We opened up the floor to WatchPro readers and Bremont fans to pitch their questions to Bremont founders, and guest editors of the January issue of WatchPro, Nick and Giles English. Read on to find out what was asked and what was answered.
The industry standard for chronograph timing are the obvious seconds followed by 30 minutes sub dials. Why do Bremont chronographs also time using a 30 minutes sub dial rather than the 60 minute options? The reason for my question is a sporting one. Most chronograph wearers time sporting events (if they wear a chrono for more than just an aesthetic reason) so wouldn’t a 60 minute timer offer a more commercial reason to buy a chronograph?
NE&GE: A good question. The main reason for this is that if you put 60 minutes on one counter it does become very difficult to read on such small subdials. I do agree that there must be a market for a clear 60 minute single chronograph dial.
Can your treated steel aspect of your Trip-Tick cases take a polish? If so, would you consider offering a polished option?
NE&GE: No. Ours can’t because of the case hardening that we do on it, but because of the Trip-Tick three-piece case when it comes to a service, as part of it, we replace the top bezel so it comes back looking brand new.
Do you intend to open more stand-alone stores? If so where and when?
NE&GE: At the moment we are considering one in Asia with a local retailer but we have no intentions to open any more in the UK. Our focus is wholesale, but we felt the brand profile of a single store would be beneficial.
The Military limited-edition B-2 is a real winner, and sure to sell tons as a civilian edition, ala the U-2. Do you have any plans to release it?
NE&GE: Naturally we have not released any 2013 watches yet but we have had a lot of good feedback on the B-2 so we are considering it. That does not mean we are definitely releasing it, but it will go onto the list with the other ideas that we are working on.
I would like to know what Nick and Giles have been most surprised about since launching their brand.
NE&GE: I think our initial surprise was how receptive people were to a British brand, when Swiss Made is so powerful. This really inspired us. In addition, I think running your own business throws up surprises everyday, both good and bad.
Any chance of another run of the limited-edition TWG MBII? The blue barrel and display back is awesome.
NE&GE: We loved the blue barrel as well and had actually developed it originally to raise money for the Fly Navy Heritage Trust charity when we auctioned off a watch. We will use a variation of the blue again, but on another watch.
What’s a better plane – a Spitfire or a Mustang P-51?
NE&GE: Interesting question for me, a Spitfire is one of the most beautiful objects ever built, but a P51 is better made and an easier aircraft to own and operate. I personally would be happy to have either in my collection.
Any chance of a production version of the Leander watch?
NE&GE: I love all these questions about future watches, it is turning into a Basel press release. I really like the even more classical approach that the Leander has compared to the ALT1-C, so we could in the future see a variation enter into the collection, but as with all our new products we have to pick them very carefully and feel they add to the collection.
Is there any possibility that you would consider selling Bremont at some stage in the future?
NE&GE: Like James Bond said, “never say never”, but we both have too many ambitions for the business with what we want to achieve, so selling out is not on the horizon. We are lucky that we are not run by venture capital investors putting pressure on us. These ambitions are not all about money but building up manufacturing in this country and when you are self funding it is a slow process.
Do you think there should be a criteria for watches Made in London as there are for those Made in Switzerland? And who, or what body, do you think should oversee this?
NE&GE: There are criteria currently for Made in England, but these are not run by the watch industry. I would like to see a British chronometer certificate set up and independently run in the UK. The only problem is that we need more British watch companies wanting to submit their watches.
Do you expect to produce your own in-house movements moving forward and, if so, when do you expect to release to the market?
NE&GE: To date we have not released a complete in-house movement but we make considerable changes to existing movements. We are working on an in-house movement and in the long term our aim is to make this in the UK, but that takes long-term planning. Without avoiding the question, we will release it when we are ready.
The 37mm Solo watch is being pitched at ladies, as well as men looking for a less chunky watch, but do you have any plans to design a timepiece specifically for women?
NE&GE: The Solo 37mm Rose Gold is a beautiful watch and looks wonderful on a lady but to enter into the more classical ladies dress watch market we would have to develop a new ladies movement. Now is not the moment, as it would take considerable resource for us at a time when we are investing considerably in our UK manufacturing facility.
This article was taken from the January 2013 issue of WatchPro. To read the magazine online, click here. WatchPro would like to thank all readers who submitted questions for this interview including Jeremy Walker, Jeymi Tambiah, John Ball, Phil Parrott, Robin Swithinbank and Tim Barbour.