When you think of watches linked to the military, you’ll most likely recall brands with a rich heritage. You’ll draw back to manufacturers who played a role in the World Wars and subsequently the rise of the wristwatch. On the other hand, you might not consider a young brand like Bremont, who first established in 2002. However, in just a few years, Bremont has become one of the top producers of military timepieces. Their history with the military may only span a short time. Yet, Bremont plays an important role with modern military forces and the future of military timepieces.
Military and Special Projects Division
Perhaps you know Bremont for their signature pilot watches and other collaborative pieces like those with America’s Cup and Jaguar. In fact, Bremont never intended to build a reputation as one of the world’s most prominent purveyors of watches optimized for military forces. However, the brand’s innovations in the field of anti-shock technology led them to make an important connection with Martin Baker. Martin Baker is a famed British manufacturer of ejection seats and other safety-related equipment for professional aviators. Together they developed the MBI exclusively for pilots using Martin Baker seats. Later, they released similar models called the MBII and MBIII to the public. This work led to Bremont’s next military endeavor, their first squadron watch for U2 spy plane pilots. Soon, the brand was becoming highly sought-after by military forces around the globe.
Their work ultimately led to the launch of the brand’s Military and Special Projects division. This special sector of Bremont creates bespoke watches for military personnel and specialized military communities as well as private organization and corporations. They work closely with elite military units from all over the world to develop custom watches to meet their needs. This work has resulted in hundreds of partnerships, reportedly making up an impressive 25% of the brand’s total business. Some standouts include the Royal Navy, U.S. Navy, Royal Australian Navy, former RAF Lightning pilots, the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, and countless more. For nearly a decade, Bremont was rather lock lipped about this facet of their business. Then, in 2019, the brand publically announced a new partnership with the Ministry of Defense. With it came their first line of military watches for the public: the Armed Forces Collection.
Armed Forces Collection
First, it’s crucial to clarify that the Ministry of Defense didn’t commission this latest collection of watches for field use. Instead, they granted Bremont permission and proper licensing to use the iconic signs, symbols, and Heraldic Badges of the country’s Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Airforce in watches for civilian use. The Armed Forces Collection consists of three models, one for each branch. They draw inspiration from the famed “Dirty Dozen” watches commissioned by the Ministry of Defense during WWII.
First, the Argonaut pays homage to the Royal Navy with a super-compressor dive watch design. It comes equipped with an internal rotating bezel operated through the crown. The Broadsword, honoring the British Army, most closely elicits the spirit of the original Dirty Dozen models. It features a no-frills design displaying the time and date, all with easy-to-read lume on the hands and hour markers. Lastly, there’s the Arrow, inspired by the Royal Airforce. This model is the first monopusher chronograph for Bremont. In addition, each watch features an all-new two-piece case made in the UK as opposed to Bremont’s typical Trip-Tick case.
Bremont’s Military Future
With the debut of their first collection of military watches for the public so recently in early 2019, it’s clear Bremont’s military history is still unfolding. The Armed Forces Collection certainly builds anticipation for future military collections for civilians. In addition, it will likely shed more light on the brand’s partnerships though the Military and Special Projects Division. All in all, we can’t wait to see how the story continues to unfold in the coming years.