Since I last featured Bremont on Total Watch Reviews they have massively increased their presence in the market. They now have distributors around the world and their timepieces are for sale in many prestigious boutiques. Principally this is down to skilful marketing of brother Nick and Giles English. The company trades on the fact they are based in the picturesque location of Henley on Thames, England and most of the watch components are made in the UK.
The company’s marketing strategy is centred on Nick and Giles obsession with flying historic aircraft. In the world of horology it always pays dividends for a brand to have a great cover story. In Bremont’s case nostalgia plays a great part in their overall commercial success. For example the HMS Victory contains traces of original oak timber and copper from the battleship. In the same vein their latest offering is inspired by the legendary Wright Brothers (Orville and Wilbur), the pioneering brothers who were instrumental in designing the first fixed wing powered aircraft.
Bremont’s Wright Flyer enters the highly competitive Pilot Watch arena. This is an area of the watch industry that has been dominated by IWC and Zenith. Bremont promotes the fact that the Wright Flyer is equipped with their first in house manufacture movement called the Calibre BWC/01. This claim is contentious because their press releases suggest the movement was constructed in their own workshops in Henley on Thames, England. Other high profile watch writers dwell on the fact that Manufacture La Joux-Perret SA (in Switzerland) has actually produced the mechanism. This doesn’t particularly bother me and I feel it shows initiative on Bremont’s part. Since Swatch made the decision to only sell to members of the group it is essential for independent watchmakers to find other reliable suppliers.
Visually the Wright Flyer has a very attractive and distinctive appearance. The watch is available in three different versions and in a choice of 316L Steel or luxurious 18-karat white/rose gold. Even though the gold versions are more exclusive I personally do prefer the aesthetic of the steel model with contrasting black dial. Dimensionally it is smaller than the Supermarine 2000 (reviewed 27th January 2014) and measures 43mm x 14mm. These proportions should appeal to a wide variety of buyers and in my opinion suite the style of the watch.
Beneath the refined exterior lies a highly accomplished self-winding movement. The Calibre BWC/01 comprises 25-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. What makes this mechanism really cool is the bespoke rotor containing real unbleached muslin original used to cover the 1903 Wright Flyer aircraft. This wonderful detail is visible through the exhibition sapphire crystal case back. Functionally the Wright Flyer features hours, minutes and small seconds. The timepiece also has a power reserve of over 50 hours and is water resistant to a depth of 100 metres.
The Wright Flyer has a hand stitched alligator strap with matching pin buckle. Priced at: £17,950 (approximately $30,309).