This watch is the result of the first collaboration between Bremont and George Bamford, two noteworthy names when it comes to today’s timepiece industry in Britain. George Bamford has been on a roll with collaboration watches, having in large part set the stage for what a lot of today’s collaboration timepieces should look like. By that, I mean a proper creative integration between a proud brand and a recognized creative force that results in a brand new composition that appeals to fans of both parties involved. The Bremont S500 Bamford Special Edition is just such a watch.
aBlogtoWatch first debuted the Bremont S500 Bamford Special Edition watch earlier in 2022 As a limited edition of just 250 pieces, the entire set sold out rather quickly, probably on account of the relatively unexpected nature of the product, as well as its fun sportiness. aBlogtoWatch was able to check out one of the Bremont S500 Bamford watches — and it is pretty fun to wear.
Some of George Bamford’s designs are more complex and nuanced in what he is trying to accomplish, emotionally and aesthetically. This piece, however, is a lot more straightforward and easy for fans of both brands to understand. The product begins with Bremont’s Supermarine S500 diver’s watch. (I originally reviewed the Bremont Supermarine S500 back in 2010.) Bremont has made style changes to the Supermarine over the years but, in large part, the collection remains the same, featuring the same case and movement for over a decade.
What Bamford did is change the dial and add his signature Bamford London color scheme, which is black with accents of sky blue. The dial he wanted to go with was not only sandwich-style in construction but also “California dial” in the design of the markers. That means the upper numeral-style hour markers are in Roman numerals while the lower ones are in Arabic numerals. Bamford is going for a more vintage sports watch theme dial (that is nevertheless familiar to collectors), but with his signature use of modern colors and finishes. The dial is very handsome and mostly legible, though I wish that the baby blue “popped” even more visually in contrast to the mostly matte-black finishing of the watch dial and case.
Bamford and Bremont were successful with the sandwich-style dial construction that places luminant on the lower layer. In some ways, it is a bit gimmicky because there are other more modern ways to get a great luminant application, but again, Bamford is trying to give collectors and enthusiasts what they want. Bremont, accordingly, is on the more conservative side when it comes to designs, so even, as it is the Bremont s500 Bamford Special Edition watch is on the more radical side for the English brand.
The Bremont S500 case is meant for diving and has 500 meters of water resistance. The case has a crown placed at the 2 o’clock position, as well as an automatic helium release valve. In steel, the case is 43mm-wide, done here in a black DLC-coating (though it is interesting that the helium release valve was not able to be coated). Given the anti-shock and water resistance of the Bremont “Trip-Tick” case, it is 16.5mm-thick with a domed sapphire crystal. The case also has a 51mm lug-to-lug distance and uses a 22mm-wide strap. The strap here is in black textile with a leather liner and matching (to the dial) blue-colored stitching.
One of the best things about the original Supermarine S500 watch was the use of a sapphire crystal insert over the rotating bezel. Here, Bremont and Bamford go for a slightly more mainstream option with a matte-black ceramic bezel insert. The back of the watch is also in black and has a motif of a seaplane. This is actually the original caseback of the Supermarine S500, and I found it interesting that a different caseback design was not used for this special collaboration product.
Inside the Bremont Supermarine S500 is a base Swiss Made ETA movement that has been modified by Bremont to be the caliber BA-36AE automatic movement. It features just the time with hours, minutes, and seconds, operating at 4Hz with 38 hours of power reserve. Bremont also sends the movements to COSC in Switzerland for Chronometer certification purposes.
The “Bremont Bamford” text on the dial says pretty much everything you need to know about this watch right on the face if you are a timepiece enthusiast who has been following both brands for a while. Fans understand what Bremont contributed and what Bamford contributed, resulting in a satisfying timepiece with fun looks and Bamford’s typical moody color tone. Will there be more? Perhaps, but it is hard to say. I think both parties are happy about the commercial success of the Bremont S500 Bamford Special Edition. The question then becomes will Bremont allow Bamford to go even further next time? Price for the Bremont S500 Bamford Special Edition watch is $4,995. Learn more at the Bremont website here.