Last Wednesday week’s I was very disappointed, Bremont were having a major event at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, 850 metres away from my house and I didn’t get an invite. This was especially disapppointing because as well as the launch of Bremont’s latest limited edition watch, the Longtitude, it was the announcement of a new Bremont proprietary movement. Given all the fuss about “in-house, not in-house”, especially at Bremont this is potentially an important moment in the revival of the British watch industry.
The Limited Edition Bremont Longitude, available in steel, white or rose gold, houses the brand’s first manufactured movement the new ENG300 movement.
Bremont has acquired the full rights to manufacture and
re-engineer the celebrated K1 calibre from the Swiss firm “THE+” and launches the ENG300 movement series. The machining base components and assembly will all be carried out in the new Bremont Manufacturing & Technology Centre “The Wing” based in Henley-on-Thames. Bremont has re-engineered 80% of the base calibre, including making a number of design improvements, in order to build a proprietary movement to their unique specification. After their contraversial claim in 2014, when they claimed total proprietorship over a movement that proved to have been created by La Joux-Perret this time Bremont have gone to great lengths to justify their defintition as “proprietary”. I have read that they have upgraded 80 percent of the movement in-house and that they are manufacturing 55 percent of the movement by weight in Henley (five parts in all – the base plate and four bridges). “By weight” seems an unusal measure, which you might gain further insight to by listening to the Scottish Watches podcast on the subjet. It will be very intersting to see how this is all taken by the watch world. The movement is rated to “Chronometer” standard, but not COSC certified, as this is reserved for Swiss made movements.
As you will see from the images above the Longditude does have the “dressy” look of previous special editions like the Victory or Wright Flyer. As with these earlier watches and also incorporates some material of “historical” interest, in this case original brass from the historic Flamsteed Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory Greenwich on the outer edge of the movement.
The other neat feature is the small power reserve indicator that mimics the Time Ball on the top of the Royal Observatory. The Time Ball was first used in 1833 and still operates today. Normally each day, at 12.55pm, the time ball rises half way up its mast. At 12.58pm it rises all the way to the top. At 1pm exactly, the ball falls.
You can find full details of the watches on Bremont’s website . The real story here though is the movement. I look forward to seeing how it develops. Let’s hope this really is the beginning of volume production of watch movements in Britain