Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bremont announces Limited Edition Mustang P-51 Watch

From the Bremont Press Release, this morning:
Following on from the great success and interest generated by the arrival of the very special and unique EP120 Limited Edition watch back in late 2008, Bremont are releasing the Limited Edition ‘Bremont P-51’, a chronograph chronometer built with original parts from the famous 1944 Mustang WWII aircraft P-51K-10 (serial number 44-12016), a Pacific war veteran also known as ‘Fragile but Agile’.
Original aluminium metal from the aircraft fuselage is integrated into both the dial and the movement of the timepiece; with the dial itself inspired by the clocks found in the P-51 aircraft. The 43mm hardened steel Trip-Tick™ case, using Bremont’s B-EBE2000 technology, integrates the new rotating ‘Roto-Click’ inner bezel that houses four ball-bearings inside the case. As with many of Bremont’s latest watch designs, the P-51 is assembled the company’s atelier in England rather than their workshop in Biel-Bienne in Switzerland, and houses a modified Swiss BE-54A automatic chronometer movement that also shows UTC time. The watch will be limited to only 251 pieces and will retail at £7,450.00. The watch is to be unveiled at Basel 2011 and released in the autumn. 

My initial comments are as follows:
  • Wow. Stunning watch, which incorporates elements of the classic Elgin / Waltham 8-day cockpit clocks (see image below) with Bremont's traditional, strong styling
  • In doing so, the Mustang P-51 stays true to Bremont's design 'DNA' while also being a decent homage to a fantastic 'plane (Fragile but Agile has a splendid history too). The use of the four-bladed rotor echoes the similar blades of the Mark IX Spitfire, further linking this to the previous model (EP 120)
  • I must admit to some surprise at the 'plane chosen - I didn't think I'd see the word 'Fragile' on a Bremont! 
  • There are some lovely little details on the watch - the UTC hand and numbering are improved, in my opinion, from the EP 120, the accentuated hands add legibility, while the seconds hand seems to be displaying Bremont's increasing quirkiness (cf the Martin-Baker hand on the MB range of watches)
  • The SuperLuminova is bespoke, and lends a faded, lived-in look to the watch, further echoed by the light PVD-treatment on the stainless steel case, while the internal bezel's solid Roto-click should keep owners happy
  • I like the 30-minute counter at 12 o'clock, although would probably have preferred a slightly longer counter myself (I must admit that I tend to use chronos for timing football matches!)
  • Would like to see a side-on view - would be interesting to see whether Bremont have maintained the "roundel"
I like it!


Photos (C) Bremont 2011 ( Details / specs after the jump)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rare Smiths spotted

On page 15 of Issue 46 of QP Magazine, in an article about the watches worn by visitors to last November's SalonQP, there's a picture of the jeweller and BHI member, John Clark. He's wearing a Smiths Everest. And not just any Smiths Everest. There are two hints:
 - too many jewels: you can just make out that there are 25!
 - a word written in red on the dial under "SMITHS EVEREST"
It's the Automatic, housing a Smiths 'Imperial' Cal: 10144G 25-jewel, shockproof, nickel finished movement. Double-roller lever escapement with steel escape, the monometallic balance with beryllium balance-spring. Silvered dial with a mix of gilt batons and numerals, gilt hands with red centre-seconds [info - and one available - from the Antique Watch Store]