British watchmaking is in a stronger position in 2023 than it’s been for decades, and one of the brands at the head of this horological “British Invasion” is undoubtedly Bremont. Since the opening of its cutting-edge Manufacturing and Technology Centre in 2021, the brand has announced a slew of new model lines, series extensions, and redesigns, revamping its catalog into a compelling luxury sports watch contender. One of the most technically capable offerings of this new Bremont generation is 2022’s limited edition Supermarine Waterman Apex, which combined a hefty 500-meter depth rating, GMT functionality, and a classic diver design influenced by brand ambassador and legendary professional big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton. For Hamilton’s second effort with Bremont, the British marque aims to refine, streamline, and elevate the original Waterman Apex design, bringing the watch in line with Bremont’s current design language while presenting a more unified overall look. The new limited edition Bremont Waterman Apex II combines the brand’s crisp, modern British design sensibilities with bold proportions and a globe-trotting bent, delivering a refined but genuinely heavy-duty option for the international aquatic adventurer.
Like most of Bremont’s sports models, the Waterman Apex II’s stainless steel case cuts an unapologetically bold, imposing figure on the wrist. At 43mm wide and a ponderous 16.5mm thick, there’s no disguising the case’s wrist presence, but the brand’s signature Trip-Tick multi-piece case construction does make for a dramatic look. The lug and upper case assembly’s emphatic, curving taper from the flared lug tips to the high, narrow waistline creates dynamic reflections in direct light, particularly when coupled with the flowing polished lug chamfers. The grooved cylindrical inner case’s matte black DLC finishing makes for a stark contrast with the surrounding steel, further emphasizing the outer case’s deep undercuts and positioning the case’s thickness as a visual centerpiece rather than downplaying it. The rest of the case design is largely carried over from Bremont’s other 500-meter divers, including a relatively tall, shallow-toothed bezel, an oversized screw-down crown at 2 o’clock, and the brand’s striking, wavelike single-sloping crown guard. Bremont also includes an automatic helium escape valve as an added nod to the watch’s deep-water capability. Rather than a dive-style bezel insert, however, Bremont opts for a unidirectional 24-hour scale in crisply printed matte black ceramic to work in conjunction with the watch’s GMT complication. Bremont eliminates the first Waterman Apex’s sapphire display caseback in favor of a crisply engraved solid back, featuring the Supermarine line’s signature Supermarine seaplane motif. While some may decry the loss of a display window, the bright, sharp finishing on this engraving is a marked step up from the original Waterman Apex’s movement decorations. Like the first Waterman Apex, however, the Bremont Waterman Apex II is rated for a hefty 500-meter water resistance.
Simpler, sharper, and with a more focused execution, the Bremont Waterman Apex II’s dial shows the most substantial step forward from its predecessor. The segmented, syringe-tipped Roman sword handset ties in the design with much of the rest of the current Supermarine range, but is still compellingly stylized with an upscale, classical feel. By contrast, the slim applied dive indices are simple and straightforward, allowing the rest of the layout to take the spotlight on the wrist. The exception to this is Bremont’s arrowhead-shaped 12 o’clock marker, which diverges from the classic dive watch formula just enough to stand out. Where this dial truly shines, however, is with its newly focused use of color and texture. Texture is the driving force behind the matte black main dial surface, with just enough grain on the outer ring to make the dial stand out in changing light. For the raised inner dial segment, though, Bremont includes a cleverly playful new facet. At first glance, this pattern is the same sort of engraved wave texture made famous by Omega, but when given closer attention, the Waterman Apex II adds its own engaging twist. Between each of the waves at regular intervals is a menacing triangular shark’s fin, cresting out of the water and acting as an excellent conversation starter. Bremont pares back the Waterman Apex II’s use of dial color, but the end result feels far sharper and more focused on the wrist. A vivid, high-visibility signal orange highlights the triangle-tipped GMT hand as well as the 60-minute numerals on the outer minutes ring and the 6 o’clock printed “Waterman” emblem. To complement this sparingly used, punchy orange, Bremont uses its pale, desaturated Harbor Blue for the outer chapter ring. Not only does this help to draw attention to the vital minutes scale for at-a-glance legibility, but it also gives the dial enough contrast to stand out on the wrist without becoming overwhelming.
Bremont powers the Waterman Apex II with the ETA 2893-2-based BE-932AV automatic GMT movement. Recently revised with new modifications from Bremont, the BE-932AV provides some substantial technical advances over the base movement, including ISO 3159 compliant chronometer accuracy and a solid 50-hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. However, some purists may still decry the caller-style quickset 24-hour hand, as opposed to the more desirable quickset local hours hand. To complete the design, Bremont offers the Waterman Apex II with ridged rubber straps in either black or Harbor Blue, along with an optional brushed three-link oyster-style bracelet in stainless steel (unfortunately, only a blue strap-equipped sample was available for photography during our limited time with the watch). The bracelet adds a set of eye-catching accent grooves to the inner links, but it’s the straps that are the real winner on the wrist, with a flexible, solid feel that helps to make this athletic case surprisingly manageable in regular wear.
With the new limited edition Waterman Apex II, Bremont combines impressive capability, crisp finishing, balanced stylistic updates, and design touches inspired by surfing great Laird Hamilton to create a bold, intriguing showcase of how far this leader in British watchmaking has come in recent years. Only 350 examples of the Bremont Waterman Apex II will be made, and the watch is available now through authorized dealers. Starting MSRP for the Bremont Waterman Apex II stands at $5,150 USD as of press time. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.