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Bremont Endurance Limited Edition Watch Hands-On

Bremont Endurance Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

There’s an absolutely riveting piece of journalism recently published in the New Yorker about British Army Officer Henry Worsley’s solo trek across Antarctica in 2015. As the story recounts with exhaustive detail, Worsley is a bit of a fanatic, as one would expect from someone who voluntarily undertakes a 1,000-mile journey across the planet’s most brutal environment – by himself. But his obsessions are grounded in the singular goal of quite literally following the footsteps of childhood hero Ernest Shackleton, who attempted the same route 100 years previously, ultimately falling just short of the goal. Spoiler alert: Worsley tragically perished just before the home stretch, leaving the route still unconquered. This is basically where the Bremont Endurance story begins – as this new watch was designed specifically for a third expedition that would again challenge the same route, but this time by Worsley’s close friend; fellow Englishman and polar explorer Ben Saunders.

Bremont Endurance Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

All images by Bilal Khan

Now, the last time we saw this watch, it was called the Terra Nova, unveiled in a tent upon completion of Saunders’ previous polar expedition in 2014 – a two-man trek along the 1,800-mile Terra Nova route from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back. Like the Endurance, the Terra Nova was somewhat purpose-built for Saunders’ record-breaking trek, and included details like a bidirectional rotating navigational bezel, a 24-hour GMT hand (which not only tells a second time zone, but is used in conjunction with the bezel to indicate bearing – more on that below), ample shock resistance, and most importantly, a lightweight titanium case – weight savings which are particularly important for the types of guys who snip the tags out of their clothes and cut off toothbrush handles to save pack weight.

Bremont Endurance Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Whether or not you buy into the fact that there are far more practical or attainable adventures around which a watch could be designed, or the fact that a redundant timekeeping device adds unnecessary weight to an expedition where the razor-thin line between success and failure could be measured in the number of grams being hauled in a sled across hundreds of miles of glaciers. There’s no denying it’s the sort of thing that still enraptures one’s imagination, and the very types of stories that Bremont as a brand has endeared itself to.

Bremont Endurance Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Just as I did with the Terra Nova, I appreciate the fact that the Endurance is still by and large, a rudimentary, but somewhat practical fail-safe, in a similar manner as a traditional dive watch that might be worn by tech divers. After all, two is one, and one is none, right? Granted, Saunders might not have had the luxury of being able to carry multiple redundancies for everything in his kit, but navigation was crucial enough to have a backup option should his GPS unit have an issue. And with ambient air temperatures hovering at a balmy 40 degrees below zero most days, sluggish LCD screens and dead lithium ion batteries were a very real concern.

Bremont Endurance Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Using an analog watch as a navigational tool is little more than a neat boy scout trick, but it’s one made considerably easier with a rotating compass bezel and 24-hour or GMT hand, as found on the Bremont Endurance. To stay on course in the Northern Hemisphere, all you need to do is set ‘North’ on the bezel to 12:00. Then, with the dial level to the horizon, point the 24-hour hand in the direction of the sun – each of the bezel demarcations should point South, East, and West. Those in the Southern Hemisphere reverse the instructions slightly, by first matching the bezel’s ‘North’ mark to the 24-hour hand, then pointing the 12:00 marker on the dial at the sun, whereupon the bezel points will again call out their respective cardinal directions.

Bremont Endurance Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Speaking of that GMT hand, there have been a few key aesthetic changes to the Endurance that distance it from the Terra Nova – perhaps most obviously being the orange 24-hour indicator with its oversized ’N’ – an oddly divisive detail that just seems unnecessary, given there was nothing really wrong with the Terra Nova’s classic arrow-shaped hand. A closer look reveals a dial that’s been nicely opened up though, thanks to the omission of the railroad minute track encircling the center globe motif, and the use of smaller, more rounded hour markers. The latter is a detail that’s consistent with the rest of the new Supermarine collection, which leans more towards a clean, minimalist approach, unlike the ‘maxi’ dials on the first-generation Supermarines. And though there was nothing inherently wrong with the caseback on the Terra Nova (its “there and back” engraving was actually quite cool) the Endurance also gets an exhibition caseback at Saunders’ specific request, through which the slightly upgraded (with a Glucydur balance, Anachron balance spring, and a Nivaflex 1 mainspring) ETA 2893 movement is visible.

Bremont Endurance Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Bremont Endurance Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

There is one superfluous detail on the Bremont Endurance that had no bearing on either of Saunders’ expeditions – and this is a helium release valve. While certainly an odd inclusion on a polar expedition watch, it’s a standard feature on the rest of the Supermarine collection upon which the Endurance is based, so its presence is at least understandable. Besides, there’s no denying that a rugged, and highly legible dive watch with GMT timekeeping abilities might have slightly broader appeal for actual saturation divers who spend weeks at a time in a cramped helium-rich chamber while deployed. No matter which tiny audience appreciates the feature, it’s still a niche, so let’s move on.

Bremont Endurance Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Since the Endurance (and by extension, the Terra Nova) is essentially a Supermarine S500 in titanium, it borrows an identical case silhouette, which measures a very modern 43mm by 17mm thick. Between the super-comfortable integrated rubber strap and excellent lightness of the titanium case, the 17mm thickness of the Terra Nova and its generous 51mm lug-to-lug measurements still all but disappeared on the wrist. Unfortunately, that’s not quite the case with the Endurance, whose new NATO-style strap adds another two or three millimeters to its wear height. Again, probably not an issue when worn outside a heavy parka as Saunders did, but for those interested in the Endurance for everyday adventuring, Bremont’s excellent integrated rubber strap should absolutely be a consideration.

Bremont Endurance Limited Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Spoiler alert number two: Saunders didn’t make it all the way across Antarctica either, but thankfully, he prudently pulled the plug at the halfway mark and lived to tell the tale, leaving Shackleton’s incredible route still uncompleted. As with the Terra Nova, the Endurance is limited to 300 pieces, and is similarly priced, at $6,395. bremont.com

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Comments

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  • Agnar Sidhu

    Nice looking watch!

    • Drazen B

      Now you’re just being facetious…

  • Tigran Khachatryan

    Hate starts at 3…2…1…

    • IG

      I hate you.

    • ProJ

      But is there really anything to love here?

      • BNABOD

        nope there isn’t

      • Young New Mexican Puppeteer

        Where is the love
        ABTW has for these
        Pricey monstrosities
        Priced like JLC!
        O how can it be?

  • Tea Hound

    I guess if you’ve done your research and, for some inexplicable reason, you feel that the offerings at this price point from Omega, JLC, Rolex, …insert your own long list here…, just aren’t good enough, then I guess this isn’t the ugliest watch on the planet, and is not the most unbalanced watch that Bremont have released. The price is of course, absurd, and the list of watches I’d rather own over anything assembled by Bremont is long, even including a number of G-Shocks, but what the hell – it’s your life.

    • ProJ

      At 6 grands, they are clearly playing in the JLC territory in my opinion. I mean who would get this over say a memovox?

      • egznyc

        I’d love the Memovox – or so many other options – above this Bremont. It’s not a bad looking watch but really, for over 6k, no way!

        • Young New Mexican Puppeteer

          I’d pay $1500 for it. Maybe. Ok, 1k

          • Pieter deHatter

            We deHatters know how to Dutch auction. I bid 800!

  • IG

    I couldn’t figure out why the GMT hand is so short. To not cover the date? Anyways redundancy in the mountains is good, but I have a small compass for that.

  • The watch, then, is a perfect analogue to both expeditions: Struggling valiantly while ultimately failing.

  • Mikita

    Another very limited ETA based Bremont for over $6,000. Nick & Giles never fail to surprise.

  • Bill Davidson

    What does supermarine (WW2 spitfire) endurance have to do with trekking across Antarctica i ask ?
    A. Farkall
    B. Not much
    C. Zip, zilch, de nada

    • Pieter deHatter

      D. On the surface, nothing. Up higher, though, in the more rarefied air, the answer is everything.

      Do you wear bespoke or at least made-to-measure snowmobiling suits? Drive a European dog-sled? Have a nice pocket knife, preferably serrated? Do you appreciate and often take a two-pint blood transfusion? Hike as hard as you trek? Smoke a fine char on occasion? Have a sense of adventure and bold beard? Are you freezing your ass off, sir? Then you’ll get it: The explorer guy, the transfusion guy, the arctic char guy, the my wife and kids won’t talk to me and I’ve lost most of my toes guy…they’re all the same guy!

      • Omegaboy

        Good thing your wife isn’t lactose intolerant . . .

  • SuperStrapper

    Such garbage marketing. Matches the watches perfectly.

  • BNABOD

    there we go again, now the hands on Brewmont of the week. Certainly not the author’s fault but this one was butt ugly on arrival and now w the cover story, Antarctica, frost bite, back up tool, “upgraded” movement……. it is still sadly butt ugly and overpriced.
    “it borrows an identical case silhouette, which measures a very modern 43mm by 17mm thick.” Yup it is called a brick, not the triple trick case the triple brick case. 17mm then add nato then add almost 7 large and you are in for a treat and not the good kind.
    I like an underdog as much as the next guy but I just don’t like a dog and this one is barking very loudly and it is really really annoying.
    good thing I can vote w my wallet and say no way…

    • egznyc

      Its sandwich case (not dial) must be a Dagwood… you know I agree with just about everything (except I don’t think it’s butt ugly).

  • Yan Fin

    Good review Zach!
    Seems like an extremely lucky series of watches. What is the antonym of talisman ?

  • Omegaboy

    I love this movement, just not in a $6000 watch.

  • Daniel Harper

    Man, I thought the “N” on the GMT hand was quite clever, actually, considering that the gentleman using the watch for the Antarctica trek will be using the Southern Hemisphere method of finding his bearing in which the GMT hand points North.

  • Juan-Antonio Garcia

    If Bremont can get away with asking $6,400 for this? Let them. Guess it will be the same crowd that later in life will pay $200k for a Richard Mille. The costly and difficult road to an education in bad taste.

  • Playboy Johnny

    Liberty Catheters just canceled their co-branding partnership with Bremont.

    Liberty stated: “our products are designed for urine… not shit”

    Nick could not be reached for comment.

    • Marius

      Hahaha! Excellent comment!

      • IG

        You are a satisfied customer of Liberty Catheters?

        • Marius

          I am a satisfied user of Liberty Catheters.

          Liberty Catheters — Your urine is our passion.

    • Pieter deHatter

      Inca Kola’s still in it for the long haul.

    • Roberto Guimaraes

      A fountain of wisdom.

      • Playboy Johnny

        Roberta the Bremont cheerleader is back!

        • Roberto Guimaraes

          It’s Roberto, Jonny-boy. The anonymity of the internet gives you courage to misspell or you need new glasses? I like Bremont and many other brands and I’m here to read the reviews and learn, not to deal w wussy harassers like you.

          • Playboy Johnny

            Well Roberta, then why do you feel compelled to follow me around and make comments directed at me?? Maybe you should just mind your own business and leave me alone.

          • Roberto Guimaraes

            O, Jb, O. Trolling the troll, bro. Chill, afaik no one is following you around.

          • Playboy Johnny

            Well Roberta, you do seem to like making comments about my posts.
            Am I your favorite poster here?
            I do a stand up routine twice a week, would you like free tickets?
            You can show up and wear your Bremont – that would be the biggest joke of the night!!!!!!

          • Roberto Guimaraes

            Chill troll, chill.

  • Andy

    Awesome and cool watch. So glad we have Bremont to spice up the usual and overly dull releases by the usual lot

    • Chaz

      Thanks Nick. Or is it Giles?

  • Drazen B

    Another nonsense watch from a brand with no horological history or meaning…

    • 12333444333

      Referencing history is imbecilic, no brand started with history, you have to create it.

      • Drazen B

        Imbecilic you say, what an idiotic word to use.
        If you don’t get what I meant than join Hodinkee, plenty of like minded people there for you to hang around.

        • 12333444333

          Do you want to justify your first sentence? Only your comments remain totally nonsensical.

          • Drazen B

            Hope your Bremont serves you well.

      • Roberto Guimaraes

        Agree. Maybe you’re talking to royals here, as they take history and tradition so seriously. Look at their comments…traditionally moronic.

  • Lucian Virciu

    I think I felt in love with this watch.

  • Sylvio Bertoli

    Nice design but too expensive for an ETA movement on a brand that is not iconic.

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