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The Past and Future of Aviation Watches: Bremont Releases Two New ALT1 Chronographs


Earlier this month, British-based Bremont unveiled its Project Possible Limited Edition — an impressive new GMT diver commemorating Nirmal “Nims” Purja’s conquest of the world’s 14 highest peaks in just 7 months,  and the first model in the brand’s line-up to use bronze components. While this watch has drawn the lion’s share of buzz, Bremont had no plans for it to be the brand’s only new release in 2020. Today we’ll be taking a look at the two new pilots’ chronographs that accompanied this significant release: the ALT1-C Griffon and ALT1-P2 Jet — two new members of the ALT1 design family, one looking to the past of aviation, the other peering into its future.

First looking at the ALT1-C Griffon, we find a watch that takes its inspiration from Bremont’s past, or more specifically from Bremont’s founders Nick and Giles English’s father’s past, as a pilot for Britain’s RAF flying PR Mk XIX planes. This aircraft was the last of the specialized photo-reconnaissance variants of the famous Spitfire plane from WWII, and one of the few to use the Griffon engine for which this watch is named. This new ALT1-C comes as a follow-up to the brand’s original ALT1-C Cream model first released in 2007, a commonly riffed-upon design in Bremont’s toolbox; the most recent version was a commemorative model released in partnership with England Rugby.

The new ALT1-C Griffon has a 43-mm brushed steel case with rounded lugs and stepped chronograph pushers, as well as an enlarged crown and flat bezel. On the watch’s black dial we find a banked outer minute ring, marked at each 5-minute mark with an Arabic numeral recalling those used on vintage aircraft instruments. A secondary minute ring inside that one is punctuated with faux-patina Arabic numerals at each hour. At the 3 o’clock position is a 30-minute chronograph counter;  opposite it at 9’clock is a running seconds subdial. Toward the bottom of the dial is a subtle date window, while a printed Bremont logo sits below the 12 o’clock position. Passing over the dial are two straight sword hands for the hour and minute, while a red-tipped counter is used to count the chronograph seconds.

Inside the ALT1-C Griffon is the Bremont Caliber 13 1/4” BE-50AE — a heavily modified ETA 2836-2 that is COSC chronometer-certified and capable of a 38-hour power reserve. The movement, with its skeletonized rotor, is visible through a sapphire caseback secured by five screws. The watch will be available later this year, directly through Bremont and authorized retailers, priced at $6,695 on a leather Strap and at $7,295 on a steel bracelet.

Turning our attention to the ALT1-P2 Jet, we find a watch that looks toward the future of aviation. The new model, which takes its primary design elements from the original ALT1-P, was produced in collaboration with Gravity Industries, a British company best known for its futuristic Gravity Jet Suit, a real-life jet pack which uses several miniature jet engines to allow its user to achieve sustained vertical flight. The watch’s primary focus is on legibility, featuring a hardened DLC case and black dial, contrasting with the luminous-filled cream dial accents to offer advanced readability alongside its overall stealthy aesthetic.

Like the ALT1-C Griffon, the new ALT1-P2 Jet features a 43-mm steel case and all the familiar ALT1 case elements inlcuded rounded lugs, stepped pushers, and a large crown. On the dial is another a banked outer minute ring, here with a red-accented triangle at the top of the scale, while the simpler minute ring it borders is marked at each hour with a square accent and a large Arabic numeral. Running seconds are at 9 o’clock and the 30-minute counter for the chronograph is at 3 o’clock. The tricompax ALT1-P2 Jet, as opposed to the bicompax Griffon, offers an additional chronograph display at 6 o’clock, for 12 chronograph hours. The date window on this model is positioned at 4:30. Indicating the hour and minute are two traditional pilot-style sword hands, while a red-tipped lollipop hand counts up the chronograph seconds.

The ALT1-P2 Jet contains the Bremont Caliber 13 ¼”’ BE-53AE, which uses an ETA 7753 as its base. This automatic movement also features black DLC finishes, alongside a chronometer certification, a skeletonized rotor, and a 42-hour power reserve. The ALT1-P2 JET will be available for $5,595 on a leather strap, and for $6,195 on a steel bracelet. Like its sibling, it will be available later this year.

To learn more about these models and place an early deposit to gain first access, you can visit Bremont’s website, here.

3 Responses to “The Past and Future of Aviation Watches: Bremont Releases Two New ALT1 Chronographs”

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  1. John Blazys

    Good articles on this topic and also watch bands. What’s your opinion of the webbed material bands? I believe called pelton. I can’t think of the exact name

    Reply
  2. Albert Kotze

    The design department at Bremont employs some very talented people. The rest is pure nonsense.

    Reply
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