The biggest recent news at Bremont was the announcement of their new CEO, Davide Cerrato. Under his aegis, the British watch-making brand will likely experience its greatest shift since being founded by brothers Nick and Giles English. Cerrato is the first person who has been charged with running the company aside from the founders, and he is an important watch industry veteran who I’ve known since his work at brands including Panerai, Tudor, Montblanc, and HYT. It is still too early in Cerrato’s job at Bremont to release entirely new timepiece collections he has imagined, but already the prolific design professional is putting his mark on the London-area-based brand.
Cerrato appears most comfortable when digesting a classic brand and interpreting its aesthetic into cohesive, contemporary collections. While Bremont as a brand is relatively new, its aesthetic has always been anchored in classic British timekeeping and instrumentation, not to mention machinery. Therefore, Cerrato has plenty to sink his intellectual teeth into when it comes to refining the shape and theme of Bremont. Frankly, I like most of Cerrato’s ideas for Bremont, even if it means initially shedding many of the currently available models. Cerrato wants to not only streamline the aesthetic of the brand but also reduce the average price point, something most enthusiasts will likely celebrate. How does a timepiece like this newer Supermarine S302 Jet watch fit into the future for Bremont?
Bremont currently produces the Supermarine diver’s style watch in a 40 and 43mm wide case, with either a standard three-hand or GMT-style automatic Swiss Made movement. This Supermarine S302 Jet has a 40mm wide case along with the GMT movement. The “Jet” part of the name refers to the color scheme, which combines attractive, mostly beige-colored markers and hands, with a black DLC-coated steel case and matching matte black dial. This is not the first Bremont “Jet” black watch. In 2022 I reviewed the similarly-colored Bremont ALT1-P2 Jet Chronograph on aBlogtoWatch.
Bremont has made it clear that the Supermarine will continue to be one of its major product pillars, but that the entire Supermarine range will be updated. That means watches like this represent a compromise between legacy components at Bremont, along with some of Cerrato’s preferred new design language and focus. The story of the current Supermarine goes back to nearly the founding of Bremont. I reviewed the original Bremont Supermarine 500 watch in 2010 on aBlogtoWatch. I still don’t think they have materially improved on the core dial and concept. The S302 is a scaled-down version of the original Supermarine in a smaller Trip-Tick, Bremont’s own shock-resistant case architecture, with 300 versus 500 meters of water-resistance. The Supermarine S302 case is 40mm wide, 13mm thick, and has a 49mm long lug-to-lug distance. It further uses 20mm wide straps. Over the dial is a slightly domed, AR-coated sapphire crystal.
I personally prefer the proportions of the larger 43mm wide Supermarine case, but for a lot of people the wide version is too wide and bulky. If you like the core Bremont Trip-Tick case look and feel that their original models are too large, then the 40mm wide option is an excellent answer to your concern. The Supermarine S302 is mainly designed as a diver’s style watch, but also has a GMT complication. As a result, it makes some odd compromises. The best example is the uni-directional versus bi-directional rotating bezel. The bezel itself is metal with a black ceramic insert. The insert is given a 24-hour scale to be read with the GMT hand, but it still operates like a diver’s timing bezel by rotating in one direction.
The dial is where you see most of Cerrato’s personality. He likes simple, classic sport watches that emphasize the elegance of a few core shapes and colors. While I think the hands are a bit too polished for an instrumental sports watch, overall the dial design of the Supermarine S302 Jet is handsome and functional. I think that there could be more than a few construction upgrades that could help the Supermarine S302 meet the considerable consumer expectations that exist for watches of this price point. Speaking of which, the future Supermarine models could benefit from more interesting and high-end caseback and crown designs. Also, as a GMT-based timepiece, I am not sure that Bremont has answered the question of why buyers should purchase this GMT watch versus a host of others that are on the market.
Inside the Bremont Supermarine S302 Jet watch is a base Swiss Made movement that the company refers to as their caliber BE-932AV. I am no longer clear on which Swiss company supplies the base movement (ETA or Sellita), but it is akin to an ETA 2893-2, which operates at 4Hz with about 50 hours of power reserve. The movement is given added value by being submitted to COSC for Chronometer certification. Given the movement, the GMT hand only moves in one direction, and there is no ability to independently adjust the local time hour hand forward or backward with the crown. That means this watch is less suitable for people who travel frequently (and want to have a home and local time on their wristwatch) and is more suitable for someone who likes having a GMT complication but doesn’t intend to adjust it all that often.
Bremont offers the Supermarine S302 Jet watch on two available strap options, though I don’t quite understand why they don’t offer both straps with the watch. One strap is a black leather band, and the other strap is this case-fitting black rubber strap (as seen on the watch I am wearing), with its vertical line texturing, akin to that available on the original Bremont Supermarine (it came on a steel bracelet with the rubber strap as a set). Sadly, there is no matching black DLC-coated steel bracelet option to go with this case, but there is a naturally finished steel bracelet option to go with the non-colored Supermarine S301 (three-hand) and S302 (GMT) 40mm wide watches.
There is a lot to like about the Supermarine S302 watches including the black-cased “Jet” version. The dials are legible, classic in their style, and still tool watches despite their luxurious nature. The 40mm wide case isn’t as visually grand as their 43mm wide variant, but it is more sensible and wears very comfortably overall. Bremont might have a nice product, but it isn’t class-leading in any one area, though there are plenty of pretty Supermarine color options for people to choose from. The Bremont Supermarine case and dial need a bit more of a modern update, but it is still a dependable classic with plenty of personality to suit timepiece enthusiasts. The price for the Bremont Supermarine S302 Jet GMT watch is £3,700. Learn more at the Bremont watches website.