Jaguar-XJ-Car-6 Bremont-Jaguar-MKI-2

The Jaguar XJ, on the other hand, is a very advanced and comfortable moving couch. I say this with honor, as I feel the moving couch has been overlooked for a few years now. Everyone and their grandfather seems to want to be a freeway (or alleyway) racer these days, and cars are all about sports and competition. Racing is fun, but race cars aren’t always good for commuting. I like going fast, but also enjoying the process for hours on end. Jaguar blended a lot of elements here into making a truly modern British car that feels perpetually dignified, but also jolly in the turns and over bumps.

This is where the high-end American car should be today, but seemingly isn’t. I’m not convinced that even the best Lincoln or Cadillac available now can match an automobile like this for doing the job of being a large commuter car with impeccable style, driving with poise, and also being humble to the bum. This nevertheless is a European car, so the interior space isn’t going to be as generous as a the exterior dimensions might suggest, but this is about as much space as you can get in a Jaguar right now.

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I am also mindful that the Jaguar XJ’s interior has a range of electronics and other features that will get serious upgrades in the next major introduction of the car. I’m forgiving to some of the systems which aren’t as user-friendly as in a Lexus, or that were more competitive when they came out. Jaguar hasn’t ignored interior upgrades over the years since this XJ was released, meaning that features are still galore. Yet, most of those features are about babying the diver, such as offering advice about parking, turning, following, lane changing, backing-up, etc.

The most annoying feature of the car is the “Eco Mode” which turns off the engine while the car has been idling too long. There is a button to turn it off, but each time you turn the car back on the system defaults to having Eco Mode on. Not only that, but there is an ugly yellow icon on the dashboard when the system is turned off. I’ve never heard of anyone who enjoyed this system designed to lower emissions, and wondered why it was designed in such a “driver-unfriendly” way. Then I realized it was mandated by US law, or at least done to qualify for certain compliance purposes. I was about to begin a large discussion on this being a clear situation of a government regulation that utterly neglects the demands of enthusiasts and how forcing such systems on many new cars will be counterproductive to sales… Looks like Jaguar isn’t really at fault here, nor are many of the other brands which offer this feature.

The biggest downside of Eco Mode systems on engines is that when you are stopped at a light your engine turns off. It actually sounds like it sadly dies, and it never sounds assuring. You wonder if when the time comes the car will actually start itself again. When you hit the gas pedal, there is a relatively brief delay, and the car engines comes back to life, offering a distinct, but relatively minor delay in you getting on your way.

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Car makers probably hate that they need to force this on customers, but attempt to paint its appeal with a “fuel mileage saving”-color paint. It might save a bit of gas, but for me that isn’t worth the annoyance. I suspect the legislative intent behind the law was to lower emissions – an admirable goal. The electric car side of the industry must be snickering about now. I don’t know how much harmful emissions will be prevented from reaching the atmosphere as a result of forcing these “quick-kill” systems on otherwise proud engines, but I do harbor major concerns over what such systems add in terms of maintenance costs, as well as the propensity for engines to fail more often. It simply can’t be good for an engine to start and stop so many more times. I’m open to being wrong about this, but it just seems that there would be inevitable increases to unwanted wear and tear.


Let’s get back to the Bremont Jaguar MkI watch. Its design was inspired by the E-Type, which is actually an automobile the English brothers (who founded Bremont) own. It was their father’s car, and it’s in cherry condition in bright red sitting clean in a cozy garage. I recall sitting in the car eyeing how similar the dial of the watch looked to the gauges on the E-Types instrument cluster. Bremont really did a nice job in making the watch feel like an extension of the car.

Some might argue that the car-plus-watch relationship is not even boldly presented in the Jaguar timepieces, but perhaps that is exactly what Bremont was going for. You see, it has long since been an incredible challenge to get car brand-themed watches to work well. It seems as though making them appealing to both watch and car audiences as well as not making them gimmicky is really difficult. With the Jaguar collection, Bremont went far to the side of conservatism. The watch is handsome, and makes sense, but is restrained in so many areas where the watch could have screamed “car theme.”

Only the most subtle of touches connect the external design of the timepiece to the world of Jaguar. These include the small Jaguar logo on the crown, the tire-tread-style texture of the crown, the tachometer-style watch face inspired by the E-Type’s instruments, the historic Jaguar logo on the dial, and the custom automatic rotor visible through the sapphire crystal on the back of the watch case. This latter element is easily the most detailed. If anything, this is the timepiece’s cheesiest element, but it is so fun (and mostly hidden) that you forgive it and appreciate how it adds to the watch’s personality.


The steering-wheel design is again taken directly from the vintage E-Type and looks remarkably lifelike (only tiny, and powering a mechanical wrist watch). Bremont didn’t want to design a car watch. They wanted to design a watch with a dial that looks like Bremont made car instruments – and that’s exactly what the Bremont Jaguar MkI is successful at feeling like.

The dial indicates only the time with a subsidiary seconds dial and a window for the date. At times, I find the dial to be too simple, but at the same time I appreciate the restraint from doing more. My only complaint is that the very small hour markers at 5 and 7 o’clock are just a bit too small, such that they sometimes look like specs of something white that got on the crystal. Bremont wanted to leave this space open to emphasize the more crescent shape of the dial that uses a retrograde hand on a real RPM gauge, as opposed the perpetually forward moving hands of a timepiece dial. With that said, the lower dial is given a handsome and nicely-framed date window. Bremont added the right amount of red to the otherwise masculine and instrument-like face design.


Powering the Bremont Jaguar MkI watch is the caliber BWC/01 automatic. It’s a very solid and stable movement that’s more like a nicely finished workhorse than it is a delicate exotic. So in a way, this movement is like what modern Jaguars have under the hood compared to what old Jaguars had under the hood. The BWC/01 operates at 4Hz (28,800bph) with a power reserve of about 50 hours.

As odd as it may sound, having a wearable car instrument gauge is kinda sexy. I didn’t think the watch would come across as handsome as it does, but it’s a winning formula. This is especially true thanks to one simple, but very effective watch industry trick, and that is to match a classic-looking dial with a rich-looking, slightly glossy alligator strap. Bremont also offers a deeper blue leather strap (with racing “portholes” cut into it. I’ve worn the watch with both straps, and like the personality that each gives the timepiece. With that said, the more stately look is had with the thick alligator strap that contrasts with the otherwise matte dial in a way that I found to be very successful.


On the wrist, the Bremont Jaguar MkI sits at 43mm wide in Bremont’s signature Trip-Tick case design. It is also 16mm thick (admittedly chunky) and water resistant to 100 meters. The steel case is produced by Bremont, and after the steel is cut, shaped, and polished, it is sent off for special hardening – a process that adds considerably to the Vickers strength, meaning that it is more scratch-resistant. Over the dial is a double-domed and AR-coated sapphire crystal. I wouldn’t call the watch too large, but it is sizable. It is worlds larger (given modern tastes that I subscribe to) than most anything worn on the wrist of someone driving an original E-Type. In the Jaguar XJ, it feels right at home.


I don’t think that, on paper or in performance, the Jaguar XJ is class-leading in any manner, but the assortment of attributes makes for a really charming automotive personality. It’s sort of like a typical Lexus in the sense that it attempts to do many things well, while not standing out in any particular area. The Jaguar XJ likes it smooth but doesn’t need to drive in a straight line to offer a regal ride. It’s comfortable in turns, and the long wheelbase make fast handling very comfortable. Again, this is a very advanced driving couch, and like all couches, you need to enjoy sitting there as much as you enjoy what you are doing while sitting there.

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