Q&A Sessions: We chat with Leon Mervis, Managing Director of Bremont Australia

Bass & Flinders announces new partnership with Bremont.

1. Tell us about the inspiration and early years of Bremont. It can't be easy trying to create a watch brand. 

Bremont Watch Company first launched its collection of highly developed aviation inspired timepieces in 2007 after 5 years in development. Founded in 2002 by two British brothers, Nick and Giles English, Bremont originated from the brothers’ joint lifetime love and passion for engineering and aviation.

The story of Bremont started in 1995 following a tragic plane crash that Nick had with his father, Euan English. Whilst training for an air-show in the UK their WWII Harvard aircraft was involved in a horrendous accident. Their father Euan died and Nick broke over 30 bones. This accident was a tipping-point in the brothers’ lives and provided the impetus to set up a watch atelier.

The following year after the plane crash, Nick and Giles were back in the air, flying across France in a 60-year-old plane. Bad weather forced them to make an emergency landing in a pea field in the Champagne region. As fate would have it, the field was owned by an old farmer, who not only reminded the brothers of their own father, but was also a former WWII pilot and just as passionate about aircraft as Nick and Giles. His farmhouse, where the brothers stayed for a couple of nights, also housed a wonderful selection of restored wall clocks and he wore a particularly special wristwatch, the one given to him by his father. His name, Antoine Bremont, was chosen to grace this range of British watches with his passions in life mirroring closely those of the brothers and their late father.

The brothers were determined to make a watch that would last more than a lifetime. To that end, it had to be made from the best available materials using the most tried and tested techniques. Indeed, this led to the company’s maxim “Tested Beyond Endurance”; all Bremont timepieces would be tested above and beyond the demands placed upon conventional wristwatches.

2. What were some of the biggest challenges you faced and how did it shape the company you are today?

Competing amongst watch brands which have a long history will always be a challenge. Bremont however has always been determined to produce watches which are different and not necessarily for everyone. Nick and Giles English design all Bremont watches and set out to create products which embody the brand’s core values of Aviation, British Engineering and Adventure.

3. What are the benefits of being a family business? Tell us the ways in which this leads to creating a better watch company.

Bremont Co-Founders Nick and Giles English have a passion for watch-making and aviation. The two brothers share a love for all things mechanical and this is present through the brand including the partnerships with the likes of Jaguar and British Airways. Being able to share experiences and support one another to achieve what the brand is today.

4. Help us understand the benefits of being British Made.

Bremont is passionate about reinvigorating the British watch industry. Britain has a huge history of watchmaking, which many people don’t know about as it was lost over two world wars to the Swiss, when all our watchmakers were put to work to create arms instead. Over 60% of the innovations within a mechanical watch were made by the British and the world sets its time by Greenwich (GMT).

Historically, Britain has had a considerable impact on watchmaking and was the pioneer of technical development throughout the last century. Bremont is proud to be at the forefront of the revival of British watchmaking. The appeal for the brand’s high quality and limited production timepieces is making Bremont a real force in the high-end luxury watch market.

Bremont is wholly dedicated to developing mechanical watch manufacturing expertise in the UK and to this end the firm opened its Parts Manufacturing Facility in a separate location just outside Henley-on-Thames where it is manufacturing case and movement components.

Having grown dramatically over the past few years, construction is underway for the opening of a new headquarters bringing together the current manufacturing and assembly under one roof. The 35,000 square ft building will be a bespoke design built into the Oxfordshire countryside.

5. The attention to detail and engineering behind Bremont seems extraordinary, please explain to us the process to make a Bremont watch.

All Bremont watches are manufactured and assembled at our workshops in Henley-on-Thames. Tens of thousands of parts are being made each year at our facilities. Watch cases, parts finishing, and movement part manufacture is all taking place in-house.  A bar of steel is placed into a machine of which the case is then cut using special technology, the case then goes through the hardening process and series of lab testing before it is then assembled by one of our watch makers.

Bremont has been investing in state-of-the-art CNC mill-turning, metal cutting and finishing machinery, some of which are the first of their kind in the UK.  The investment will enable Bremont to manufacture significant quantities of beautifully engineered and finished watch parts on British shores.

Each watch is 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 increases the hardness and scratch resistance of the stainless steel. This is one of the key differences between Bremont and many of the other watch brands.

Bremont has also produced technology including the Trip-Tick® case construction, which consists of three parts to encase the watch movement. Bremont has become well known for it’s advancements in watch technology including the Bremont Rotor-Click®, Anti-Shock and Anti-magnetic technology included in several models housing the Anti-Shock symbol.

WATCHMAKING VIDEO HERE.

6. These watches are built for adventurers, tell us some of the stories of the adventures Bremont watches have been taken on?

In addition to lab testing, each model has been tried and tested ‘in the field’ by professional adventurers and explorers.

Nirmal ‘Nims’ Purja MBE completed his challenge to summit Earth’s 14 tallest mountains in 6 months and 6 days, the previous record was 8 years. Earth’s 14 tallest mountains, all higher than 8,000m, enter the ‘death zone’ which is so-called because human life cannot exist there. Nims summited all 14 peaks wearing the S300. The Bremont Project Possible Limited Edition marks the ultimate mountaineering achievement. 

Bremont is also the watch of choice for multiple military squadrons around the world who approach the brand to develop purpose-built custom watches unique to them.