Tinkering is a part of Bremont’s heritage.
It’s funny to talk about heritage for a luxury watch brand started in 2007, but when compared to Swiss match manufactures who have hundred-year histories, Bremont is still in its untested infancy. But, for a brand that’s only been around for a little over a decade, Bremont has definitely made a name for itself as a maker of modern aviation watches.
Nick and Giles English, brothers and Bremont co-founders, were inspired to start making watches after suffering personal tragedy. In 1995, their father Euan died when the 1942 Harvard WWII aircraft he and Nick were flying crashed while practicing for an air show. Nick survived with 30 broken bones, and it was after his recovery that the brothers decided to dedicate their lives to “crafting beautifully engineered mechanical devices.”
This pursuit was informed by a childhood spent in their father’s workshop, helping him build aircraft, restore cars, and even repair old clocks to working condition. A healthy foundation of tinkering paired their father’s infectious enthusiasm for flying (Euan English was an ex-RAF pilot with a Ph.D. in Aeronautical Engineering) and adventure is all echoed in Bremont’s timepiece offerings.
Pilot watches are the bread and butter of Bremont’s line-up, which is no surprise considering Nick and Giles’ aviation background. From the ALT1 to the SOLO to the SuperMarine, the pilot watch is part of the brand’s DNA.
The ALT1 collection is the main chronograph offering, which has seen several iterations but maintains its distinct Bremont style: the wide, flat bezel and clean dial layout. It’s the quintessential pilot’s watch, able to go from a military, utilitarian look to something more classic and traditional. It’s no wonder the ALT1 is the core of Bremont’s collection.
The SOLO is a simple hour-minute watch with a date function, inspired by classic pilot watches of the 1940s, as seen in the subtle Flieger details on the dial and bezel. The SOLO family also has a range of women’s watches, modestly sized at 32mm and free of the typical feminine details such as excess diamonds or flowery accents.
Bremont’s dive watch, the Supermarine, is still informed by the brand’s aviation roots, while still meeting all the criteria of a specialized diving tool: super luminosity, anti-shock movement, guaranteed water resistance up to 2000m, and a helium escape valve.
One thing consistent among all Bremont watches is their rugged build. These are watches that have been to the top of Mount Everest and through the South Pole. You can bet that they’re built to last, which is a key part of Nick and Giles’ design-mindedness—they’re constantly finding more rigorous testing methods to make sure Bremont watches are up to snuff.
Bringing Watchmaking Back to British Shores
What’s possibly the most obvious thing about Bremont is that it’s not a Swiss luxury watch brand—in fact, it proudly touts its somewhat outsider status, hoping to be at the forefront of a revival in British watchmaking (which some years ago had a sizable share of the industry). This investment in manufacturing is apparent in their headquarters at Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire and their facility in Silverstone that produces case and movement components.
This commitment to Bremont’s British-ness is also obvious in its partnerships with other notable British brands like Jaguar and Martin-Baker, the famed military ejection seat manufacturer. But Bremont’s partnerships aren’t limited; they’ve got Boeing on their roster, as well as the America’s Cup Oracle USA team (see some photos of our time spent at the recent race in Portsmouth with Bremont here). While none the watches produced for these partners don’t share a lot in looks, their design is still very much Bremont—able to withstand anything you could throw at it.
We’ve had the pleasure of spending some time with Nick and Giles, and personally admire everything they’re trying to accomplish in terms of placing themselves in the middle of an industry that’s squarely traditional, traditionally Swiss, and controlled by large luxury companies. The brothers have plenty of stories to tell, and we look forward to seeing where the future takes them.