April 12, 2009
by Ariel Adams
Emerging British luxury watch maker Bremont recently announced their first diver’s watch. This is an important occasion for each ‘active’ watch brand. Having at least one solid diving watch is a positional and status signifier. Sort of like saying that the company is not serious about its theme unless it has a functional diving watch. Though the brand is based in England, all watches are produced in their atelier in Biel-Bienne Switzerland.
While I feel that some of the current Bremont watches are bland looking (though pleasing and functional), the new Supermarine 500 does not come across that way. Sometimes you want a diving watch to be more conservative looking and focus on doing its job well rather than being too avant garde. That is why diving watches are important — the watch lover community evaluates them to see how well a given watch maker is able to represent the genre.
Bremont focuses on flying and aviator inspired watch designs, having a diving watch that fits into that look is hard to do. The Supermarine 500 has a few important cues that reflect the aviation ideal. This includes the propeller shaped automatic rotors, and a design that reminds me of the streamlining on a water based take-off (and landing) plane. Going along with this idea, the Supermarine 500 watch is being presented as a tribute to Bremont’s love of seaplanes such as the S6B Schneider Trophy Seaplane. Bremont wants you to think of the Supermarine as the “amphibious” model in their lineup. That basically says that it is a land and sea (and air) watch tool —a vision that certainly comes through in the design.
The 42mm wide watch case is made of three specially treated steel parts — for strength and durability. Polished and brushed surfaces interact nicely for a classy look. I like the design of the curved lugs, rotating bezel, and case structure overall. The exhibition caseback present is very rare on a watch with 500 meters of water resistance. The dial of the watch has a peculiar though familiar design that is truly a mix between classic aviator and diving watches. You can especially tell this in the hands of the watch. The minute hand it an exemplar of aviator watches, while the hour hand is something you’ll find resembles the hour hand on a Rolex Submariner. The same idea goes for the hour indexes, which are similar to the Submariner look, but with more flair and an aviator feel.
It took me a while to notice, but the contrast between the sans-serif font on the bezel and the (semi) serif font on the chapter ring (with the minute marker around the periphery of the dial) is a very sharp look that is easy to miss. Then of course you have the aquamarine green which exactly the tone of sea worthy green you need on a nautically themed watch (makes for good lume too). The dial will be highly visible through the double anti-reflective coated sapphire crystal.
The pictured Bremont Supermarine 500 watch uses their modified BE-36A automatic mechanical movement (certified to be a chronometer) – that is itself likely to be a modified ETA 2836 movement with a day and date indicator. Looking at the image of the rear of the watch, you can tell that it is of a chronograph model (due to the pushers). This signifies that pretty soon Bremont will also release a chronograph version of the Supermarine 500 watch. I am pretty sure that this sharp looking timepiece will have lots of iterations released in various colors and complications. The vertically grooved rubber strap is nice enough, but I sense that the watch will be offered on leather and rubber straps in due time. Prices are likely to be in the $4,000 – $8,000 range.
See Bremont watches on eBay here.See Bremont watches on Amazon here. [phpbay]bremont, num, “14324”, “”[/phpbay]