With the launch this week of the Limited Edition Longitude, powered by Bremont Watch Company’s new proprietary movement, brothers and co-founders Nick and Giles English have marked the achievement of a long-term goal they’ve set for themselves. when they founded the brand in 2002: to revive authentic high-end mechanical watchmaking on an industrial scale in Great Britain.
âA lot of the trip was about people, about training a lost generation of watchmakers,â said Nick, who introduced the news with Giles in a video broadcast live from Bremont’s headquarters in Henley- on-Thames, England. “Watchmaking on any scale hasn’t really been seen in this country for probably five decades now.”
The ENG300 series movement is built from a K1 base caliber from the Swiss firm THE +. The Bremont team redesigned it to meet their specifications and improved it with many design improvements. It is covered by a five-year warranty.
âThe ENG300 movement will be fully assembled, tested and regulated here at the Manufacturing & Technology Center,â Chris Reynolds, general manager of Bremont, said during the live broadcast. âFifty-five percent of the movement is made from raw materials here in this building, and 80% of it has been smartly modified by our own in-house technical team. “
The new caliber features a state-of-the-art silicon escapement and an all-tungsten rotor designed to reflect the architecture of Bremont’s new manufacturing and technology center, nicknamed “The Wing”, as it evokes an airplane wing in a nod to aviation. company roots. (The English brothers are both accomplished pilots and avid aviation enthusiasts, whose late father was a former Royal Air Force pilot who had a doctorate in aeronautical engineering.)
The traditional free-spring balance adjustment screws fine-tune the movement. This difficult method of rate adjustment is more precise and has a symbolic link with ancient marine chronometry. The historical specialty of English watchmaking is attributed to John Harrison, who completed his first marine chronometer in 1735, changing the course of maritime navigation for centuries to come by allowing mariners to calculate longitude at sea.
King Charles II established the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, London, in 1675 and commissioned the first royal astronomer, John Flamsteed, to develop a longitudinal navigation system. Poor navigation had proved disastrous and costly both in terms of human lives and capital, as ships and crews were lost or destroyed. Flamsteed spent more than 40 years in Greenwich, painstakingly mapping nearly 3,000 stars, work that laid the groundwork for Harrison and those who continued to improve his work after his death.
As a tribute, Bremont’s Longitude incorporates a ring encircling the movement which is made from the original brass that marks the Flamsteed meridian line in Greenwich, indicating where the famous astronomer worked. The ring is engraved with the serial number of the watch.
In reference to the red ball of Greenwich Mean Time – a simple but ingenious visual device at the top of the building that gave 19th century sailors the exact time – the power reserve display at 6 o’clock is a round aperture showing a disc that changes from a red solid to white as the current decreases. The movement has a 65-hour power reserve, a large date function and a second hand offset at 9 o’clock.
The company produces three versions of the 40mm Longitude, powered by its ENG376 movement, in polished stainless steel with an anthracite dial (US $ 16,995, limited to 150 pieces); in 18k white gold with a silvery white dial (US $ 24,995, limited to 75 pieces); and in 18k rose gold with an anthracite dial (US $ 23,995, limited to 75 pieces).