The eighth special edition watch from Bremont pays tribute to Concorde’s upcoming 50th anniversary
By Chris Hall
This is the Bremont Supersonic. It’s an eight-day hand wound watch, limited to 500 pieces and designed to honour the memory of the world’s most famous supersonic airliner, which marks 50 years since its maiden flight next year. (Russia did also construct a supersonic passenger jet, the Tupolev Tu-144, but by all accounts it was a failure, completing just 102 flights in 15 years).
The watch is Bremont’s first hand-wound watch, which might come as something of a surprise given the brand’s focus on engaging, hands-on, practical watches, but there you go. The movement in question is adapted from the La Joux-Perret calibre 7381, a twin-barrel movement also used by Baume & Mercier in the Baumatic. Bremont has worked with La Joux-Perret before, using an automatic calibre based on the 6901 in its Wright Flyer limited edition four years ago.
It’s not clear why this was chosen to be the moment Bremont embraced hand-winding, but it denied the brand the chance for its usual practice on limited editions of embedding a small fraction of sourced material into the automatic rotor. Fear not, however, there is still a sliver of aluminium from Concorde Alpha Bravo embedded within the watch. And the absence of a rotor has afforded Bremont the chance to introduce a stencil outline of Concorde’s silhouette to the movement architecture itself. A nice touch.
Elsewhere there are of course many other allusions to the much-loved aeroplane: a motif on the crown, on the small seconds subdial at six o’clock, and in the place of a 12 o’clock index.
Inset into the small seconds dial is a discreet date window; truly one of the least obtrusive dates out there, especially on the stainless steel model, where it has no heavy guichet surrounding it.
The watch is being produced in 300 steel pieces and 100 each in white and rose gold. The white metals are, to our eyes, the more successful of the three; overall the watch hews to a formula familiar to Bremont fans but that isn’t to everyone’s taste: dressy, refined styling in the brand’s familiar 43mm x 14.5mm Trip-tick case. It’s a mixture of bulk and beauty that some will find beguiling, others baffling.
Judging by the enthusiastic turnout at the launch party – held at London’s Design Museum – and by the love still felt across the aviation community and the public more generally for Concorde, we have no doubt it will find 500 buyers with ease. The watch costs £9,495 in stainless steel, £16,995 in rose gold and £17,995 in white gold.
One last thing: special mention must go to the packaging developed for the watch. Shaped like Concorde’s nosecone, the watch is stored in a cylindrical case which slides out when you press the nose downwards, mimicking the tilt of the cockpit for take-off and landing. A very smart move – and a future collectible in its own right, no doubt.