The weak of Britain?
With a few notable exceptions (ahem, Rolex Explorer, Omega AT), my favorite wholesale watches are often losers-affordable Hamilton, humble German brands like Ginand, and old-fashioned military watch. I like vintage watches for the same reasons as we all-original design, brand heritage, charming wrists, romantic notions of life on the sea or in the air-but I am in an age project that lacks patience for service, for fakes and Fran Ken’s worries, and stupid antique prices. Today, I would rather buy a modern watch, whether it’s new or old, and consider it well. The important thing is that this watch will speak to you no matter how much the price is or how attractive it is to others.
About ten years ago, it was the ideas of these losers that made me notice Bremont. But at the time I was not sure about this brand. Is it legal? Or are they just selling British features to geeks like me who already like British cars, British clothing, and James Bond? After about ten years, I can answer these questions definitively. The answer is yes, they are legal, in fact they are, and no, Bremont does not deceive you by marketing the United Kingdom and the United States.
Two great British brands, one older and one young.
My friend Jason Heaton certainly had an influence on my thinking. We have a lot in common, such as old Land Rover, watches and Great Lakes travel and adventure, and he has been a passionate supporter of Bremont from the beginning. Even so, it took several years for Jason’s stable Didi, Didi, and Didi to erode my natural skepticism. At that time, a second-hand Jaguar XK joined the family team, so I naturally had to look at Bremont’s Jaguar cooperation. When I saw that Ian Callum was involved in the design of Bremont’s Jaguar series of watches, and noticed the British brothers’ care and admiration for Jaguar, I had already begun to melt the frozen Bremont resistance completely melted.
100 m waterproof means you don’t have to worry about light rain.
“Continuation” E-type racer.
If you are not familiar with the history of Jaguar, some background knowledge may be helpful. The original E-Type road bike came out in 1961 and became famous overnight for its beauty and performance. In 1963, Jaguar announced plans to manufacture 18 “Special GT E-Type cars” for competition. The 18 serial numbers were put aside, but because it was still a mystery, Jaguar only completed 12 of the 18 cars. My guess is that they have only a dozen orders from private customers of racing enthusiasts, but anyway, these cars have been known for their performance and rarity over the years.
Fast forward five years, and Jaguar’s head of design Ian Callum and the company’s head of special projects David Fairbairn have developed a plan (as the story says) to build the last six 1964 GT E-Type cars. The list price of these cars in 2015 was approximately $1.6 million, but an unexpected bonus for buyers through their brand new 1964 E-Type race car was a very special Bremont watch, designed and assembled specifically for these cars, with matching The serial number digits.
The original Jaguar E-Type (sold as XK-E in the U.S.) used gauges designed and manufactured by Smiths Instruments, and this original tachometer was the inspiration for the watches Bremont provided to Jaguar Continuation E-Type cars. . It is the success of these six original Bremont Lightweight E-Type Chronometers that gave birth to Bremont’s four regular series of vintage Jaguar E watches. MkI is a series of stainless steel versions of the original six watches, made in white gold and using Bremont’s in-house movement. Its small second hand is located at 9 o’clock. It is very gorgeous and can be recognized at a glance. It is also the most expensive in the series. MkII is a dual-register chronograph, available in black and white versions. Undoubtedly, the eye-catching, dual-composite layout is easily reminiscent of the 1960s.
Jaguar MkIII and Smiths Instruments instruments.
Then came the subject of this review, MkIII. Although it lacks the sexy sports of MkI and the charming dial details of the MkII chronograph, in my opinion, it is the purest expression of the Smiths Instruments E-Type design language that inspired the series. It is also the most affordable, I think it is the regular version, but I can tell you that on the wrist, the watch does feel very special.
Let’s start with something that immediately appeals to you, a beautifully crafted dial, which is a carefully considered rendering of the original Smiths tachometer. The scale of the original meter was 100 revolutions per minute, while the Bremont dial was in hours, from 8 o’clock to 4 o’clock, occupying 240 degrees at the top of the circle that was the same as the tachometer’s speed scale. Moreover, it is pleasing that the Smith meter has five divisions between its main count of 500 RPM, so that the engine speed of each division is 100 rpm, and the minute mark on the dial is strongly recommended. It is easy to think that the original designer of this dial had a dial in his mind, and may have been inspired by the minute markers between the hour markers on the British-made Smiths Deluxe watches.
Depending on the engine and algebra of your E-Type, the Smiths tachometer may be calibrated between 5,500, 6,000 or 7,000 RPM. In any case, the engine speed danger zone is shown in red graphs, sweeping radial sections starting from 5,000 or 6,000 RPM. On Bremont’s dial, the red line area is indicated by the sweeps corresponding to 3 o’clock and 4 o’clock. I like this excellent little detail, by the way, you can now buy an authentic electronic replacement tachometer for your original E-Type from Smiths Instruments.
The center area of the dial is higher than the outside, which perfectly echoes the same details of the tachometer. In this part of the tachometer, where the manufacturer’s name Smiths is displayed, we see the Bremont propeller logo on the dial. The icing on the cake is the old-fashioned Jaguar logo reproduced above the elegant date window of the watch at 6 o’clock. Not to be missed is the small hub cap that fixes the hand to the pinion of the movement, which is the same piece on the Smith instrument.
I’m very happy that Bremont chose to respect Smiths instruments as they did, but the price we paid for this design fidelity was the lack of numbers or scales at the bottom of the dial at 120 degrees. However, this does not fit your best guess between 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock, because the designers of Bremont have carefully designed two small dots on the dial where 5 and 7 are usually located. They are small, yes, but once you know they are there and train your eyes a little, they can easily tell the time between these hours. Solved the problem through clever design.
The minute hand of the Bremont Jaguar MkIII is a perfect reproduction of the Smiths tachometer. Only the outermost part is painted white and appears to float on the recessed scale area of the dial. Of course, since the minute hand on the watch does not jump around and attract your attention like an engine speed indicator, it can be tricky to tell the time at a glance. However, it is wrong to paint the hand completely, so I am glad that Bremont is also loyal to Smiths’ design here. The hands and dial have no luminous at all, except for the lollipop of the second hand, I think this choice is a bit strange. So you will not sleep with this watch, but you may not sleep with your vintage E-Type either.
The Jaguar MkIII is powered by Bremont’s COSC-certified movement BE-36AE, which is hand-finished and assembled in Bremont’s UK studio. It is Bremont’s entry-level movement, used in many of their watches. It was originally used as an ETA 2836-2. Mine has always been a great timekeeper, comparable to your competitors in the same price range from Sinn, Grand Seiko or Omega.
Turning the watch over, we see the large vintage Jaguar logo on the solid caseback covering the movement. The watch, its minimal operating instructions, strap replacement tools, spare rubber straps, COSC certificate and warranty card are neatly wrapped in a “purse”, and its vinyl has a striking resemblance to a shell cordovan. It is then wrapped in an elegant fabric drawstring bag, which is stored in a simple cardboard box. Overall, the kit gives people a low-key, high-quality and refreshingly simple feel.
I am worried that the watch may be too big, but the teardrop-shaped lugs make the watch wear flat; it feels like a 40mm watch on the wrist, not a 43mm size. Another case detail that I did not expect is the soft color of the hardened steel. It is polished and therefore shiny, but it also has a subtle softness and tone, like a cloudy November sky. It’s hard to describe, I didn’t notice it in any photos of the watch I saw before. However, despite the wide width of the bezel, sparkling replica swiss watches are not.
The last detail to pay attention to, but only one of the many details that got me into trouble, must be the crown. It is very finely engraved with the tread pattern of the Dunlop cross-ply tire originally equipped with E-Type, and at its end, the old-fashioned Jaguar logo appears for the third time. I like this little Easter egg, it’s easy to miss.
Defended Bremont Jaguar MkIII.
I have never particularly liked cross-selling products, especially when they make me feel possessed (hello, no time to die seahorse). They are usually too artificial to integrate my interest in forming brands in a new and unique way. But for the Bremont Jaguar collaboration watch, this is not the case. Its origin is an amazing long-established British brand that completed what it started decades ago and is looking for an equally amazing young British partner. Make complementary products that are truly unique and useful. These watches pay tribute to industrial art and celebrate timeless design, well-made things, and yes, certain British characteristics.
There are only six Continuation E-Type racers. If you count the sales prototype of the “zero car”, that is seven. The prototype was sold at auction in October 2020 for more than $1.7 million, and Comes with matching Bremont wrist timer. As the probability increases, you are unlikely to have one. However, you can easily find one of the more than 72,500 road-driving E-Types produced from 1961 to 1975, although you’d better budget a solid 80 grand piano for a good sample.
Or, you can buy yourself a beautiful modern second-hand Jag, which is about half what you spend on a new, cross-market LL Bean Subaru or Eddie Bauer Explorer, and spend what you just saved on a Bremont Jaguar watch Go for a fraction of the money. In my world, this makes a lot of sense.