Tag Archives: Royal Observatory

Bremont – New Movement

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 Longtitude

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

The Greenwich Time Lady

A couple of weeks ago a thoughful family member passed onto me one of those glossy watch supplements that many magazines publish. As I thumbed through it I did not expect to find anything particularily interesting. To my surprise I came across a review of a book titled ” Ruth Belville – the Greenwich Time Lady” by David Rooney.

Already I was intrigued by the title, as it is very similar to Grinidgetime. Apart from this it promised to add a little more local knowledge to me as a Greenwich resident interested in time. As the title suggestes the book tells the story of Ruth Belville and her family and how they brought the correct time to businesses in London for over over three generations.

For anyone with similar interests it is a fascinating read. On my travels around the town I have found myself looking at places where the family had lived. Even without the local interest the book gives a fascinating insight into the importance of time in the 19th and early 20th centuries and key role of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich.

The book is also a veritable goldmine of interesting horological companies, great inspiration for anyone wondering what to call the latest kickstarter brand.

One slight disappointment for me was that the maps used on the inside and back covers do not actually cover Greenwich Park and as a consequence the Royal Observatory.