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By Roberta Naas | December 24, 2009 | Style & Beauty
Nick and Giles English
Just a few years old, Bremont Watch Company has fast made a global name for itself. Founded by British aviator brothers Nick and Giles English, who design the Swiss-made timepieces, the company creates certified chronometers that adhere to strict standards of excellence.
The brothers started the company as a tribute to their late father, Euan, a pilot who died in a flying accident. Both siblings have strong aviation roots, as well as horology interests, and they named their brand after a WWII veteran and pilot named Antoine Bremont, who collected rare clocks. The brothers, while flying during bad weather 10 years ago, made an emergency landing on Bremont’s farm. They spent several days there, and were inspired by his stories and collection, including the vintage timepiece given to him by his father.
FROM LEFT: The Supermarine 500 ($5,150) houses a chronometer movement and features Bremont’s Trip-Tick three-piece case construction; The BC-S1 ($3,700) has a BE-36AE self-winding chronometer movement inside a 39mm classical aviation-themed case; The ALT1-C chronograph ($5,650); The Martin-Baker watch ($4,950)
With an original goal to make the finest watches for pilots (and now divers with the recently released Supermarine 500 dive watch), impressive collections of multi-time-zone watches, dive watches and chronographs comprise the offerings. The fi rst Bremont watches were unveiled in 2007, but it took the brothers nearly five years to develop the collection and perfect the engineering of the Trip-Tick three-part case. And although most of Bremont’s customers are everyday people, the brand counts Bear Grylls (star of the Discovery Channel’s Man vs. Wild), Orlando Bloom and Ewan McGregor among its fans.
Made of steel six times harder than average steel casing—thanks to a special treatment process that defuses it with carbon and electrons—the watches are manufactured in limited volumes. Among the most popular watches are the ALT1-C chronograph and the BC-S1 and S2 series of chronometers.
Back on the home front, Bremont has just announced an all-new joint venture with Martin- Baker, the British manufacturer of ejection seats for planes. The new aviation watch lines—MB1 and MB2—feature timepieces made in Bremont’s atelier in Biel-Bienne, Switzerland, with final assembly handled in the UK (making it Bremont’s fi rst “Made in Britain” line). Featuring rubber housing and a soft inner iron case, the watches undergo testing strapped into ejection seats to ensure they can withstand the impact. The first edition of the MB1 is only available to those who have been ejected from a Martin-Baker ejection seat (the seats have saved approximately 7,200 lives to date, according to the company). Those watches will be numbered and engraved. The MB2 watches are available to the general public. Tourneau, 500 Madison Ave., 212-758- 7300; bremont.com
FROM LEFT: Assioma watch in platinum ($150,000); Sotirio watch in rose gold (36,000)
As the culmination of Bulgari’s yearlong 125th anniversary celebration, the brand is donating 18 extraordinary jewelry and watch pieces that will be auctioned at Christie’s (December 8, 8 PM; viewing December 5–8). One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to Save the Children’s Rewrite the Future campaign, which is dedicated to providing education to the millions of children living in conflict-affected areas. The overall value of the items is estimated at about $4 million. “Education is the key to freedom—it is the key to unlocking the door to a better world,” says Paolo Bulgari, chairman of the Bulgari Group. “The collection is designed and crafted by Bulgari for this auction. Each piece is specially engraved for this occasion.” Christie’s, 20 Rockefeller Plaza, 212-636-2000
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANTONIO BARRELLA (ASSIOMA); PIERRE ANDRE TRANSUNTO (SOTIRIO)