Bremont Mustang P-51 Watch

Bremont Mustang P-51 Watch

Bremont Mustang P 51 Watch   watch releases

There was a relative I had when I was a kid who saved up for years to buy something special. He was an unusual fellow, but he loved to fly. He worked hard to get a pilot's license and then was finally able to buy what he had his eye on... a World War 2 era P-51. One of the greatest dog fighters ever, the P-51 Mustang is an American fighter plane that was introduced in 1940 - and he wanted one really badly.

Bremont Mustang P 51 Watch   watch releases

As a kid I wasn't really sure how to respond to the ex-military plane in front of me. Some guys want a vintage American muscle car, and others watch a plane with the same cojones. That was my first memory of a P-51, but to Nick and Giles English of Bremont, it means something else. The British aviation themed brand brings us a limited edition watch dedicated entirely to American and English superiority over the skies. What is the UK/US connection that makes the watch legitimate? The US sold many P-51s to England for use in the RAF (Royal Air Force). As such, the P-51 Mustang, in its many forms, was a staple of mid 20th Century US and British air power. Interestingly enough, I understand that the first P-51's weren't really great - but later improvements made them much, much better.

The P-51 had something else going for it, being that it was a really good looking plane. Part of its heritage is in its good looks, and a bit of that ends up right here in this watch that Bremont designed to celebrate the famous fighter. At the same time, I have yet to see any other watch that feels so appropriate to go with a brown leather bomber jacket.

Bremont is taking the watch's connection with the actual plane very seriously. The watch is actually dedicated to a very specific P-51 built in 1944 called the P-51K-10. Built in Texas, the plane was used in WWII in the Pacific when fighting the Japanese and then later saw military duty in other parts of Asia. The plane was nick-named "Fragile by Agile" by its pilot, and eventually found a home in the UK. Later, the plane was reacquired by someone in Texas (back to its "birth" location).

Bremont Mustang P 51 Watch   watch releases

Bremont Mustang P 51 Watch   watch releases

Some of the plane is actually used in the watch. Bremont says that aluminum from the fuselage is in the dial (as the subsidiary seconds hand) and some in the movement (as the rotor - save for the weight) in each of the pieces in this limited edition set. Decorative elements on the watch and dial are based on instruments and other aspects of the P-51. Not only is the automatic rotor in the movement a very real looking replica of the plane's propeller, but there is another propeller on the dial as the subsidiary second's hand.

The dial of the Mustang P-51 watch feels about as busy as it needs to be to support the themed. It is also a highly useful dial with some neat features. Powering the watch is a modified Bremont "BE-54AE" automatic movement. This is essentially a highly modified Valjoux 7750 with a GMT module. The movement has further been COSC Chronometer certified. Bremont placed a centrally mounted GMT hand, made it a 30 minute chronograph, and added an internal rotating bezel. The internal bezel is nifty using Bremont's Roto-Click system that makes it easy and precise.

Bremont Mustang P 51 Watch   watch releases

Bremont Mustang P 51 Watch   watch releases

Hands on the dial are coated with SuperLumiNova and the dial is AR coated sapphire. The watch is case uses Bremont's 'made for durability' Trip-Tick technology and is in steel being 43mm wide. Like other Bremont watches, the middle section of the case is done in black PVD. The case should be really sturdy, is shock-resistant, and is water resistant to 100 meters. One the back of the watch Bremont uses an engraving that looks hand-applied for the text. It looks very romantic given the theme of the watch. These guys know aviation themed timepieces and do them very well.

For the strap they uses a tanned calfskin leather with an embossed pattern to look like distressed leather. You know, to go with your bomber jacket. While not for everyone, this is a fantastic looking timepiece with real history, and an attention to detail that any limited edition watch should have. Bremont really knows how to pull on my "desire strings" and I really look forward to seeing this watch in person soon. There will be 251 pieces in this limited edition Mustang P-51 collection. Price is a bit high at $11,900, and will be available for purchase in the fall of 2011.

21 comments
rob caplan
rob caplan

The more I see of Bremont, the more I like it. Very striking

Sonny
Sonny

Yes...i agree with you about the price...it is bit too steep... I was hoping it wont be more than $6000... I would order one...
The design is beautifulll

Vinnie
Vinnie

Wow... I'm speechless. One of the coolest designs I've seen so far! I love the case back.

Watchmark
Watchmark

Wow, this watch is way overpriced. $12K for a Top Grade Valjoux 7750, with very few modifications - that is absolutely outrageous.

I can go buy a Breitling, with an manufacture column-wheel chronograph movement for $7,000. That makes the Bremont worth maybe $5,000 - max!

They must really think their customers are suckers.

Witch Watch
Witch Watch

Another solid effort by Bremont, a touch too similar to their other pilot watches? Yes but that's no bad thing imo. I kind of agree what DR s saying on the font used on the engraving not being apt to the warbird theme but i think if it was more militaristic it would be even less appealing and i also agree with the price being very much steep and could do with a few 000's knocked off.

Ryan
Ryan

My grandfather flew one of these over the Pacific - how awesome would it be to get him this! Great piece of work - wish there were one less zero on the price...and then cut it in half!

anthony mcdonald
anthony mcdonald

the original p51 was the result of a specification issued by the British government for a fighter bomber . the initial design boasted mediocre performance until mated to the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine , which was fitted to all subsequent versions , and produced under license in the US .
As for the watch , overdone and overpriced.

sonorman
sonorman

Bremont has become my favorite watch maker since the great Supermarine watches, and this new pilot watch is another fantastic time piece. As Ariel wrote, it may not be for everyone. Of course, it's not. But in my opinion, Bremont makes the best watch designs these days. No matter what price.

I own a Supermarine Descent since about half a year and the watch is a real every day pleasure. It is very well made in every little detail and it is the most precise mechanical watch I have ever owned.

Kudos Bremont

Ivan Y
Ivan Y

I generally have a very positive opinion on Bremont, but this model has way too much going on. But, since it's a LE, they probably know their target demographic.

MichaelG
MichaelG

This Bremont is a bit hit and miss for me. I like much of what's going on but I think it's a missed opportunity. Just take the photos of the P-51 plane, there's so much there to take inspiration off. I would have used the same color scheme, stripes etc and perhaps applied some perlage on the dial. It could end up looking like stuff I've seen from Graham though. I don't know... it doesn't speak enough aviation or retro to me. The caseback is much more interesting and original. I'd like to see it in the flesh.

Dangeruss
Dangeruss

While I like it and most offerings from Bremont, this is bordering on overdone. One propeller is enough (the rotor), the subseconds is less sucessful and a bit kitchy to me. All three hands are very well done, and really sell the look. I'd like it better if the caseback engraving wasn't a script font. It's pretty, but doesn't convey the warbird theme to me. I'd also like it better if it wasn't $12,000. Limited editions of a watch brand that "no one" has ever heard of stike me as a bit silly. Just being cool enough to know and buy a Bremont shoud be exclusive enough for now. Bring the price in at a lower altitude and it would be far more popular. For 12K, I'd buy two very nice aviation watches from more mainstream brands.

Alistair Gibbons
Alistair Gibbons

Love that watch...worked with Giles on the styling... I am having one myself... very excited...

Great Blog BTW

Regards

Alistair

kris c
kris c

Wow - what a looker. Very well done; I'd be happy to sport this any day.

I don't care at all about the history behind some of the materials, so like Dan says, make a production model without the p-51 DNA, give it a more obtainable sticker, and I'd be all over it. Great design.

Dan B
Dan B

Ummm Ariel, it's Feb. 3 and I'm still waiting for you to notify me about last month's 1974 Speedy I won? :-p

This Bremont is gorgeous. A bit out of my price range but if I had the dough I would hop on it in a second. Love the hour and minute hands. The crowns give it a more rugged look as fits it's military heritage. The only thing that irks me a bit is the subsidiary seconds hand. It's a bit too obstructive in my opinion. I would have preferred if they made it just a single propeller blade with a yellow tip and left the propeller for the rotor, which I might add is stunning. A fantastic piece.

If Bremont were to make a non-LE production version of this, sans actual plane aluminum, without the LE markings, and a little more cost conscious, I would hop on it in a second.

Marisa Lorah
Marisa Lorah

Just extraordinary!!!! One of the most interesting topics yet covered on this blog. It's fascinating....no adjective can do this watch justice!!! Thank you so much for this interesting story from the glorious era of aviation.

Pete
Pete

very hot and slightly more pleasing to the eye (and a bit more legible) than the EP120, Awesome rotor too

admin
admin

Amazing how polarizing this watch is. I wanted to comment on the movement - and help people to realize that sometimes the movement in a watch isn't everything. Not that a watch can get away with having a bad movement, but using a modified tried and true movement with a complex case isn't a "bad thing." Sure price is always going to be a sensitive issue, but people are crying out here like Bremont stuck in a Chinese Sea-Gull.

Rich B
Rich B

I agree. It's pretty nice especially the movement but not worth the price.

admin
admin

Thanks Alistair. Keep reading.

cluedog12
cluedog12

I see your point - but the ETA series of movements were designed for economy of manufacture and there was a fellow on a well-known website who pulled apart a 7750 a few years ago to highlight the cost-cutting features. In much the same way that most people scoff at paying more than $5000 for a quartz watch, many people will scoff at paying more than $10,000 for an Valijoux 7750 watch.

Unfortunately there aren't too many sources of reliable mid-end and high-end movements available nowadays since JLC, Zenith and Frederic Piguet choked off supplies (via their corporate masters). I think there is a definite market here - a market for off-the-shelf mid/high-range movements a la Frederic Piguet 1185. Not every brand has to offer manufacture movements, but there should be something available in between the ETA (which you can find in a $850 Hamilton) and the manufacture movements found in small-series bespoke watches. I mean Patek still uses non-manufacture movements...but they're high quality non-manufacture movements.

admin
admin

I agree with you 100% but the story isn't that cut and try. You need to consider ease of getting parts for repair, finding people who can properly modify the movements (as is done here), etc... Bremont doesn't really skimp on stuff like this as far as I can tell. They wanted the movement to work well, and performance isn't always linked to how hard the movement was to make. For that reason a 2 dollar quartz movement can last 15 years (with battery changes) with no maintenance, while a $300,000 minute repeater can break after a few uses. Think of the AK-47 - cheap to make and rarely caused problems. But you are right.. there aren't too many off the shelf chronos between a 7750 and the much higher end stuff.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] The watch is part of a relationship between UK-based watch brand Bremont and The National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth, England. The final piece will be unveiled in July 2012 during an event aboard the ship. This is the second Bremont limited edition watch to contain parts from an historic military machine. They did this first in the Mustang P-51 timepiece covered here. [...]