Bremont Codebreaker

Bremont Codebreaker Limited Edition 2013


by Matthew Boston
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Bremont is a brand known for their aviation and military associations and the extreme conditions their mechanical movements are able to withstand. Their latest limited edition piece from the British watchmakers is called the Codebreaker, it is their first flyback chronograph and takes design cues from 1940′s officer’s watches.

Bremont Codebreaker

Bremont Codebreaker

Like limited edition watches before this Bremont also is a tribute to famous military history using actual material sourced from historical items related to the concept. For example the previous limited edition model the Victory used original parts of the HMS Victory.

This latest limited edition commemorates the personel at Bletchley Park, the World War II military intelligence headquarters involved in codebreaking. Bletchley Park was the site of the United Kingdom’s main decryption establishment during the Second World War and they significantly helped to hasten the end of the war by unlocking the secrets of the German Enigma and Lorenz machines.

Bletchley Park - World War II Military Intelligence Headquarters

Bletchley Park – World War II Military Intelligence Headquarters

Some of the proceeds from the sales of the Bremont Codebreaker watch will be donated to the continued restoration and preservation of Bletchley Park.

Bremont Codebreaker – Case and Dial

Like most Bremont watches the Codebreaker measures 43 mm in diameter, it comes in either hardened steel or rose gold. Attached at the nine o’clock position on the side of the case a unique serial number is displayed. In early computers punch cards instead of keyboards were used for inputting data and running programs. Bremont acquired five of these cards and the numbers from them to indicate the edition number of the watch thereby including a piece of code breaking history from World War II.

Bremont Codebreaker - Dial

Bremont Codebreaker – Dial

The codebreaker is a limited edition of 240 units in steel and 50 in rose gold. The crown of the Bremont Codebreaker watch also incorporates material from components salvaged from Bletchley Park, in this case using wood from a building called Hut 6. Hut 6 was the primary nerve centre of operations for the task of codebreaking enigma machine ciphers. Its wood from the floorboards of this hut that was used and inlaid into the Codebreaker’s crown.

Bremont Codebreaker - Crown

Bremont Codebreaker – Crown

Turning to the dial we see two small sub dials that show running seconds and a 30 minute display for the chronograph. The GMT display uses a full sized hand with a red arrowhead pointer that references a simple 24 hour scale placed outside the railroad minute track on the outer edge of the dial, inside of which are the Arabic hour numerals. There is a date display at six .

Bremont Codebreaker – Movement

The Bremont Codebreaker is powered by Bremont calibre BE-83AR which has 39 jewels and a power reserve of 46 hours . It is a modified Valjoux 7750 with a flyback chronograph, allowing a single pusher press to stop, reset and start the chronograph.

Bremont Codebreaker - Caseback

Bremont Codebreaker – Caseback

Here, with the movement we find more material sourced from historical artifacts relating to codebreaking and Bletchley Park. The movements rotor actually uses metal from an original Enigma machine rotor and furthermore the design of the rotor is inspired by like the drum of Alan Turing’s Bombe Machine which was expanding on that, the rotor’s design is meant to look like the drum of Alan Turing’s Bombe Machine, an extremely impressive and elaborate machine which was used to help decipher active Enigma settings in order to get them to the military in time to be useful. The rotor also aptly has a coded message on it.

Bremont Codebreaker – Conclusion and Price

Some people will really appreciate the concept behind these limited editions by Bremont while others may see it as just a gimmick, whatever you feel about them though you have to admire their technical qualities and the attention to detail that has gone into them in order to realize the historical concept behind them. By incorporating actual historical artifacts into these limited editions such as this their latest the Codebreaker its collectibility can only increase.

The level of these limited edition historical watches has been raised a bit more with the introduction of the Bremont Codebreaker watch. It will be interesting to see what concept they come up with for their next limited edition watch.

The retail price for the steel version of the Bremont Codebreaker is $18,500 and $33,995 for the rose gold model.

Bremont Codebreaker -Technical Features

Movement:

  • BE-83AR Flyback chronograph.
  • Diameter 13 1/4″,
  • Height 7.90mm,
  • 39 Jewels,
  • Three-legged Glucydur balance with Nivarox 1 mainspring 28,800 bph.
  • Incabloc shock protection and 46 hour power reserve.
  • Perlage and blued screwed decoration with hand crafted stainless steel and Bombe rotor.

Functions: 

  • Sweep hours
  • Minutes
  • Sweep Flyback chronograph seconds
  • 30-minute chronograph counter and 60 second hand counter,
  • GMT second time zone
  • Date.

Crown: Crown engraved with pinewood from Hut 6, Bletchley Park.
Dial: Etched metal dial and treated brass hands, London on the dial.
Crystal: Domed anti-reflective, scratch resistant sapphire crystal.
Water Resistance:Water resistant to 10ATM, 100 metres.
Strap: Classic style leather strap.

CASE: Hardened stainless steel or 18 carat rose gold Bremont Trip Tick case construction with treated inner barrel with punch card limited edition number (material from Bletchley park). Case diameter 43mm, lug width 22mm and case thickness 15mm.

CASE BACK: Hardened stainless steel or 18 carat rose gold case back with integrated hand etched sapphire crystal. Automatic rotor inspired by the Bombe machine incorporating parts of an original German Enigma rotor.

More resources about the Bremont Codebreaker availble on Hodinkee, Forbes, and WatchTime.

    Author Bio

    Articles by Matthew Boston

    CONTRIBUTOR

    Matthew Boston has worked in the computer graphics industry for 17 years in various parts of the world, currently residing back home in the UK. His interest in watches was first piqued as a youngster when he was fascinated by a Seiko digital watch he received. He's also founder of UniqueWatchGuide which is dedicated to sharing the news about timepieces that are unusual, unconventional and more often than not unobtainable.