Bremont ALT1-C Chronograph Review

Bremont ALT1-C

When you think of fine watches, chances are you think of Swiss-made timepieces. We get it. Switzerland is well known for exporting some of the loveliest timepieces known to man.

But let’s not overlook quality watches made right here in the UK.

Bremont has been at the forefront of the British watch industry since its inception. Their watches marry a classy, dressy style, with expertise in flying, yacht racing, and race driving instruments. 

Overview

The Bremont ALT1-C Blue was designed to commemorate over a century of British military aviation. It features a beautifully understated blue pantone colour scheme teamed with a blue nubuck strap. This watch combines an RAF-inspired look with the kind of precision timekeeping watch lovers have come to expect from the brand.

And with every ALT1-C being hand built by Bremont’s own watch makers in their Henley-on-Thames centre, you can rest assured your watch was made with attention to detail. 

Bremont’s love for historic aircraft and fine-tuned mechanics shows in every model. They rigorously test every watch, resulting in pieces that are both innovative, and respectful of the master craft of the watchmaker. 

Bremont ALT1-C

History

Bremont is a bit younger than some watchmakers, having been founded in 2002, but don’t let that fool you! Their dedication to producing highly accurate and reliable watches shines through with every model they release.

The brothers behind Bremont, Nick and Giles English, share a love of flying historic aircraft. These watches aren’t just made for pilots. They’re made by pilots, who have hands-on experience of flying. They know what pilots need from their watches.

Bremont got its start thanks to a flying adventure that happened to Nick and Giles in the late 1990s. They’d been flying across France in their vintage 1930s biplane, when misfortune struck. With bad weather closing in and a rough-running engine, the brothers had no choice but to make an emergency landing. They ended up in a farmer’s field, and that farmer let them stay in his home, and put their plane in his barn. He was a fellow pilot, and when the brothers founded their company, they named it after the Frenchman who’d shown them such kind hospitality, Antoine Bremont.

The Bremont brothers believe that if you’re going to make a watch, you have to do it right. It took them five years to release their first collection, in 2007, because they wanted to take the time to design and test the watches to perfection. And their attention to detail paid off, with Bremont watches quickly building a reputation for marrying reliability, precision, and class.

Not content to do what other manufacturers were doing, Bremont designed a unique three-piece case, nicknamed the Trip-Tick case. Each Trip-Tick case has:

  • A hardened steel bezel complete with sapphire crystal. 
  • A robust DLC treated or titanium middle barrel.
  • A crystal and steel case back.

 

Bremont subjected their early watches to rigorous testing, and they continue that process today. Some of their watches are tested in real time by elite flying squadrons, who take them on missions up to 80,000 feet in the air. And Bremont boasts some of the only watches on the planet that have been put through ejector seat tests.

Over the years, Bremont has invested heavily in its manufacturing process, with a strong emphasis on quality. All the watches in their core range are either ISO or COSC chronometer rated. They build their watches in limited numbers, because they know that quality is far more important than quality. 

Bremont is keen to reinvigorate the British watch-making industry. If we could get in a plane and fly back to 1800, we’d see that around half the world’s watches were made in Britain back in those days. That’s an astonishing statistic.

With the Bremont ALT1-C, Nick and Giles have reaffirmed Britain’s reputation as a producer of luxury watches.

Bremont ALT1-C

Appearance

The look of the Bremont ALT1-C is, in a word, dressy. The stunning deep blue dial and stainless steel Trip-Tick construction case are teamed with a blue nubuck leather strap. The look immediately calls to mind a dress uniform, a sense of honour and duty, and the excitement of soaring into the sky. 

The hours are marked out with elegant baton markers, combined with subtle but crystal clear minute markers around the outer edge of the face. The Bremont ALT1-C also features a small seconds counter at the 9 o’clock position, and a 30 minute counter at the 3 o’clock position. A date window sits at the 6 o’clock position. A chronograph centre sweep seconds hand with a red tip completes the look. 

The counters add a distinctly aviation-inspired feel and plenty of interest to the face, without becoming too busy. The blue and steel colour scheme and the simplicity of the batons keep the watch understated and elegant.

The hands really add something special to the appearance of the Bremont ALT1-C. They’ve got a distinctive, delicate feuille design. Feuille hands get their name from the French word for leaf, a reference to the way they’re fuller in the middle and taper off at each end, like a leaf. In the case of the Bremont ALT1-C, we think they call to mind aircraft propellers, making a great visual addition to this pilots’ watch. 

Bremont ALT1-C

Features and Specs

If you’re looking for a high performance watch with unbeatable style, the Bremont ALT1-C is for you. As well as that innovative Trip-Tick construction and the functionality of the beautiful aviation-inspired dials, wearers will love:

  • The sturdy yet ergonomic 43 mm bezel
  • The powerful calibre 13 1/4” BE-50AE automatic movement that ensures your watch will wind itself as you go about your day. The movement has 28 crystals that keep it beating at 28,800bph.
  • The 42 hour power reserve that keeps your Bremont accurate even if you don’t wear it for a day or so.
  • Water resistant down to 100m depth, so you can enjoy your Bremont ALT1-C at the pool or on the beach without worrying about it getting damaged.
  • The domed anti-reflective scratch resistant sapphire crystal.
  • Super-LumiNova coating on the elegant feuille hands so you can see the watch, day or night.


The movement is visible through the back of the watch, showing off its precision craftsmanship and adding an interesting mechanical element to the look. 

Bremont ALT1-C

Wearability

Bremont themselves say they wanted “to make a mechanical watch that would look great in the boardroom but one that would also work at the top of Mount Everest.”

We think they’ve succeeded! The Bremont ALT1-C has all the power and functionality you need for the grandest of adventures, but it looks good enough for any boardroom.

The 43mm bezel is hefty enough to feel like it means business, without being overpoweringly heavy to wear, though some slimmer wrists might find it a little unwieldy. The nubuck strap is very comfortable, especially after you’ve had a week or so to wear it in.

This is a watch that makes an unforgettable first impression. It’s dressy enough for any formal setting you can imagine, and will add a touch of class to more casual ensembles. And with its carefully built chronograph features, you can rely on it on the sea, or in the sky. 

Bremont ALT1-C

Cost

The Bremont ALT1-C retails for £5,295.

Summary

Just like a classic aircraft, the Bremont ALT1-C has a distinctive and extremely smart look that hides a powerful engine. We think the design is destined to become iconic. The ALT1-C combines precision engineering that can withstand even extreme conditions, with beautiful nods to classic aviation history.

If you’re looking for an active watch that’s also awash in good taste and fine features, the Bremont ALT1-C is for you. Highly recommended.

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