Despite only launching a few short years ago, at the start of what feels like a never-ending recession no less, UK-based watch brand Bremont has managed to build a remarkably strong and resilient fan-base. This is thanks in large part to establishing themselves as a high quality, niche player who consistently goes beyond the marketing rhetoric and actually delivers on its unique selling point.
In the case of Bremont that USP is a strong association with aviation, in particular the armed forces. Unlike other brands in this niche however they don’t just make watches inspired by active-duty personnel, they make watches for active duty personnel. There’s a big difference and more often than not the brand’s fans then get the benefit of their learnings in the form of mainstream variations. Case in point the all new ALT1-B2 (GMT) Chronograph that will be officially launched at Baselworld next week.
There’s no doubt black-out watches are all the rage at the moment, just look through the last couple of pages of TWL if you don’t believe me and you will see plenty of black DLC coated cases. In the case of Bremont’s new ALT1-B2 however it’s actually justified. You see, like a number of the brand’s other watches, this new release is based very closely on the design of the watch Bremont delivered to the elite B2 ‘Stealth Bomber’ Aircrew in 2012.
According to the brand they were initially approached by the B2 Squadron to create a unique watch that would suit their very specific needs whilst still staying true to the Bremont design ideals and uncompromising focus on quality. This piece was designed in collaboration with the Squadron and proved to be highly popular, both with the pilots and with followers of the brand who got wind of what was happening. Unfortunately though that particular model was not available for public sale.
Given the positive response however it was only a matter of time before the brand produced something for their loyal fans. “The B2 watch was a huge success,” explains Bremont co-founder Nick English, “so we knew there was a strong demand for (a) general release version, hence the introduction of the ALT1‐B2 Chronograph.”
Presented in a 43mm hardened steel case complete with the all-black DLC treatment, the matching black dial displays the hours and minutes, with a seconds counter at 9 o’clock and date at 3 o’clock. Full chronograph functionality is also on offer, with elapsed seconds shown on a central seconds hand, 30 minute counter at 12 o’clock and 12 hour counter at 6 o’clock. A central 24 hour UTC hand completes the package, with the COSC certified BE‐54E movement (modified) guaranteeing accuracy.
With the level of functionality on offer the dial is understandably busy but still practical, however it’s hard to say just how much the dark color scheme affects legibility without seeing the piece in person. Offered on a calf‐skin leather strap (with an additional NATO style strap included) this would be an ideal watch for ex-military personnel or for those that just want to look like a bad ass. A metal DLC coated bracelet is also available for an additional cost.
The Final Word
Bremont have established a strong identity for themselves and consistently back that up by delivering high-quality products that are in-line with their stated objectives. They may not suit all tastes but they are staying true to what they originally set out to achieve and I have a lot of respect for that. As they say, when you do what you love, success usually follows.