in the set is the BOB Hurricane, a 40-mm stainless steel timepiece paying homage to the iconic single-seat fighter plane by Hawker Aircraft Ltd. Hardened in Bremont’s proprietary process, the steel case has a DLC-coated barrel and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal over the dial, whose simple Arabic numerals, 3 o’clock date window and luminous hands take cues from historical dashboard clocks. Inside, beneath a solid caseback stamped with the image of the Hurricane that fought in the Battle of Britain, beats the Bremont Caliber BE-92AE, another COSC chronometer-certified, self-winding movement, this one with a 38-hour power reserve. The Hurricane is outfitted with a vintage-military-look, brown leather bund strap with contrast stitching and a simple steel pin buckle.
“So much of our lives have revolved around wartime aviation and mechanical devices,” explains Bremont co-founder Nick English. “The Battle of Britain was such an iconic time in British history, and all of the airmen from both sides were superheroes of the day (they still are in Giles and my households). It is the epic story of man and machine, the wonderful celebration of gallantry twinned with technological advance. The fact that we have come up with a beautifully engineered set of timepieces commemorating the battle, and with it comes the unique opportunity to experience the adrenaline and history of flying in a wartime Spitfire, is a totally unique offering in the marketplace. It’s all rather special, really.”
How “special,” compared to other such boxed sets, you may ask? Purchasing one of the 80 Bremont Battle of Britain Box Sets makes the owner eligible for a flight in a Spitfire plane at Duxford in the U.K., included in the price of the set and arranged by Bremont in partnership with the Aircraft Restoration Company. After the owner takes his or her flight, the date of the experience can be engraved into the disk that comes with the watches inside the box. Bremont is offering the entire experience — two special-edition timepieces in a handsome presentation box along with the Spitfire flight — for $18,995.
For more vintage aviation-inspired Bremont timepieces debuting in 2020, click here.