Tag Archives: bremont

Watch Investing: Five Watch Brands Best Avoided

We all know that flipping a Rolex is a no-brainer. If you can get a new Rolex Sub, Daytona or Sea-Dweller then you can sell it a few months later and probably make between 5K and 20K profit.

That’s why some Rolex dealers have three year waiting lists, they are the world’s safest investment this side of a detached property in Surrey. Not the Milgauss or the Air-King obviously, nobody really likes those.

But some watch brands not only fail to rise in value, they can lose you a fortune too, sometimes over 50% of the retail price in under two years. Depends on the model naturally, but here are some tips on which supposed `prestige’ brands are often a poor investment.

FAVRE LEUBA

Titan/Tata the car maker thought they would revive an old Swiss brand and yes, they produced some nice watches. The Favre-Leuba Raider for example is a nice Valjoux 7753 powered chronograph. But is it worth over two grand? Not really.

Titan are scaling down Favre-Leuba watch production this year and cutting their losses. The sorry episode shows you need more than an 18th century heritage to sell watches. If you’re tempted to buy an Favre-Leuba in the closing down sale our advice is don’t, you’ll never live long enough to see a return on that investment.

ETERNA

Once the byword for Swiss movement quality, the old Eterna name morphed into ETA, which still powers many watches today – made in Singapore, Swizerland or the UK.

Now Eterna produces Sellita powered automatics which are OK, albeit slightly dated in terms of style. That wouldn’t matter if they were charging Rotary or Seiko Tuna money RRP, but at £1700 or more an Eterna is a really huge waste of money. Look hard enough online and you can find some of them at £400.

Don’t buy the Eterna Kon-Tiki at £1600 thinking you will make money. With just 200m of depth resistance and a Sellita SW200 inside it Eterna are really taking the pi** frankly. There are better watches in the Christopher Ward range for £700.

HAMILTON

Ask 100 random watch browsers in a shop where they think Hamilton watches are made and I guarantee that at least 10 of them will say the USA. Still, after decades of being part of the Swatch Group, people still believe Hamilton is a US watch brand.

Try selling a Hamilton Jazzmaster (WTH is that name all about?), Khaki or even a Ventura at a watch shop or pawnbrokers and you will be shocked at the low offer.  Typically under £200 with box n papers. The problem is that many collectors have twigged that Hamilton use the same Powermatic 80 movement as the entry level Tissot models, which is a perfectly OK movement, but still.

The Intra-Matic looks nice but inside you’ll find the ancient Valjoux 7753 engine, adapted and tweaked. For £1600 that’s not a great deal.

You can buy lots of vintage Valjoux 7753 powered watches online for £600-£900 and you might actually make some cash. Need we go on? Buy a vintage Hamilton instead.

MONTBLANC

Looks like an IWC. Just buy an IWC. Better bet.

I once had a Montblanc foutain pen, lovely thing. That’s the trouble, many collectors still think this is a pen and accessory brand, not a watch brand.

Owned by Richemont, the Montblanc factory produces some amazing limited editions but their bread n butter range is seen gathering dust in many High Street jewellers shops. Unloved and viewed with some suspicion.

BREMONT

Controversial eh? Much as I like to support watchmaking in the UK,  after working 18 months in a pawnbrokers shop I had ONE, yes one, enquiry to see and try on a Bremont watch which languished in the window. The pre-owned Breitlings, TAGs, Rolex, Omega and other fast-moving models all had collectors asking to view on a daily basis.

These are beautifully made watches, very heavy too, so you feel like you’re getting lots of watch for the money. But four grand retail for the MBII or ALT P2? You will need an ejector seat when your wife finds out you spent 4K on a watch she’s never heard of. Fact.

 

 

 

Finally, They Nailed It- Bremont Supermarine Is a Winner

Bremont have just opened a new factory in the UK and you have to say hats off to them, because most brands would have simply designed their watches here in Britain, and had production outsourced to Singapore, possibly Switzerland on the more expensive models. But no, British-made watches (yeah Swiss movements we know, but give them a chance) and what’s more, the new Supermarine chronograph is probably going to be a hot seller, even at £5400 or so.

Let’s start with the dial which is a classic three sub-dial, reversed white on black affair. It’s punchy, tool watch functional, a classic mix of GMT and lumed hands. Set inside the 43mm case is a Bremont BE54 movement, with a stunning rotor that’s embossed with the Bremont name and a series of paddle shaped cut-outs. Little SBS/Commando detail that we love. The BE54 is based on the reliable Valjoux 7750 so you won’t have much trouble getting this serviced by an independent watchmaker when you need to – handy.

The bezel is ceramic, bi-directional and its rated at 200m so you can scuba dive on holiday – if you’re allowed abroad of course. I love the pushers and crown details on this model, they remind me of Thunderbird 3 and yeah, I think that’s a good thing.

The blue dial version looks pretty spectacular as well, and you can choose silicone strap or steel bracelet. The see-thru caseback is sapphire of course, and shows off that modified 7750 movement plus the Bremont rotor perfectly. This watch will delight the eye for decades and you have to admit, the same could not be said about some previous Bremont efforts.

This brand is turning things around now and if they can add a calculator on import duties in key markets to their online checkout then they have got it made. That’s a tall order I know, but you have to admit that the EU is making life hard for the UK and will continue to do so because…well mafia innit?

So if customers in China, Aus, USA, EU and Japan can all see exactly what the total cost of the watch is, then I think they may be tempted. This is a worthy rival to a TAG Autavia Heritage, an Omega Planet Ocean or Breitling Chronomat and although it is uinlikely to hold its resale value quite so well as those three watches, it’s definitely a watch you could pass down the family 30 years on – it has all the right elements, tough spec and plenty of visual appeal. Good work Bremont.

 

Bremont RFU 150 Ltd Edition Dive Watch

Bremont have a rugby themed, RFU 150 model out for 2021, here’s the details from the press office;

The Bremont RFU 150 features a chronograph movement with 24h GMT hand as well as the Bremont patented protective anti-shock movement mount. The 43mm satin and polished stainless steel case is fitted with a uni-directional rotating blue ceramic bezel and features an automatic helium escape valve and crown protector. The bezel also allows keen timekeepers to keep an eye on the match playing time with indicators showing the approach of half/full time in red and any extra-time added on in white. The dial is inspired by the blue tone of the England rugby team alternative kit and the inner dial ring is proudly stamped ‘Twickenham’.

Watch the Bremont video on You Tube here;

The closed case back features the RFU’s new, specially designed, Heritage Rose emblem celebrating the anniversary, taking inspiration from the first rose that featured on the players’ caps from 1871 (and still does today). This 43mm wide watch, with a domed sapphire crystal has a 500m depth rating, which makes it a serious dive watch. We love the Twickenham detail at the 6pm position too – nice touch.

See what we did there? Ok, it’s priced at £3995. I’ll get my coat…

“It was an incredibly proud moment for me when I first saw Bremont timekeeping presiding over play at Twickenham, both an iconic stadium and an English institution. It has obviously been an incredibly challenging year for sport but not being able to enjoy sport in the same way has certainly highlighted its importance for so many.”

 

Bremont’s Hawking Range Marks The Best of British Science

Bremont are releasing a range of watches that celebrate the life and work of Professor Stephen Hawking, arguably the most significant theoretical physicist since Einstein. The British watch brand has various colour options available; rose gold case, brown dial, cobalt blue, white gold and a neat stainless steel version which is uncluttered and very tool watch in terms of tone. Prices start at just under £8000 and each watch purchase makes a donation to the Hawking charity foundation, which helps those affected by Motor Neurone disease.

Each watch is unique in that it contains a piece of the desk that Hawking used to formulate some of his earliest theories regarding space and time. Just 88 gold and blue dial models will be produced, marking the year 1988 which is when Hawking published A Brief History of Time. There’s a retrograde seconds hand on the lower section of the dial, plus the Hawking name. Naturally there is an in-house Bremont movement inside the case.

The rose gold model is stunning to look at, but a price tag of £18,000 may well deter many collectors. Hard to justify a 10K premium over the standard model.

Wonderful way to remember a true genius, who changed everyone’s thinking about time, but also showed us what can be achieved in spite of life’s cruel twists of fate.

Bremont Broadsword Bronze Tips Hat to The Dirty Dozen

The new Broadsword models from Bremont capture the military feel perfectly. With a bronze case and dial designs inspired by the famous `Dirty Dozen’ movie, and the watches featured in the film, these are high-spec, hand-assembled watches built for a tough life. The 40mm bronze case has a dash of tin in there, which Bremont says helps durability. Naturally, there’s a sapphire crystal and three dial colour choices; slate, green/teal and tobacco brown. The BE movement has 31 jewels, and is something of a make or break project for Bremont.

Why? Well, Bremont have just invested a huge amount of cash in building a factory in the UK, and they are making their own in-house movements, after some critcism a few years back. Like many independent watch brands, Bremont started out buying in Swiss movements. But long term, if you want to compete at the luxury/collector end of the market, where buyers are forking out £3000-£6000 per watch, then you really have to go bespoke. Fact is, anyone can buy a really good auto/mechanical watch, bronze case, 300m dive rating, with an ETA/Sellita movement for £500. So you need to justify the price tag with technology and unique, `made in Britain’ appeal.

The sub-second dial is a nice touch, a nod to the old Dirty Dozen and `Arrow’ watches from WWII of course. But in some ways, it limits the appeal as it paints the Broadsword into an old fashioned corner. There’s no denying it’s a functional tool watch, but it won’t impress anyone with a keen eye for design. It lacks the visual punch of a Breitling Endurance for example, or the jet-age instrument cluster vibe of a Bell & Ross.

The new range feature each of the three main UK armed forces, Army, Navy and RAF on the caseback and are priced at £2995. Verdict? Wait for a limited edition VE Day/SAS edition to be released, then buy one of say 500 numbered watches. That’s far more likely to be a genuine collectors item one day.

More here at the Bremont site.

Battle of Britain Duo From Bremont -Exclusive Ltd Edition Watches

As a tribute to the anniversary of the Battle of Britain, Bremont has created a rather special limited run of 80 box sets containing two timepieces in its honour, the Hurricane and Spitfire models.

The limited run of box sets each comprises a pair of watches inspired by the two iconic aircraft that defended the nation, the Spitfire and the Hurricane – with the overlooked Hurricane pilots doing much of the hard work in the summer of 1940 when the Luftwaffe flew over, attempting to dominate Britain’s skies and try to force a truce, or surrender. Some guy called Churchill stepped up, spoke out for freedom and democracy, and inspired the entire country, but we mustn’t mention him anymore apparently.

Included with each box set is an incredible opportunity for the customer to fly in a Spitfire which fought in the crucial air campaign in 1940. Having being at the controls of a Tiger Moth for just a few seconds many years ago, your Northern Watch Co author highly recommends any historic flight experience!

bremont hurricane watch

The two watches together cost just under £15,000, which is a hefty amount. What do you get for that cash? The BOB Spitfire model features a modified BE54 Cal movement, 25 jewels, 42 hour reserve, Bremont decorated winding rotor. The 43mm case has a DLC coating, which is diamond-like carbon, so it helps scratch resistance.

The BOB Hurricane has a 21 jewel BE92 Cal movement, 38 hour reserve and a smaller 40mm case diameter. The Hurricane has a more conventional steel case, plus we think the Spitfire looks more dramatic in black – just saying. Both watches feature a metal dial plates and vintage style leather straps.

Bremont Busy Building its New Factory, Now Lockdown is Easing

Here’s the latest from UK watch manufacturer Bremont, who are re-commencing work on their new UK factory and offices.

Being as passionate about British industry as we are at Bremont we hope the many wonderful British businesses we admire can weather this storm, there are so many inspiring companies which have been built up carefully and skilfully over decades and are the reason that ‘British Made’ carries the cachet that it does internationally today.

Here at Bremont, we will fortunately get through this COVID fog and come out of the other side. Despite the obvious challenges, we’re reassured to start seeing some green shoots of normality starting to spring up. Our stores in Hong Kong and very recently Melbourne are now open for business, and with the recent government announcement in the UK, we look forward to a phased reopening of our London boutiques.

Work has started again on our new manufacturing facility in our home town of Henley-on-Thames, which, although now delayed, should be open at the very beginning of 2021. This is tremendously thrilling for us. We are immensely proud of our mission to play a part in reinvigorating watch manufacturing on British soil and certainly the new 35,000 sq ft facility is the ambitious next step in that journey.

To see how the build is coming on, watch our short timelapse film.