Bremont was founded in 2002 by brothers Nick and Giles English. An English watchmaking company, Bremont combines the love of flying with a passion for precise timepieces. Determined to be a leader in the horology industry, Bremont watches are known for their precision and durability, proving to be the watch of choice for many in the aviation industry.
What is it that sets Bremont watches apart from other pilot watches?
There are some lovely pilot watches out there in the market place. I think the main thing that differentiates Bremont from other brands in this sector is our genuine enthusiasm for and understanding of aviation in general. We are firm believers that if the form is right the function will follow – similar to the way so many iconic aircraft in the past we not only beautiful but immensely effective. Bremont is not about fashion or latest trends, it is about producing a beautifully engineered British timepiece which will pass the test of time. Bremont is inspired by wonderful engineering and this is very clear from the watches we produce from our workshops in the UK, but also from our aviation partners like Boeing and the ejection seat pioneeer, Martin-Baker.
You clearly have a strong passion for both watches and flying. Why is it that those that have a passion for watches also often have a passion for planes and vice versa? How do these two passions overlap?
The common driver here is the genuine appreciation of beautifully designed and engineered mechanical devices. There is a common theme here with a value placed on beautifully manufactured machines that have been designed and built to last. Theoretically an aircraft, as well as it is maintained correctly, should last for a hundred years – we are flying aircraft 85 years old(!) The same applies to a well-made mechanical chronometer – if serviced regularly it will last for several lifetimes.
Watches have also always historically played a pivotal role in pilot navigation and aircraft operation, Up until as recently as 20 years ago, you would literally navigate in the air using a map, compass and your trusty mechanical watch. Time and flying have always been inextricably linked.
The reasoning behind the name “Bremont” is a great story. Can you tell our readers how the Bremont name came about?
Our surname is English and having a British watch brand with ‘English’ on the dial would not only be hard to trademark but also a bit obvious. We also didn’t want to reinvigorate a brand from the past. Bremont was to be new and have its own values.
As it happened an incident occurred a year or so after my accident with my father in 1995. Giles and I were back in the air and flying down through France in an old German biplane when bad weather forced us to make an emergency landing. We landed in a field in northern France that was owned by an old farmer. If you have a precautionary landing in England or the US, for example, you know you can take the farmer a bottle of whisky as an apology, but in France it’s very bureaucratic with a lot of paperwork involved!
Fortunately for us on this occasion, the farmer helped us out and we pushed the plane into his barn and stayed with him for a couple of days while the weather cleared. His passions in life not only reminded us of our own father, but he was also a former wartime pilot and just as passionate about aircraft and mechanical devices as Giles and me. He had a wonderful selection of restored wall clocks and he wore a particularly special wristwatch – the one given to him by his father.
His name was Antoine Bremont and that’s where the name came from.
Bremont also has a tight relationship with the military. Bremont makes unique watches interested squadron. Why did Bremont decide to that pursuing a relationship with the military was important?
As a pilot’s watch brand, our close working relationship with the military is something that we are incredibly proud of but incidentally it is something that has come about quite organically. Further to our work with Martin-Baker, the British ejection seat manufacturer, we have been approached by various military squadrons based all over the world who wanted a watch that could withstand the extreme conditions they would be subjecting it to. We develop bespoke timepieces that mirror the individual identities of these squadrons as well as reflecting our own core values. Our military project work now forms a material part of our business and is continuing to grow.
You guys recently cemented a long-term collaboration with Jaguar cars. What is it about the Jaguar brand that makes it a great partnership for Bremont?
We actually first collaborated with Jaguar during the launch of the Jaguar C-X75 in 2010, for which we developed a unique, analogue dashboard clock. Jaguar is not only one of the world’s premier manufacturers of luxury cars, but a great British brand with a rich heritage of producing beautifully engineered cars with an incredible racing heritage, so we are obviously very proud to be in partnership with them.
Bremont recently received a lot of great exposure with it’s involvement with the recent Kingsman How did this partnership come about and what made you decide that this movie would be a great fit for Bremont watches?
We were actually approached by Director Mathew Vaughn as he was keen on using British brands for this thoroughly British spy film. Being proudly patriotic, Matthew felt Bremont was the perfect fit and he also loved our ties with the military and police forces around the world and so the connection was spot on. The trainee spies in the film wear the DLC model based on our ALT1-B, once they graduate the Kingsman agents then wear the rose gold world timer chronograph whilst Merlin (played by Mark Strong) who trains these agents wears a stainless steel world timer model. A Kingsman is all about being a gentleman and our watches are very much made for the modern day gentleman. We really didn’t know what response we would see from the film but thought it was such a fantastic opportunity and to work with Matthew Vaughn has been a real honour.
Bremont is planning on opening a boutique in Manhattan in early spring. That has to be exciting, but also a little overwhelming. What all goes into the decision making process of opening of a new boutique?
We saw New York, and more importantly Madison Avenue, as a really essential string to our North American bow and a fantastic brand showcase as we continue to expand our retail channel. The US is already a big market for Bremont with a large proportion of our military business hailing from there. Moving forward the US is a very significant and crucial part of the brand’s strategy and we want to support our clients and retailer base on this side of the Atlantic as best we can. Having said that, you are right, it is all a bit scary!
Giles and you have recently been named as ambassadors for The Air Ambulance Service. Why did the two of you decide to represent this charity?
The Air Ambulance is a charity that is very close to our hearts, both Giles and I have had our lives saved by them so are acutely aware of just how invaluable the work they do is. They receive no government support at all so it’s a privilege for us to be able to help them keep up their great work.
Is there one Bremont watch that means more to you than the others? What is special about this watch?
You love each watch you create, each and every Bremont has a significant meaning behind it whether it be inherent in the design or the narrative attached to them. Each has a personal connection for Giles and me, especially the first ever watches we created which we would both wear to test them ourselves, those are extremely special to us. Our newest limited edition, The Wright Flyer, is probably on my wrist more than any other at the moment, the fact that it contains original muslin from the 1903 Wright Flyer is incredibly emotive as well as housing our new proprietary movement which has been part developed and designed in Britain is just phenomenal. It’s incredible to think that you are wearing a really important part of history on your wrist. Our first ever prototypes also have a large space in our hearts!
What is your favorite part of Baselworld? Do you have any exciting plans while you are in Basel?
Basel is always a fantastic opportunity to see retailers and press from around the world in one place. It’s always incredibly busy but such a great time to reconnect with everyone and share our latest news as well as showing the new watches for the year. This year we have a big focus on our partnership with Jaguar so we’re very much looking forward to debuting the new watches there.