BY GILES ENGLISH
When you are looking at buying a watch there is no lack of choice out there, when we started Bremont there were several hundred Swiss Watch brands, all with varying degrees of quality and history, but certainly no lack of choice for the consumer. Naturally being one of the few British watch companies made us that little bit different but we needed to be a lot more than that.
We had to produce watches that we felt any experienced watchmaker from around the world, who had no idea who we were or anything about the wonderful history of British watchmaking, would pick up and instantly recognise the quality of the timepiece.
They would appreciate the unique case construction made with steel over 7 times harder than your standard watch, appreciate the fact that all our movements were chronometer tested and beautifully finished, understand the effort we had made with the 9 layers of anti-reflective/hardening coatings on our crystals and ultimately the very unique and distinctively Bremont designs. It was clear to everyone we were not out there to copy others but chart our own path.
When we launched, we knew if we wanted to manufacture in the UK and ensure the watches were engineered to the highest possible standards in the industry, it would certainly be about quality, and not quantity. The nature of manufacturing in the UK has meant that we have to be exclusive.
Despite the unique apprenticeship schemes we have in place, our watchmakers and engineers take years to train up. What that means is that the product you are buying from us is made in relatively small numbers, and you will not find our watches being grey-marketed around the world. This is very positive when it comes to your watch holding its value over the long-term.
We grew up with the military all around us and it was a big influence on our watch designs. When we started working with Martin-Baker (the pioneering British ejection seat manufacturer), it was one of the trigger points for us working with the military sectors.
This is an area that we are particularly proud of. The watches you purchase have not been tested by an actor standing in front of aircraft but by real military personnel. We have subsequently been awarded The Armed Forces Covenant for our support of military charities which is very special indeed and we enjoy working with many ex-service men and women as ambassadors and friends of the brand.
Bremont prides itself on being different and unique in our approach, yes we have been inspired by the vintage watch collecting that we did with our father when we were young, but we always wanted to do a more contemporary take on these watches, bringing in new technologies and influences.
Our Trip-Tick three piece case has become very distinctive in the industry and forms the basis of almost all of our models. We've also developed the MB Range with an anti-shock casing and Faraday cage to produce a watch that will work even after live ejection from a fighter jet! You can see more about this in the video above.
Whether it is one of our core watches or one of our special Limited Editions we always look to bring something new to the watch industry.
Tested Beyond Endurance
The perfect timepiece for us both had to be timeless in design (something you could pick up in 20 years time and it still look beautiful on the wrist), but also robust. Vintage watches were often wonderful pieces of history and design, but were not always the most reliable. A Bremont watch had to be the watch you could row across the oceans, motorbike down through Africa, or climb the highest mountains with. Durability was paramount. The Anti-Shock technology inside the Bremont MB and Supermarine ranges were technological advances that allowed these watches to be subjected to extremes of environment - especially in terms of shock and vibration.
The fact that various Bremont ambassadors, from the incredibly experienced polar explorer Ben Saunders, to the seasoned adventurer Charley Boorman and of course, most recently, the mountaineer Nirmal Nims Purja who has just made the impossible possible in climbing all 14 of the 8,000m peaks in just 6 months (smashing the previous record of 8 years), have tested our watches in the harshest environments on earth is testament to our strapline. All of these remarkable individuals wore their mechanical Bremont watches on their expeditions, and came back working beautifully.
We host events frequently and offer opportunities to come and listen to our inspiring ambassadors and brand partners at our Bremont Adventurers Club evenings.
As we build our exciting new facility in Henley-on-Thames we will be able to welcome our owners on tours where you will be able to meet the wider Bremont team and see the watches being hand built by our fantastic team of watch makers.
The Bremont family doesn't stop there. We work with partners and charities around the world and we are proud to support our service personnel through charity work and the Armed Forces Covenant. Being an independent watch company brings challenges but we believe it allows us to be more personal and flexible in our approach and we hope our customers see this in their experience with us.
There is an incredible history of British watchmaking. The world still sets its time by Greenwich (not Geneva!), and much of the innovation in any mechanical watch originated on British shores.
At Bremont, we are totally passionate about re-invigorating watchmaking in the UK. At one of Bremont's two watchmaking facilities in Henley-on-Thames, you can witness everything from a bar of metal being machined down to 4 microns in tolerance and making watch parts, to the fully trained watch makers assembling and testing the finished mechanical chronometers. More than anything else, we would love to be able to look back in 20 years time and see that Bremont really did play a part in the re-invigoration of watchmaking on British shores.
The British have a certain sense of style and we try and bring that into the design of our watches, but I would only suggest buying British if the quality of the product competes with the finest competition from around the world, and with a Bremont watch you can be confident that criteria is met. Buying British means you are supporting a work force and a whole watch industry in the UK. Provenance aside, the product clearly needs to hold its own against the best in the market and we certainly believe this to be the case with our Bremont range of watches.