If you’re not familiar with the name Bremont already, you soon will be. The British watchmaker is steadily making a name for itself both in its home country and abroad, thanks in large part to some well thought out and even better executed partnerships.
The latest comes in the form of their collaboration with world-leading aerospace experts Boeing, officially announced back in February. The stated goal of this new partnership is a simple but ambitious one; develop a new range of mechanical watches that fully explores Boeing’s extraordinary expertise in advanced material technology, whilst at the same time taking full advantage of Bremont’s enviable track record in chronometer manufacture.
Fortunately we didn’t have to wait long to see what that may look like, with Bremont officially unveiling the first two series in this new collection at Baselworld 2014; the Model 1 and the Model 247.
According to the brand the new line is the result of extensive access to the aerospace company’s material and manufacturing technology at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield, UK, as well as to its historical and archival materials. The watches exclusively use Boeing aeroplane materials that have never before been incorporated in watch manufacture, whilst at the same time maintaining the high standard of precision that Bremont has become renowned for.
Intriguing stuff, really, which is why we had to get our hands on the new models to see for ourselves if they lived up to all the hype.
Bremont Boeing – The Model 1
The Model 1 is named after the first aircraft built by Boeing, known as the B&W, and is more or less your basic three-hander. Don’t be fooled by its relatively simple looks however as this timepiece packs a punch.
There are two different case options available, both measuring 43mm in diameter. One version is manufactured from Custom 465® Stainless Steel a double vacuum-melted, age-hardenable alloy that was developed for the aerospace industry for its superior strength, hardness and corrosion resistance.
The second version uses Boeing aviation-grade Ti-64 titanium, a lightweight material that, as you might expect, is incredibly strong. Both models feature the unique Bremont Trip-Tick case construction with integrated crown guard and wear very comfortably on the wrist.
As with all Bremont watches the dial design is clean and easy to read. This is a timepiece that has been designed to be practical and useful on a daily basis and as such all superfluous details have been done away with.
This applies to their collaborators also, which is why don’t see the Boeing name printed prominently across the dial. Instead the references are more subtle; a small Boeing logo at the end of the seconds hand, the use of highlights in Boeing-blue highlights to add just a touch of colour amid the black and white make up.
On the reverse side a sapphire crystal exhibition caseback reveals the beautifully decorated BE-36AE, COSC-certified movement, which is suspended in Boeing blue decorated steel and rubber anti-shock mounts. A Bremont Boeing moulded and skeletonised decorated rotor with name ‘Bremont’ engraved in red completes the look.
Bremont Boeing – The Model 247
As much as I like the look of the Model 1, it’s the Model 247 that has really got me sold. Aesthetically it is almost identical to the Model 1, with the obvious exception that it offers the added functionality of a chronograph.
It features the same sapphire glass bezel, black, white and blue colour scheme and of course the same, hi-tech 43mm case made from your choice of either Custom 465® Stainless Steel or aviation-grade Ti-64 titanium. The Model 247 just looks even cooler, especially the black dial version.
According to Bremont the twin sub-dial design of the chronograph is inspired by the watch’s namesake, the Model 247, the first ever Boeing twin-engine commercial aircraft and as you can see in the pictures, is very easy to read. Again though, this is about the only reference made to Boeing on the dial, and it’s a very subtle one at that. The other one of course is the aforementioned small Boeing logo on the central seconds hand.
I really like this show of restraint and believe it is a smart move by Bremont as it means the watch’s appeal is not limited to those interested specifically in Boeing and/or Aerospace. At the same time they’ve found a way to work in Boeing’s colour scheme, logo and of course materials in a way that reflects the importance of this partnership to both parties.
Turn the watch over and you get a great view of the modified calibre 13 1/4” BE-50AE automatic movement, which, like the movement of the Model 1, is a COSC-certified chronometer. The finishing is not particularly elaborate but it is done to the highest possible standards, making for some nice viewing.
Perhaps my favourite feature common to both models however is the black Seattle Hybrid (leather-polymer composite) strap with contrast blue stitching. Not only does it look and feel great, the strap is extremely comfortable on the wrist.
In my opinion there’s nothing worse than pairing a really well-made watch with a sub-par strap but fortunately Bremont have passed that test with flying colors. Both models also comes with a second NATO military Bremont Boeing nylon strap for those more casual occasions but personally I think I’d stick with the original.
In terms of pricing the Model 1 will run you US$5,450, while the Model 247 is US$6,750. Neither model will be limited production and both should be available by October/November this year.