British watchmaker Bremont has unveiled the second watch to emerge from its five-year partnership with England Rugby as Official Timekeeper. While the new RFU 150 has a somewhat technical-sounding name, it’s actually derived from, and in celebration of, the 150th anniversary of the Rugby Football Union (RFU), the governing body for rugby in England.
The new model follows up last year’s Bremont Rose, the first watch launched under the partnership, and its inspired design was first used by Bremont in the Project Possible Limited Edition, also a heavy-duty GMT watch. And while the RFU 150 differs slightly from that model in its use of a commemorative, solid steel caseback, its incredible 500-meter water resistance and overall design remains otherwise very similar.
The new commemorative timepiece’s 43-mm, stainless-steel case draws its design characteristics from one of Bremont’s sturdiest dive-watch models, the Supermarine 500 — which is noteworthy for boasting a 500-meter water resistance despite being outfitted with a sapphire exhibition caseback. Like the mainstream Supermarine case, it has slightly curved lugs, a stylized crown at 2 o’clock with integrated helium-escape valve, slightly rounded asymmetric crown guards, and a unidirectional ceramic dive bezel, here in the England Rugby colors of dark blue with white and red accents. The case attaches to a steel bracelet with brushed and polished finishes.
A domed, antireflective sapphire crystal covers the two-part, sectored dial with an outer white ring encircling an inner main dial matching the blue color of the bezel. That outer ring displays a 24-hour scale, with Arabic numerals alternating with simpler indexes; a red “24” takes pride of place at the top of the scale, while at the bottom is a reference to “Twickenham,” the name of England Rugby’s home stadium.
The main dial hosts a simple white minute ring, punctuated at each hour with either an applied index or a bold Arabic numeral (the latter at the quarter-hours of 6, 9, and 12). At the 3 o’clock position, a steel-outlined date indicator shares the position with a shortened index. At the center of the dial we find the watch’s various hands, which include an onion-topped hours pointer; a red-tipped, syringe-style minute counter; a lollipop-tipped seconds hand; and a traditional red-arrow-tipped GMT hand. The hands and numerals are all filled with Super-LumiNova.
The aforementioned commemorative caseback is engraved with England Rugby’s signature rose logo and a “150 Year Anniversary” message. Behind that solid covering is Bremont’s modified Caliber 11 1/4’’’ BE-93-2AV, a self-winding movement that beats at 28,800 vph and hosts a 42-hour power reserve.
The Bremont RFU 150 will be available on a non-limited basis; however, as it is being produced specially for England Rugby’s 2021 season, it likely will only be available until the launch of the brand’s third partnership watch sometime in 2022. Bremont has priced the model at $4,995 and is selling it both directly through its website and via authorized dealers.