British watchmaker Bremont has unveiled the latest addition to its aviation-inspired collection, which is also the newest fruits of its partnership with famed British engineering firm Rolls-Royce. The new ionBird watch is a GMT-equipped chronometer celebrating Rolls-Royce’s development of an all-electric plane, the “Spirit of Innovation.” It will make its U.S. debut at the upcoming WatchTime Live virtual collectors’ event on October 22-24. The plane, which is slated to become the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft upon its maiden flight early next year, was cheekily dubbed the “ionBird” during the ground testing phase — a reference to the traditional “Iron Bird” moniker used for all prior ground-test rigs. The name has now found its way to this new Bremont watch, which, while lacking any use of electric power itself, nonetheless recalls the project and one of its crucial stages of development.
Taking a closer look at the new Bremont model, we find a novel and interesting design that nonetheless recalls some of the brand’s popular motifs. The case is 43 mm in diameter, made of titanium, and features Bremont’s now-signature Trip-Tick three-piece construction. It opts for slightly curvy lugs and a 4 o’clock crown with an unusual crown guard that flows from the bottom right lug; both the strap, via the lugs, and the crown guard are secured to the case via hexagonal screws. Moving to the top of the watch we discover a black, bidirectionally rotating 24-hour bezel with a coin edge. The bezel has a red outlined arrow at its top and alternating orange tick marks and Arabic numerals for the hours.
Underneath the domed sapphire crystal, the black dial displays early 20th century-influenced styling paired with modern construction and layering. On the outer edge is a white, curved minute ring, bordering an additional inner railroad-track minute ring punctuated at each hour by applied markers and highly legible, white Arabic numerals closer to the center of the dial; only a subtle date window at the 4:30 position breaks up the symmetry of the layered style. Sweeping over the dial are lume-filled hour and minute hands, with a red lollipop-style pointer for the seconds and a red-arrow-tipped GMT hand to indicate a second time zone.
Inside the new ionBird is Bremont’s BE-93-2AV automatic GMT movement, a chronometer-certified caliber based on the ETA 2893-2. The movement hosts a 42-hour power reserve, which draws its energy from the lightly decorated and Bremont-signed rotor. The movement is visible behind a sapphire caseback, which like the strap to the lugs is secured via hexagonal screws.
The Bremont ionBird is available now directly through the company, with prices ranging from $5,795 (on a brown Nubuck leather strap) to $6,395 (on a triple-link titanium bracelet). Bremont also has plans for a new “alerting” strap to be released at a later date, which will feature app connectivity to assist in aviation time management.
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