Swiss luxury watch manufacturers better look out, as there’s a Brit on their tails and this company shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Everyone knows that Switzerland is recognised for cheese, chocolate, neutrality and, of course, watchmaking.
Many of the world’s oldest and most successful watch brands started life in Switzerland, including Rolex (1905), TAG Heuer (1860) and Patek Philippe (1839), and it’s admittedly hard to come anywhere close to the legacy and recognition that these companies hold right now.
However, in true British underdog fashion, one company is going to do its best to try.
Specialising in well-made pilot’s watches, Bremont was founded in 2002 (a mere 163 years after Patek Philippe) by brothers Nick and Giles English and is headquartered in Henley-on-Thames with stores in London, New York and Hong Kong.
The brand got its name via a curious incident: Nick and Giles were taking a routine flight in their 1930s biplane over France, yet bad weather forced them to land and seek shelter in a farmer’s field.
The farmer, it turned out, was an ex-pilot and delighted to have two kindred spirits in his midst. For his generous hospitality and friendliness, the brothers named the company after Antoine Bremont.
Bremont isn’t the only British watch manufacturer out there doing great things by any means – Robert Loomes, Christopher Ward, and Arnold & Son are all notable brands – but it is a brand currently receiving a lot of positive attention in the world.
If you’re a comic book fan, you might have seen Tom Hardy wear a Bremont U-2/51-JET in the new Venom movie released in October, but if you love all things aviation then you might have even seen many of the jet-related partnerships Bremont has.
Not just a supporter of the Fly Navy Heritage Trust, Bremont and Boeing also worked together on a watch model, and the company even has its own P-38 Lightning formation aerobatic display team called the Bremont Horsemen.
“What really excites me is that we have made some massive achievements in a short time, but we are only just touching on what we can achieve,” says Giles English in an interview with Watchtime.com.
“As an independent brand, manufactured in the U.K., we have so much potential and that is so damn exciting. We have gone through Chapter 1 of our growth; now we have Chapter 2. [We are defined by] engineering, style, character, creativity, and uniqueness.”
Clearly then, the sky is the limit for this plane-obsessed watch brand which has, as of now, chosen to eschew famous Hollywood name brand ambassadors, going instead for extreme types who genuinely require a tough watch, like explorers Aldo Kane and Ben Saunders, surfer Mark Healey, and pilot Carey Lohrenz.
There is, however, one person that Giles would love to have as a brand ambassador.
“The Queen. I am a huge admirer of the monarchy and what she has achieved.”
Good luck with that!