Bremont BC Solo Watch Review

Bremont BC Solo Watch Review

Bremont BC Solo Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

There is a reason timepieces from brands like Rolex, Tag Heuer, and Omega consistently sell so well. They are legible, well built, and conservative. It is a simple formula which has done well for those outfitting "nice watches" to legions of men for ages. Interestingly enough, this category of watches is judged differently depending on who you are and how you are feeling. My own opinion on such watches has varied from "boring" to "just what the doctor ordered." Funny how that goes... now I know why people in the know have watch collections, rather than just "a watch."

So here is my review of a very "nice watch." This English chap comes from Britain's own Bremont and is their most simple model to date. They call the BC Solo collection their entry-level range of watches. I guess that is technically true as they are Bremont's most modestly priced watches, but this is anything but an entry-level timepiece. What endears me most to the collection are the quirks and unique points that set it apart from others like it. In my opinion it is a few key details that really sell the BC Solo watch - details that most other brands of this size would never include.

Bremont BC Solo Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

At 43mm wide the BC Solo has that familiar Bremont Trip-Tick case that I am now very well familiar with. Very elegant in shape, it is comprised of brushed steel upper and bottom section with a middle barrel done in what I believe is PVD black coated aluminum. The shapeliness of this case and its impressive curves and proportions make me really wonder why there are still boring watch cases out there offered by other brands. My kudos to all designers who understand how important it is for even a modest looking watch to have a good case design. There must be complete synergy between the case, dial, and strap. Bremont is a brand that tends to do that well.

The black colored middle section of the case with its engraved horizontal rings adds a little pizazz to the design. It is amazing what a little color contrasting on the case can do when it comes to style. At 43mm wide the steel case shared among several Bremont pieces has always proven to be comfortable and well made. Little details such as the middle case ring, lug design, and integration of the Bremont propeller logo in the crown are some of those unique points which I indicated above help the BC Solo stand out from the crowd.

Bremont BC Solo Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Bremont BC Solo Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Bremont BC Solo Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

While the movement inside the watch is the same modified Swiss ETA 2836 (that Bremont calls their BE-36AE) which is used in other Bremont pieces, this is the most simple dial execution to date from the brand - though it isn't without its unique and charming details. For use in the BC Solo the movement has the day of the week ring removed and offers just the time and date. More on the dial shortly.

Presentation of the movement is very impressive, and it is visible through a rear-mounted sapphire caseback window. Decoration is complete with perlage and blued steel screws, along with a handsome custom Bremont automatic rotor (which looks to be in brass). Framing the movement is richly engraved text (along with a bit in cursive text) around the caseback of the watch. The effect is classy and masculine. You'll further notice that Bremont has carefully regulated the automatic movement and has had it sent to COSC for Chronometer certification. Further, while not a limited edition, each BC Solo watch is individually numbered.

Bremont BC Solo Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Bremont BC Solo Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

The Trip-Tick case is thankfully water resistant to 100 meters and has a screw-down crown. Over the dial is a highly domed sapphire crystal that according to Bremont has several layers of AR coating on the front and back of the crystal. This coating is very necessary as the sapphire is so domed it attracts a lot of light which it reflects. While it doesn't effect legibility much, you should know that much of the time the crystal will have bands of light on it when you are looking at it outside. While avoidable with a flat (or flatter) sapphire crystal, Bremont had to balance that fact with an aesthetic decision to use a more domed crystal that helps the entire case look a bit more impressive.

In Bremont's words the dial of the BC Solo was inspired by pilot watches from the 1940s. There is a certain retro charm to the dial, but I would not call this a retro watch. If you need any help in recognizing the pilot nature of the dial, then just look at the red and white triangle used for the 12 o'clock indicator. I've had readers ask me what the origin of these triangles are, and I just don't know. Maybe someone can tell me why what looks like blank traffic signs ended up on watch dials.

Bremont BC Solo Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Simple and clean, the dial is easy to read but has some welcome details. The best are the applied hour indicators on both the main dial and sloped flange ring. These do just enough to ensure that the dial does not feel flat, but also does not feel busy. All of the hour indicators and the hands have applied SuperLumiNova. Night reading is a breeze thanks to the luminosity. Though one of the quirks of the BC Solo collection is that the dial comes in two variants - which are only modestly different from one another. This version of the BC Solo has the white indicators, while there is also another version with "cream" colored indicators. The indicators on that other model are a bit more brown, and use a different color lume I believe. To be honest the variation between the two models is very slight, but If I recall correctly the contrast stitching on the strap will match the dial appropriately.

Bremont BC Solo Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

As a minimalist dial the BC Solo watch face works well. The selection for the placement and font of the "Automatic" and "Chronometer" text was chosen cleverly. Notice the clean looking sans-serif fonts and wide spacing between the letters. I would have had the hands a bit longer personally, but legibility is still very good. Bremont needed a watch like the BC Solo, and it works very well on its own as well as on the wrist.

Matched to the watch is a supple leather strap with Bremont signed buckle. While I have never seen one, according to Bremont's website the BC Solo is apparently available with a titanium bracelet. The leather strap is nicely padded and I love how the strap ends curve to match the shape of the case. Another little detail which helps separate a watch like this from the rest. Overall the Bremont BC Solo is a comfortable watch to pick up and strap-on. It goes with a lot of outfits and won't let you down. It might not be the watch for everyday, but it is easily a contender for being an "old faithful" member of your collection. Price is $3,950.

Thanks to Bremont for the review unit. Opinions are 100% independent.

28 comments
RickRock81
RickRock81

It appears to me that this watch doesn't appear to sit well with the American market. The movement in this watch is completely excellent and as is stated Swiss made, however the design is English which is possibly a little too understated for some of the posters on this blog. In my opinion less is more with this watch. The construction and movement is top notch and the design with the nod to 1940's pilot watches is basic and stripped down which is precisely the effect that it is trying to achieve, creating a watch that is designed to bring joy to the owner who maybe isn't that interested in flaunting a piece of bling on his wrist. I don't own this watch I hasten to add, I just think that most of the critical posters are missing the point of this watch design entirely, but then I am English and maybe things are being lost in translation with this effort from Bremont...

Legg
Legg

One issue I have found is that the watch loses 3 - 5 seconds per day.....this is huge.

Chris
Chris

Ariel, I think it's a fine looking watch. I really like the case shape, and much of the design is restrained and tasteful. I would not not kick this out of my watch box.

I also wouldn't pay $4,000 for it. A major portion of the case is PVDed aluminum, guaranteeing that it will not take damage gently. The dial has too much writing for a pilots watch. Enough has been said about the hands. The strap looks cheap. It has display back that shows off it's unremarkable, undersized movement.

You make this out to be a reasonable value, but you called the SeaGods that started out at a lower price, "pricey".

Neither brand has a real history. They both have to sell on quality and visceral appeal. For me, neither one succeeds at the level to make me part with $4,000.

Richard
Richard

Ariel: I think people have a problem with the idea of paying $4k for this when the value proposition seems low. There are so many fliegers/aviators on the market, many of which are cheaper and have basically the same movement (perhaps minus the COSC spec which is frankly silly). The selling point here is obviously the aluminum middle area on the case, which I guess is a love it/hate it design. On some of the Bremont watches, it looks good, but here it sort of looks "tacked on" and a bit cheap. I don't see any real synergy between the side of the case and the design of the dial. Meanwhile, I could spend half the price of this Bremont and get a Fortis, Sinn, or Damasko that are just as robust if not more so.

Charles Boulakia
Charles Boulakia

I'm also critical of this watch.

1) Hands are too small.
2) The marker at the 3 and the marker at the 9 are different sizes. I realize this is because of the date indicator, but it just bothers me.
3) The "reverse oreo cookie" case looks goofy. The black anodized aluminum makes it look like a cheap watch, even though I'm sure it's meant to make it look expensive
4) I would prefer a proper clasp rather than the buckle they're using - with a buckle, I wear out my band in about 6 months of use. With an expandble clasp, it lasts a lot longer.
5) Is it just me, or are the red on the dial and the red on the second hand different colors? Look like different colors from the picture. That would bother me every day.
6) How can you put "LONDON" on the dial when the movement is clearly swiss? This is just dumb.
Sorry, I'm not usually this blunt or critical, and I do love many of the watches you review, but this is just a poorly designed watch, trying to be a retro WWII aviator. Why not just buy a vintage WWII aviator? They're about 1/10th of the price, and have way more character (especially if you have a geiger counter handy).

Greg
Greg

Or you could do what I did and buy a used Damasko DA36 for around $700. Boo yah.

Ulysses
Ulysses

It's just... so dull. The case design is different - in a bad way. It seems rather curvy and feminine without any strong lines, and the quality of the brushing frankly looks crude (or it might just be bad lighting, who knows - bead-blasted would look better). This lack of definition makes it look more like a poorly-replicated knock-off of a real watch. I'd rather have an all-steel design. Any device is only as strong as the weakest part used and I have to doubt that a sandwich of steel with aluminium would be stronger than a single milled steel part. I'm sure there's an awesomely innovative, expensive, and completely unnecessary bonding process involved but as i've said before, superfluous innovation is useless to me, and won't make you a unique and beautiful snow-flake for owning a watch that uses it. Besides which, having a watch formed partially of recycled beer cans doesn't inspire confidence - Apple might be able to sell that metal as somehow luxurious but it won't work on me. Aside from that, I reckon the numerals are a tad too small and the taper of the hands isn't very nice. Bremont should try to create a design that looks like it is actually worth $4000. Even the Sea-God with its sparkly necklace looks tougher than this thing.

Roger
Roger

I must admit I first thought "Citizen Eco Drive" when I saw it. You know, the one for 200 bucks with a canvas strap? But I do like this Bremont. And I think it's kind of a paradoxical watch; I mean, it's so basic looking and non-offensive, it's probably the kind of one-size-fits all watch a guy would buy who wasn't a massive collector - you know, a straightforward watch that's well built for all occasions. But here's the paradox: I highly doubt that guy (who's not a huge collector, and not rolling in cash) would choose this watch to be his one-size fits all tool watch for all his hard-earned dosh. I bet he'd head straight to IWC, Omega, or Graham.

P. Merle
P. Merle

It's so boring! Do I want to wear it every day? No! That says it all.
In my opinion, a good watch should give you, at least at first glance, the desire to wear it every day.
Being COSC certified does not help anything rather than inflate the price.

MichaelG
MichaelG

It has some interesting features and I'm sure it's solidly built but I feel the dial and to a lesser extent the strap, are what let it down and make it look a bit bland. One thing I've learnt is that there is a type of watch for almost every type of person, so ultimately it will find the corresponding wrist to live on.

Omid
Omid

Really polarizing. love it or hate it.

Personally, I love it, like most of Bremont's pieces. When my advance hits, I'll be sure to pick up a nicer piece than my Chase-Durer strapped to my wrist.

Stefan Dufresne
Stefan Dufresne

On the lighter side...
Doesn't anybody sleep at night anymore ?
If it's a mater time zone,perhaps I should get a new GMT !

from an old fashion guy.

Dangeruss
Dangeruss

$4K? Really? That's hard to swallow considering what $4,000 will buy you, especially pre-owned. If you love this look and want to buy a brand "no one knows", it'd be hard to pass up the Christopher Ward offering at 1/10th the price.

dshon
dshon

Funny how no one would have blinked at the pricetag if the dial read "IWC." I've owned a Mark XVI and the two watches look very comparable. The IWC had a faraday cage that's missing in the Bremont, but the case construction is clearly more elaborate for the Bremont. I still prefer the IWC, but that's in large part due to aesthetics and the fact that I prefer a solid caseback when a watch features a pedestrian movement.

One point of clarification: the screws in the Bremont are not "blued" per se- they're chemically treated for aesthetic purposes only. Look at the slots in the screws- you can see that the entire screw is not blue. I don't know why watch companies do this, but it's a pet peeve I always notice.

TMS
TMS

I was a little surprised that your article did not highlight the strength of the steel used in Bremont's cases. I received a Bremont sales pitch in an AD and got the impression that this was one of the key selling points. Even with this I was very unconvinced. I find their watches uninspiring even though the build quality and finish was clearly better than the $200 time pieces mentioned in the comments. I think their price points are massively over ambitious along with other brands like Linde Werdelin and discerning watch buyers will not really pay much attention when there are such great competitors.

Rich B
Rich B

Bremont is a nice brand and this watch is pretty cool. But with that price tag I rather go IWC and Omega.

Carolyn
Carolyn

Oh, come on! This looks exactly* like the Chirstopher Ward C5 Malvern. It also has the same movement inside and the CW is under $400. The fact that Bremont has "London" on the front and CW has "Christopher Ward London" is not enough to justify the extra $3500.

*EXACTLY! same finish, same second hand, same placenment of the "automatic" and gosh, even the same font. But oh, wait, the CW has an hour hand that is long enough to be useful.

kris.c
kris.c

I'm not a fan of aluminum cases, and it clashes with the steel crown. The piece is attractive, although a little boring. I too would have prefered not just longer, but broader hands - this is not trying to be anything too dressy, and with no complications to hide this should be all about instant readability.

I am no historian, but it is my understanding that the 12 position triangle (usually with 2 dots, shown on this piece but in an odd spot on the chapter ring) was used for upward orientation during night flight. Also, a watch can be used used as a solar compass to find the earth’s true north in conjunction with sextants, compass and data charts. The triangle most likely played a part in that as well.

Ariel, you should ask Lange, IWC, Laco, Stowa, or Wempe next time you are gracing their shops - those are the original 5 shops assigned to make about 1500 Beobachtungs-uhr watches for the Luftwaffe.

Funny how back then these watches were 50mm+ and considered feminine. A watch that size today is considered ultra-modern and for the burliest of men or wannabes.

Tarak
Tarak

At $4,000, this will be a hard sell because its right at Omega and IWC playing field. However, I could see them being competitive as soon as they start doing some extensive modification to their movement.

Dean Grant Baker
Dean Grant Baker

It looks like a 200 dollar Mondaine.

And you obviously haven't seen TIMEX's new line, re watches @ 200 dollars[ish].

MatthewM
MatthewM

Looks like a $200 watch, not $4000

admin
admin

Charles,

A lot of people - for whatever reason - seem to be finding issues with this watch that don't exist. Some people have complained about less than high-end looking finishing on the case. Not true. You suggest that the two red colors on the dial don't match. Not true. The middle barrel on the case actually does look really neat. I am just curious as to why people are giving this Bremont such a hard time. Is $4k expensive for ANY watch? Yes. If you feel concerned about the value proposition, then just compare it with other pieces out there. With Omega's prices on the climb, $4k there doesn't exactly get you what it used to. Further, in terms of putting London on the dial - that is because Bremont is an English brand. Yes, they use Swiss movements, but are trying to bring back a sense of pride in English watch making that has been absent for a while in the eyes of most people.

Pat I.
Pat I.

Warning! Boring Materials posting ahead...

I would think the most crucial part of a watch would be the crystal - seals and coatings. But hey - that's boring. You can't see the seals, the crystal is - well - clear and the coating is whatever color and finish they want it to be regardless of technology.

If the watch in question is meant for diving, the case - which essentially is a machined hunk of steel - sees little load. Pressure will find the weakest points which I assume would be the seals and crystal.

The strength of the case material for the most doesn't really matter save for plastic and composite materials. Most metals will serve well. I don't get why people use aluminum - it's soft, nicks easily, and when threads are machined in it you run the risk of of stripping them if the mating component is made of a harder material.

Composite..graphite...don't like it as a case material. And if memory serves (and it's been a while there's a corrosion issue when it's used inconjuction with aluminum or titanium. Still I've seen carbon watches up close. They look poorly finished IMHO even though the initial shape is molded.

Bottom line: The marketing wizards know that info sells. Quality and reliability aren't enough. They make it sound like the steel they use is "proprietary" but the truth is any mill can alter the chemical compostion
to come up with a new steel if the order is big enough.

One of the strongest steels out there seems to have evaded the watchmakers: Weldox. It's used to build lifting devices that pick up containers of spent nuclear fuel that weigh around 250,000 lbs. But it's readily accessible so they would have to give it a new name - something like "I-got-abridge-to-sell-you-anium".

Still-resale value aside - how can it possibly matter? Watching soccer dads with the horological equivalent of diving bells on their wrists when the only mositure they'll see other than the sweat from mowing the lawn is a particulary rigorous pool session of "Marco Polo" in the backyard pool.

Watches tested in ejector seats? I can see how this would matter. The loads seen that zumba are intense.

admin
admin

I am a big fan of what Christopher Ward does and can easily recommend their stuff. However, the C5 Malvern and the BC Solo are not similar watches when it comes down to it, and Christopher Ward does not taut itself to be at the quality level Bremont is at right now. Case is nowhere the same as well.

admin
admin

Wow, show me some of the $200 watches you've been getting!

admin
admin

I think it is really important for all us watch lovers to be familiar with materials and the realities of watch durability. At the same time few of us are actually experts. Aluminum for example can corrode, but when treated or coated the metal can be protected. There are a number of good reasons to use aluminum in a watch case or dial. Though not often for the entire case. Bremont here might have wanted to reduce the weight of the case by using less steel. There are just a lot of possibilities.

As for talking about "reasonable durability." I don't think that is why we buy watches. People who strictly want to be reasonable end up with under $100 timepieces that "get the job done" and "aren't more than what they need." I don't know about you, but I like having more than what I need. I like wearing a watch that is built to do a lot more than I'll ever to do it. it isn't because I think that I need that robustness, but rather that part of wearing that watch is me appreciating stuff like that. When it comes down to it, I like tools, and I like good tool. I would never guy a hammer that could hit only as hard as I needed it to hit. I want to know that I can wail on a steel wall with it for an hour and it won't dent a bit.

This is why I like high-end stuff. Not cause of status or notions of luxury and all that crap, because I like nice, unique things that go a step further and offer me a bit more than life thinks I need to just get by.

Carolyn
Carolyn

Agreed about the case! I love this case. Also case size now that I look at it.

Pat I.
Pat I.

True. Aluminum can corrode.

Most high end watched are made of tough materials (a lot of times the same materials cheaper watches are made of).

You've seen my comments on watched all over the spectrum. I don't have much against expensive, exclusive timepieces. I only question their price from a cost perspective and wonder about their reliability and why no one takes this indistry to task with legitimate reviews.

I for example (thanks to you) own a watch made of titanium. when it does work, I wear it all the time. Every day it gets banged against my chair, my keyboard, etc. everyday wear and tear.

But the watch looks like it's brand new thanks to the case material. I hate to think what it would look like
if it were made of aluminum or carbon graphite.

I would think that a beautiful expensive timepiece would appear worn out and diminish the owners pleasure when the materials don't hold up well.

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