November 16, 2020
While several high profile watch brands hail from the United Kingdom, perhaps no other brand embraces its British heritage as much as Bremont. With a back catalog celebrating British icons as diverse as the Jaguar D-Type, the Supermarine Spitfire, and the Rolling Stones, Bremont’s unique blend of historic materials and patriotic inspiration have set it well apart from its competitors. For its latest release, Bremont turns its eye to one of the most influential scientific minds of the past century. Inspired by the life and discoveries of Stephen Hawking, the limited edition Bremont Hawking Collection offers a dressy conversation piece blending a pair of unique complications with a wide array of direct and subtle references to the great physicist.
The 41mm case of the Bremont Hawking Collection is available in stainless steel, rose gold, and white gold. The case combines the signature Bremont Trip-Tick design with its undercut lugs and ribbed black coated cylindrical central case along with a broad, rounded polished bezel for a dressier, more compact look overall. With a relatively simple look when viewed from above, the most dramatic element of the Hawking Collection’s case is undoubtedly the solid caseback. Like so many limited edition Bremont models, the Hawking Collection incorporates artifacts from the subject itself. However, this takes on a multi-pronged approach here. The most immediately striking elements are the four wooden disks arrayed around the caseback. Made from the wood of the desk Stephen Hawking himself used from 1975 until his death in 2018, these are a tangible connection to the birthplace of some of the greatest scientific discoveries of the 20th century. While the wood samples may be the most dramatic Hawking artifacts on display, they are far from the only ones. A meteorite sample at the center of the design reinforces Hawking’s connection to outer space, and the serial number at 6 o’clock is printed on paper from original copies of Hawking’s massively influential 1979 research paper “The ‘nuts’ and ‘bolts’ of gravity.” Completing the scene is a complex etching of the stars visible over Oxford, UK on the night of Hawking’s birth along with one of his equations, flanked by the title of his seminal book “A Brief History of Time.” Despite the classical appearance, the case still manages a respectable 100 meters of water resistance.
Like the case, the dial of the Bremont Hawking Collection combines dressy, classical cues with smoothly integrated nods to Stephen Hawking and his career. Available in black for stainless steel and rose gold models and in midnight blue for white gold variants, the dial surface is dominated by the central “black hole” etched spiral pattern about Hawking’s work explaining the nature of these cosmic phenomena. The rest of the main dial surface is brightly glossy in contrast, with pointed syringe hands and beveled applied rectangular indices. While the complications may be more visible, the watch’s other great astronomical nod comes through the minute scale where a short section is marked off as “Sunlight Travel” about the 8 minutes and 20 seconds it takes for light from the sun to reach the surface of the earth. The complications for the Hawking Collection are laid out for a delicate and striking visual balance, with the big date display at 12 o’clock counterweighted by the retrograde seconds display at 6 o’clock. Interestingly, the retrograde seconds subdial works on a 30-second scale rather than a full minute, which may lead to confusion for first-time wearers.
Bremont powers the Hawking Collection with the BE-33AE automatic movement. The brand mentions little about the technical specifications of this new movement beyond a 42-hour power reserve, though if the patterns behind past Limited Editions are to be accounted for, it’s a traditional ebauche base calibre with considerable modification to fit the theme of the LE itself. All three case variants of the Bremont Hawking Collection are paired with alligator leather straps. Stainless steel models receive a strap in classic black, while the warm tones of the rose gold case look in initial images to be well complemented by a mahogany brown strap and the white gold case is contrasted by a strap in navy blue.
Despite a deceptively clean and simple appearance, the limited edition Bremont Hawking Collection delivers one of the brand’s richest and most complex tributes to a historic British icon yet. Bremont is also using the sale of these pieces to benefit charity, as a portion of the proceeds of each Hawking Collection watch will go to benefit the Stephen Hawking Foundation, which both funds cosmological research and provides support to those suffering from Motor Neurone Disease. Only 388 examples of the Bremont Hawking Collection will be made in stainless steel, along with 88 units each in rose gold and white gold. MSRP for the stainless steel Bremont Hawking Collection stands at $9,995, while the rose gold and white gold Bremont Hawking Collection models are priced at $22,495 and $23,495, respectively. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.