While many brands used Baselworld 2016 to announce new colorways and expanded lineups, Bremont brought a gun to a knife fight by launching a new two-model limited edition Regatta lineup to celebrate their successful partnership with the America’s Cup series and Oracle Team USA. With two distinct versions offering both a sport-tuned and a more classic design, the Bremont Regatta models feature an interesting and useful spin on the regatta timer format, promising both a functionality and an aesthetic that extends well beyond the world of professional yacht racing.
Bremont’s new Regatta family spans a total of four watches, the sporty Bremont Regatta OTUSA and the more classic Bremont Regatta AC. The Bremont Regatta OTUSA models come in black or white and feature 43mm satin-finished titanium cases that are similar to those used for Bremont’s Boeing 247 chronographs. The Bremont Regatta OTUSA features a bi-directional bezel with a luminous sapphire insert, is water resistant to 100m, and comes fitted to a boat-ready “Temple Island” rubber strap.
Despite its sporty look and feel, the case is nicely finished with polished bevels highlighting a mostly matte finish that works nicely with the reflective nature of the sapphire bezel. The middle barrel in Bremont’s Trip-Tick case is black DLC and the display case back is titanium, offering a wide view of Bremont’s proprietary chronograph movement.
The new movement, dubbed the BE-17AE, is COSC-certified and based on an ETA 7750 but has been highly customized by Bremont through their continued partnership with La Joux Perret. Beating at 4Hz with a power reserve of 42 hours, the BE-17AE is operated in the traditional manner via the two case-side pushers. Thanks to a custom proprietary module, the Bremont Regatta OTUSA offers a two-register five-minute countdown display (5-minute countdown is used in timing the start of a Regatta), a 15-minute register, a 12-hour register, and the date.
Given the general complexity of the modification from standard chronograph to regatta timer, the ability to retain the date display, especially at its balanced position at six o’clock is remarkable. The five-minute counters are also a rather neat design that gives the user a number of usage options depending on their need. The red (right) display counts down from five, in 30-second increments, while the blue (left) display offers either a “count up” as the blue disappears for red, or a verification for the right display as the red segments appear to travel from right to left (while in fact the left counter will show “start,” rather than 1-2-3-4-5). It’s a really cool way to process the countdown and the design is legible enough to be read quickly while offering some flexibility for those who want to time less than five minutes.
The Bremont Regatta OTUSA, being the more sporty of the two models, also features a small aperture just below the five minute display that shows a 15-minute count, offering a greater total resolution when combined with the 12-hour sub dial at six that shows quarter-hour resolutions. The end result is a regatta timer that still manages to be an excellent tool chronograph.
One more thing, in typical Bremont fashion, they have included a physical element to connect the Bremont Regatta OTUSA watch with the Oracle Team USA it is meant to commemorate. The cap on the crown of the Bremont Regatta OTUSA models will feature small pieces of actual carbon fibre sourced from the OTUSA AC72 boat, or, more specifically, from one of the boat’s foils. This small inclusion of material from the boat is rather cool and will no doubt appeal to fans of Oracle Team USA.
Speaking about the new Bremont Regatta models, Oracle Team USA Skipper Jimmy Spithill had this to say: “Naturally, we have a central digital clock on the boat but every sailor still likes to have the time on his wrist, and before a race the countdown to the start is critical. It’s a really tough sport both mentally and physically, and not only does the team need to make decisions under immense pressure but we need to have equipment that allows us to do so. With the countdown function being so crucial when racing out on the water, we are really delighted that Bremont has invested in this for us and it’s incredibly special for me that the watches also incorporate some of our winning AC72 which I skippered in 2013.”
The boat in question, AC72, was used to defend the 2013 America’s Cup and was part of a very exciting battle against Emirates Team New Zealand. After the Oracle team managed an impressive eight wins in a row, they are now again in the position to win the America’s Cup finals in 2017.
Moving on to the more classically designed Bremont Regatta AC, both versions of this model use a white dial but Bremont is offering the choice of a 43mm case in either 18k rose gold or polished stainless steel. Functionality is nearly identical to the Bremont Regatta OTUSA, but the Bremont Regatta AC’s more subdued look deletes the 15-minute counter from the dial, meaning you’ll need to do a little more math when reading measures that span the 12-hour counter and the 5-minute count down apertures.
The case shape is based on the very successful polished ALT1-C models and the Bremont Regatta AC watches are predictably fitted with sapphire crystals front and back and, like the Bremont Regatta OTUSA, are water resistant to 100m. Also in support of the overall styling, the five-minute counters are a slightly different design, with white and red coloring (blue for elapsed time on the left register) and no numerals for the countdown phase. Both the Bremont Regatta AC-R/SS (steel) and Bremont Regatta AC-R/RG (rose gold) come on alligator leather straps with tang buckles that match the model’s case metal.
The hours, minutes, and central chronograph seconds are blued steel and the main time hands even offer a bit of lume for enhanced legibility. Of the two versions, the AC is my favorite on wrist, I loved the thinner but still sporty polished case and the way it matched with the subtle but eye-catching use of color in the regatta counters. Despite the somewhat lesser function of the Bremont Regatta AC (no rotating bezel, no fifteen-minute counter), I really dug the design, and they feel really special on wrist.
The new watches show a strong and focused effort from Bremont to forge a memorable connection with Oracle Team USA and prove that they are continuing to innovate and develop specialized movements. All four Regatta iterations are limited editions, with the $6,895 USD Bremont Regatta OTUSA models each limited to 235 units. Likewise, the Bremont Regatta AC-R in steel will also be 235 units at $6,895 USD, while the rose gold Bremont Regatta AC-R/RG will be limited to just 135 pieces with a list price of $15,895 USD. All four models are beautifully made, offer an interesting Regatta function, and look great on wrist. Despite having no special interest in regatta racing, I do appreciate the innovation and the accessible connection to their partnership with such a successful team. Furthermore, the implementation of these new models is excellent, and they’ve managed to offer a new complication while still feeling entirely Bremont. bremont.com