High Times

The avi­a­tion-themed time pieces of BRE­MONT shin es a spot­light on Bri­tish watch mak­ing.

Esquire (Philippines) - - STYLE - BY SARGE LACUESTA

“Never make a big de­ci­sion af­ter a lifechang­ing mo­ment,” so the say­ing goes, but leg­endary lives and ac­com­plish­ments have rarely been fruits of wellmean­ing clichés. Take the broth­ers English, Nick and Giles, whose great achieve­ment was formed in the wake of great fam­ily tragedy.

In 1995, Nick and his fa­ther Euan were train­ing for an air­show in the UK when their vin­tage air­craft crashed, killing Euan and leav­ing Nick with life-threat­en­ing in­juries. Not only did the broth­ers re­solve to re­turn to the air, but af­ter an emer­gency land­ing in the Cham­pagne re­gion and a serendip­i­tous en­counter with a time­piece col­lec­tor named Bre­mont, Nick and Giles de­cided to set off on an un­ex­pected course in their ca­reers. They be­came watch­mak­ers, de­cid­ing to name their com­pany af­ter their hu­man in­spi­ra­tion.

In­spi­ra­tion, af­ter all, is the force that trumps all com­mon sense and ex­pec­ta­tion. It is also a word that per­fectly de­scribes the Bre­mont brand of time­pieces that the broth­ers English have to­day raised to the level of vis­ual and tech­ni­cal per­fec­tion. By in­sist­ing on em­ploy­ing the best avail­able ma­te­ri­als and us­ing the most tested tech­niques, and by hew­ing closely to the maxim “Test­ing Be­yond En­durance,” the Bre­mont watch com­pany has qui­etly and coolly achieved a com­fort­able cruis­ing al­ti­tude among the best of the great in­de­pen­dents.

Tak­ing to the air in the midst of great dif­fi­cul­ties, af­ter all, is one of those great Bri­tish pur­suits, but in Bre­mont’s case, con­sid­er­ing the wellestab­lished pedi­grees of Swiss tra­di­tion or Ja­panese en­gi­neer­ing, Nick and Giles English have achieved a new kind of brand au­dac­ity, most ap­par­ent in their sig­na­ture vis­ual style.

The Martin-Baker range, for ex­am­ple, ex­em­pli­fied by the MBII White, con­tin­ues to take au­then­tic cues from Bri­tish ejec­tion seat pi­o­neer Mart­inBaker, with whom the broth­ers have en­joyed a long­stand­ing re­la­tion­ship. But it also con­sis­tently soars out­side the range of horo­log­i­cal de­sign ex­pec­ta­tion, with its knurled bar­rel and con­tem­po­rary pro­por­tions. Sup­port­ing all this is shock-re­sis­tant move­ment en­closed in an anti-magnetic field that, be­fore it ever makes its soft, bright land­ing on any­one’s wrist, has been through a host of tests that will give the user as much con­fi­dence in his time­piece than in the ves­sel he is ac­cus­tomed to ride—whether it is a lux­ury car or a Black­hawk he­li­copter.

In keep­ing with its avi­a­tion his­tory, Bre­mont has also pro­duced iconic lim­ited edition watches that con­tain ac­tual parts from fa­mous air­craft, among them a 1942 Spit­fire MK that was one of the most cred­ited WWII fighters in ex­is­tence, the Pa­cific War vet­eran 1944 Mus­tang P-51K-10 named “Frag­ile but Ag­ile,” the record­break­ing de Hav­il­land DH-88 Comet “Grosvenor House” and, in­cred­i­bly, the 1903 Wright Flyer.

This is prob­a­bly why there are no more than 1,000 ex­am­ples of each model an­nu­ally, each de­signed to take life­times of abuse. For ex­am­ple, Bre­mont stain­less steel cases are made to a hard­ness of 2000 Vick­ers—seven times the hard­ness of the av­er­age steel watch case. There are nine-lay­ers of an­tire­flec­tive coat­ing ap­plied to both sides of each sap­phire crys­tal, and each move­ment un­der­goes the leg­endary COSC chronome­ter move­ment cer­ti­fi­ca­tion process.

Speak­ing of in­tegrity, Bre­mont’s newly opened watch­mak­ing fa­cil­ity in the Ox­ford­shire town of Hen­ley-on-Thames has al­lowed the com­pany to as­sem­ble their watches fully in-house, to be of­fered for sale notably at its award­win­ning flag­ship bou­tique in May­fair, Lon­don, where its store­front sits side by side with the most ad­mirable and loved Bri­tish lux­ury brands.

The de­ci­sion to own a Bre­mont, and the re­sult­ing ex­pe­ri­ence of wear­ing one’s own, is there­fore orig­i­nal and up­lift­ing—ar­guably, more ex­cit­ing than own­ing any of the other ex­pected watch brands, and cer­tainly more per­sonal and in­ti­mate. But whether it will be life-chang­ing is up to the owner—it’s their life af­ter all, made up of all their big de­ci­sions. The brand is only there to pro­vide the in­deli­ble in­spi­ra­tion.

Get your hands on the de­fin­i­tive Bri­tish avi­a­tion chronome­ter, the MBII White.

Giles English, co-founder of Bre­mont.

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