Bremont takes British watchmaking to new heights, unveils in-house movement, Longitude watch, new wing
In the 1600s, the navies suffered incredible loss of life and ships due to the inability to find longitude at sea. Ships ran aground, tens of thousands of people died and despite the rewards and tireless efforts, it took over 100 years to find a system for finding longitude at sea: an on-board marine chronometer clock. It is the British who are credited with changing the history of navigation forever. Today, British watch brand Bremont is changing the English watchmaking landscape with an in-house manufactured movement, fully assembled in its new workshops at its Henley-on-Thames site, marking the long-awaited return of mass-produced British watches. The movement is housed in the new Longitude watch collection, made in the new manufacturing and technology center, called The Wing, in addition to the existing workshops. For the first time in more than half a century, British watchmaking is taking off again.
In a huge announcement today, Bremont – originally founded by brothers Nick and Giles English in 2002 – presents its all-new limited-edition Longitude watches inspired by the Marine chronometers of yesteryear and housing a movement made entirely in-house. It is important to note that Bremont purchased all the intellectual rights and plans for this modular movement from the Swiss brand “THE +”, giving Bremont the ability to reconfigure the caliber and make the necessary modifications to suit its Longitude line. The brand’s in-house team modified the base caliber K1, resulting in the ENG 300 movement series, with 80 percent of the redesigned base caliber – with several design improvements.
While some watch experts may argue that this is not an in-house developed movement, the master watchmakers at Bremont have more than tweaked it and made changes accordingly for its needs. Not only does the brand own the caliber, but also intends to develop other complex timepieces in-house within the ENG 300 collection. In addition, all components of the watch are made in Henley-on-Thames and all the timepieces are assembled in-house, making it a truly British timepiece.
Although the first edition Longitude watches are not certified chronometers (a signature of Bremont), the plan is for all future collections from 2022 to be tested and certified in-house with their rotor attached to reduce the risk of damage. impaired accuracy. In addition, the new Limited Edition Longitude watches come with an impressive five-year warranty.
With this monumental advance in British watchmaking, Bremont does not hesitate to recognize that the eponymous independent brand Roger Smith has been creating watches in England since 1971. Its timepieces, however, are pieces of fine watchmaking produced in small numbers by assembling the brand’s watchmakers under the watchful eye of Roger Smith. Bremont pieces occupy another area of watchmaking. The new Longitude watches are the result of nearly two decades of research and development, as well as the courage and commitment of its founders. Nick and Giles English’s dream has always been to bring British watchmaking back to English shores.
The Longitude watch by Bremont
Bremont is no stranger to the concept of incorporating part of the story into his watches. The brand incorporated sail cloth into its timepieces and even, with the Wright Brothers collection, included a piece of an airplane wing in the watch. Now, for the Longitude LE collection, created in partnership with the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, the watches each incorporate a small piece of brass that includes the historic Flamsteed Meridian Line (named after the first Astronomer Royal who worked to map the sky for find Longitude) found at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, London – the world’s prime meridian, Longitude 0, 0, 0. The prime meridian has been the mainstay of all timing and longitude designations for hundreds of years. The brass line was gently borrowed so that Bremont, in collaboration with the Royal Observatory, formed a brass ring for the watch – visible through the transparent background of the Longitude and engraved with the serial number of the watch.
Each Longitude watch has a diameter of 40mm sand and features Bremont’s exclusive Trip-Tick® construction with a scratch-resistant PVD-treated case. It is another signature of the brand, which produces rugged precision instruments for military associations around the world and watches in collaboration with the famous ejection seat company Martin Baker. Longitude watches offer a subsidiary seconds indication, a 65-hour power reserve indication on the front of the dial that resembles the red time ball from the Royal Observatory Greenwich, and a large date function in addition to the hours and minutes . They also feature “London” on the dial and are finished with a classic alligator strap.
The new Longitude watches are made in limited editions of 75 pieces in 18k rose gold with a dark anthracite dial ($ 23,995), 75 pieces in 18k white gold with a white and silver gold dial and blue hands (24,995 $). ) and 150 pieces in stainless steel with an anthracite dial and nickel hands ($ 16,995). These are the first historic Bremont watches to be produced in the 35,000 square foot space called The Wing.
The ENG 300 in the Bremont Longitude watch
As mentioned, the movement inside the Longitude Limited Edition watches has been mostly rebuilt by the brand. The resulting ENG376 movement is a 22 jewel automatic movement with a silicon escapement and a usual balance bridge. A tungsten rotor resembles the brand’s state-of-the-art watchmaking facilities, The Wing. Shock resistant and robust, the movement features traditional adjustment screws on the free-spring balance to ensure greater precision.
Starting in 2022, the ENG300 series of movements will be certified to chronometer standards using Bremont’s internal H1 timing standard which reflects the same standards as the ISO3159: 2009 chronometer test. The brand will test stock movements with the finished rotor attached to ensure performance and accuracy is not affected by adding the rotor later.
“For us, producing this very special watch, the very first with a movement made by Bremont, is incredibly exciting. We will be manufacturing a lot of parts with very fine tolerances, in Henley and in volume. Nobody made parts of a watch by volume in this country, especially in terms of movement, for many decades, ”says Nick English. “Longitude celebrates the return of watchmaking to this country. From the design of the watch to a set of technical drawings, the manufacture and assembly of the movement and the subsequent testing of the watch and its components.
In his view, with the movement parts made at Henley and the movement assembled there as well, this is a quantum leap for British watchmaking and comes just 50 years after the creation of the movements and watches of British manufacture by Roger Smith in 1971.
Bremont co-founder Giles English adds: “We have been working for so many years to make a movement in the UK and this is a giant step towards where we want to be. There is a lot of growth to be done and a lot more we want to do, but it is a monumental step. “