A pioneering British watchmaker, an Aerospace expert, what more could you ask for? Introducing the Bremont Boeing Model 247 Chronograph.
Bremont X Boeing
In February 2014 Bremont officially announced they had entered into an exciting new partnership with Boeing, the world leaders in Aerospace. The goal would be to develop a new range of mechanical watches that fully explores Boeing’s extraordinary expertise in advanced material technology, together with Bremont’s enviable track record in chronometer manufacture.
Now, just over a month later, Bremont has officially unveiled the first two series in this new collection at Baselworld 2014; the Model 1 and the Model 247. Today, I’ll be taking a hands-on look at the latter, a highly robust chronograph that is well suited to just about any occasion.
The Bremont Boeing Model 247
The first thing you notice when you pick up the new Bremont Boeing Model 247 is just how solid it feels. That’s because the case is built from exceptionally tough Custom 465® Stainless Steel, the same material Boeing uses for the undercarriages of its planes. This double vacuum-melted, age-hardenable alloy was developed for the aerospace industry for superior strength, hardness and corrosion resistance.
Until now this material has never been used in watchmaking but thanks to their exclusive partnership Bremont has been granted extensive access both to Boeing’s material and manufacturing technology at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Sheffield, United Kingdom and its historical and archival materials.
According to Bremont there will also be a second version made from Boeing aviation-grade Ti-64 titanium however this model was not yet available at the time of this review. It will be interesting to see the difference in weight between the two as the steel version already does not feel particularly heavy on the wrist despite its impressive construction.
As you can imagine the extreme hardness of the steel being used makes the precise machining of the case and related parts quite a challenge. As a result, Bremont – in conjunction with the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre – had to develop new machining techniques to meet the challenge.
A Classic Chronograph
The 43mm hardened case of the Bremont Boeing Model 247 incorporates screw down crowns and chronograph pushers, together with an exhibition sapphire crystal case back. As an added touch the case barrel has been treated with scratch resistant Black DLC. The real highlight though – for me at least – is the sapphire bezel.
Apparently Bremont experimented first with a ceramic bezel but weren’t happy with the result, and so changed to sapphire instead. Good thing they did too, as there is a certain ‘glassy’ allure to it that is really attractive on the wrist.
There are two dial colors available, black or white and as you can see in the pictures both are extremely clean and easy to read. The twin sub-dial design of the chronograph is inspired by the watch’s namesake, the Model 247, the first ever Boeing twin-engine commercial aircraft.
Impressively though this is about the only reference made to Boeing on the dial, and it’s a subtle one at that. The only other ones are the very small Boeing logo on the central seconds hand and of course the use of the Boeing blue to add some color to the dial. This is a smart move by Bremont as it means the watch’s appeal is not limited to those interested specifically in Boeing and/or Aerospace.
Turn the watch over and you get a great view of the modified calibre 13 1/4” BE-50AE automatic movement, complete with Bremont Boeing moulded and skeletonised decorated rotor. As you would expect from Bremont the movement is a COSC-certified chronometer.
Perhaps my favorite feature of all though is the black Seattle Hybrid (leather-polymer composite) strap with contrast blue stitching. Not only does it look and feel great, the strap is extremely comfortable on the wrist. There’s nothing worse than pairing a really well-made watch with a sub-par strap but fortunately Bremont have passed that test with flying colors. The Boeing Model 247 also comes with a second NATO military Bremont Boeing nylon strap but personally I’d stick with the original.
Pricing for the Bremont Boeing Model 247 is also very reasonable in my opinion at just US$6,750. Unfortunately though the first collection is not expected to hit retailers until late October, early November 2014. That being said, I expect there will be a fairly high demand for these watches so if you want one I would start thinking about getting your name on a list somewhere now.
The Final Word
We are continuing to see great things from this English watchmaker who put quality and functionality above all else. The Bremont Boing Model 247 is not only an excellent watch it is also a great example of how to successfully execute a collaboration with another brand without losing your own identity. Very impressive to say the least.
To see more check out the official Bremont website.