Brief history from Bremont’s website:
Bremont is an award-winning British company producing beautifully engineered chronometers at our Headquarters in Henley on Thames, England.
Time began for Bremont in 2002, when we embarked on a journey to make beautifully crafted pilot’s watches of exceptional quality. Inspired by a love of flying historic aircraft, of watches and all things mechanical, our timepieces had to be tested beyond the normal call of duty. The watches in our classic range are all COSC-certified and we are one of the few companies offering a 3-year warranty on every product. Immensely precise, reliable and durable, Bremont watches are hand built in limited numbers.
Each is designed to appeal to those who share our passion for – and appreciation of – the innovation and mastery behind a beautiful mechanical wristwatch. We hope you enjoy the same satisfaction when you try on a Bremont watch, as we do in creating one.
Bremont has collaborated with Martin-Baker to design and build the ultimate aviation watch range. The alliance has produced a unique aviation watch that will embody all that is meant by ‘Made in Britain’. As the pioneer of the ejection seat and supplier to over 70% of the Western world’s air forces, Martin-Baker represents the pinnacle of British engineering, they have saved over 7400 lives to date. The partnership combined Martin-Baker’s knowledge of testing, materials and design with Bremont’s watch making skills with the aim of creating the de-facto aviation timepiece.
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TESTED BEYOND ENDURANCE
Working with Martin-Baker, Bremont were able to use the same rigorous testing techniques as the ejection seats themselves, ensuring the watches ability to sustain extremes of heat, cold and altitude as well as aggressive vibration. Here, the MB watch was placed in an altitude chamber to take the watch up to 100,000ft and back to 0ft whilst simulating freezing temperatures.
Alongside extremes of temperature and altitude the MB was subjected to ‘Salt Fog’ testing which simulates accelerated weathering and harsh corrosive environments to evaluate not only its erosion resistance, but the permeability of its coatings and seals.
The robust nature of the MB is not only down to the testing, but the over engineered design of the watch. Both the movement and mechanism of the Martin-Baker have been designed to ‘float’ in a controlled manner within the Bremont patented Trip-Tick case by attaching the inner case to it via a flexible ring. In doing so, shocks to the movement are minimised and shock energy absorbed. As well as this, the inner case that encloses the movement of the Bremont Martin-Baker has the function of an anti-magnetic shield. This inner case is made from soft iron and has been created to work as a ‘Faraday-Cage’ making the Bremont Martin-Baker watch immune to extreme magnetic fields, and a timepiece that has truly been ‘Tested Beyond Endurance.’
Model Martin Baker II aka MB II
Modified calibre 13 1/4” BE-36AE automatic chronometer, 25 jewels, glucydur balance. Anachron balance spring, Nivaflex 1 mainspring, 28,800 bph, 38 hour power reserve, Bremont moulded and skeletised decorated rotor.
Hour/minute/second, date and day at 3H.
Hardened stainless steel Trip-Tick® case construction with bi-directional rotating bezel.Case diameter 43mm, lug width 22mm. Inner soft iron anti-magnetic Faraday cage to protect movement. Protective patented anti-shock movement mount.
Stainless steel decorated case back, 6 stainless steel screws with polished heads.
Patented inner bi-directional Roto-Click® bezel. Operated by crown at 4H.
Metal dial. SuperLumiNova coated numerals and hands.
Domed anti-reflective, scratch resistant sapphire crystal.
Water resistant to 10 ATM, 100 metres.
C.O.S.C chronometer tested.
Calf-skin leather strap and and Temple Island rubber strap.
I was actually surprised when I recieved the watch and opened up the box it was shipped in. The outer box is long, rectangular and about 3″ thick, opening it up I was greeted by the awesome smell of leather. The leather case with the Bremont name and logo stamped into the outer case flap is absolutely beautiful. There was a lot of thought and care that went into the design of this leather case. What I love about the cases is its a step away from the traditional boring watch box that ends up in the closet. It really has that secret spy document case feel, like I’m trying to transport some stolen documents across enemy lines from back in the day. I am really digging this case. Unsnapping the two snaps, I open the case to reveal even more cool features and stuff.
The supersoft lining of the case doesn’t have any abrasiveness to it so it will keep your watch well protected while traveling if you decide to use it as a travel case. It includes a Bremont strap changing tool which is always a must have to change the strap with avoiding those darn strap change scratches on the lugs. There’s two slots for holding strap that can be seen in the photo above where there is the Bremont papers just below the slots. There is also a large zipper pouch that contains the watch itself. The best part of the whole package right?
What grabbed my attention first is the orange barrel, as if anything else would be my first notice. I never owned a watch with this much color before and all I can say is if I was to have a color watch, this is the perfect first one. I have to admit I was hesitant to get the orange barrel variant, but boy am I glad I did. It is such a rich color in person, I tried to capture this in the photos. The color mixed with the texturing of the knurled barrel is breathtaking. It adds such a rugged feel to this watch which is right up my watch loving alley. Dive watches and tool watches are my top go to watches and the MB II was calling to me for sometime. It really wasn’t until I watch multiple testing videos of the MB watches that pushed me over the edge to want one desperately.
The case is nothing short of fantastic as I am finding is a given when it comes to Bremont. There is a lot of rigorous design, planning, craftmenship that goes into Bremont’s cases. I believe they are the best out there and at this price point no others come close, even watches that sell for twice as much don’t come close. Built like a tank doesn’t even give this case justice. Below is a picture of how Bremont’s patented case design are put together.
The case is also hardened using a process explained by the masters at Bremont. The majority of Bremont models in the core range are treated for hardness with B-EBE2000® technology. During this special stage in the case production, the metal is heat-treated and diffused with carbon, then bombarded with electrons. The process dramatically increases the hardness and scratch resistance of the stainless steel. On the Vickers’ scale of hardness, for example, B-EBE2000® produces a watch case with a value of 2000Hv – approximately seven times that of the normal stainless steel used for watch cases. The orange barrel portion of the case is made of anodized aircraft grade aluminum, which is relatively a light weight metal that lightens the wrist load. The case back is solid and features the Martin Baker name, Bremont name, automatic chronometer, serial number, water resistance 100m and anti shock antimagnetic.
The movement of the case is also well protected due to the over engineering of the guts within the watch. You didn’t think Bremont would just leave the outside of the case over engineered did you?
From a top view the lugs appear as typical lugs, but from the side view these lugs are simply beautiful like the curves of an old car from the 50’s. The milled lugs are curved so that the watch sits on the wrist very comfortable.Follow the lugs around the case on the crown side and you come across the 2 knurled crowns that match the barrel of the case. The crown with the Bremont propeller logo is a push/pull style crown that adjusts the time, day, and date. I would have preferred it be a screw down crown, but regardless this crown functions as it should. Easy to grab because of the knurled edging and turns smoothly. Setting the each function is extremely easy.
The bottom crown with the high gloss bullseye operates the internal bezel using another awesome innovation from Bremont. The Roto-Click bezel really has turned me into an internal bezel fan. Each turn of the crown clicks and the red arrow clicks/stops at each minute marker. This Roto-Click mechanism adds precision to marking/setting the red arrow where you precisely want it to be without turning back and forth when you miss the mark like on internal bezels that don’t have this technology. It’s also extremely addicting to turn because it turns so easily and each click feels just right. I used it a all day today at work for timing which is very important in my everyday career.
I think this dial does everything right in terms of balance, legibility and theme of the watch. The white lumed numerals are easy to read from every angle thanks to the almost transparent crystal more about the crystal later. The date window at 3 is on a black wheel with white letters and numbers. I’m personally a fan of the inclusion of a date wheel because I constantly need to know the date when documenting at work and it’s so easy to reference my wrist for that information. The Bremont name and propeller logo with a red triangle(matches nicely with the triangle on the internal bezel chapter ring) are on the dial along with the anti-shock symbol and words. What I think is really cool and a direct link to the Bristish roots of the founders of Bremont is “London” printed at the 6 position on the dial.
The hands on the MB II are so unique and I really love them. I’m a huge nit picker when it comes to the hands on a watch, and they can make or break the whole aesthetic of the watch. I have actually loved everything about a watch except for the hands, and that detail deterred me from making the purchase. The aviation style hands are easy to read both in daytime and at night. The hour hand is differentiated from the minute hand by the fact that the tip of the hour hand is a lumed trisngle and the entire minute hand is coated with lume. The second hand is by far my favorite hand on the watch. The tip is red with a lumed circle and the other end is black and yellow like that of the actual Martin Baker ejection seat straps.
The crystal is a double-domed anti-reflective sapphire crystal, that has anti-reflective applications applied to the inside and outside of the crystal. It has 9 coats of AR applied to it which can be why the crystal sometimes appears like it’s not even there, so transparent whic makes reading the dial from all angles very legible and easy.
I love all the touches of color that are on the dial it adds character and debth to the dial, but not overdone. Stenciled military style numerals would have also worked well with the design of this watch.
As mentioned above about the protection of the movement the actual movement itself is a modified calibre 13 1/4” BE-36AE automatic chronometer, 25 jewels, glucydur balance. Anachron balance spring, Nivaflex 1 mainspring, 28,800 bph, 38 hour power reserve, Bremont moulded and skeletised decorated rotor. It keeps excellent time well within the COSC guidelines.
The MB II comes with two steps, a heavy duty nylon strap and a waterproof leather pilot style strap with a deployment buckle. The deployment buckle is signed with the Bremont name and propelar logo. It’s solidly constructed and works well, it did take me a few tries to get the functionality of it down but I did get it. The leather strap is also well constructed and is quite comfortable. I wore it for almost 24 hours straight without any discomfort. The other strap is an interesting design choice and makes perfect sense if you are wearing s jacket or flight suit, the strap would easily fit over each of those garments. The strap fastens with a Velcro strap and holds pretty tightly closed. I personally prefer the leather strap so far as my daily strap of choice. The Velcro fastening strap features orange stiching which matches nicely with the orange on the case and it also features triangular shapes which ties in nicley with the dial.
I first want to point out my position on lume to establish where I’m going with this and why I feel the way I do. I am not a huge fan of obnoxious lume where you can see it in the daytime which always distorts the white color of the hands, numerals, etc.. Aka daytime lume is obnoxious in my opinion. I personally want my numerals and hands to look white during the day, lume is for night or darkness. What’s the point of having white numerals if they are going to appear green most of the time? The lume on the MB II is perfect for my personal tastes when it comes to lume. It’s bright enough in the dark to make reading the time easy and during the day I don’t even notice it.
Overall Impressions :
Well Bremont’s motto is tested beyond endurance, my motto for this watch is impressed beyond belief. The MBII is a tool watch lovers dream watch. It’s case design and materials can withstand some pretty crazy stuff like a temperature of 40 below zero or being ejected out of an aircraft or elevation pressure of 100,000 feet. That’s freaking tough!
Would I change anything about the design of the MB II? There is only one thing I would change and I would make the push/pull crown a screw down style crown. I live in the water for most of the summer, though the watch is 100m of water resistance, I’d feel more secure knowing the crown was screwed down.
I absolutely love this watch and I am so happy I got it. I have to buy the watches I review most of the time. I ‘m a one man operation. That is why a lot of the watches I review have been out for awhile. I review watches that I have great interest in and the MB II is a watch that I bought because I wanted a watch that withstand more than just a certain depth in water. I wanted a watch that I can wear everyday without babying it or being concerned about it. I wanted a watch that could keep up with me and my daily life, whether I’m at work or going for a swim or going hiking, I wanted a watch that’s not afraid of adventure and the MB II is that watch. It’s a tough watch that kicks ass and doesn’t care to take names, it just wants adventure. I recommend the MB II to anyone who wants to wear a watch that doesn’t have to be babied when put onto the wrist. It’s meant to worn and worn hard. The MB series from Bremont is awesome and my favorite. Bremont has truly become my new favorite brand hands down. From unbeatable customer service to unbelievable products, they have a winning combination. I can’t give them enough praise. They really have rekindled my passion for watches. Thank you Bremont! And a very extra special thank you to Nick, Giles and Michael! I have the highest respect and admiration for you guys and all that you do.
Reference my wrist is 7 1/2″
Following photos curtousy of Bremont:
30 year salt test: