We have been busy in recent weeks celebrating UK watchmaking here at Revolution Towers. There have been a number of recently launched UK-based watch brands and also some reignitions of old watchmaking names. Two stalwarts of old Blighty are, however, Bremont and Bamford Watch Department. Now the time has come for them to join forces on a collaborative take on the Supermarine S500 in a limited edition of 250 pieces.
It was always the plan for the brothers English and George Bamford to work on a project together, ever since George bonded with the Giles and Nick over their shared passion for cool cars. Says Bamford, “I have known Nick and Giles for a while now, and we became firm friends when I was moving into my Mayfair ‘Hive’ office seven years ago, and they were parking a very cool Jaguar in a car park opposite. I always said we should do something together, and this project feels so right.”
Bremont is well known for creating watches that are built for purpose, with the watches having been adopted by British Forces, explorers and even surfers over the years. The brand’s first dive watch was the Supermarine S500 that was introduced in 2009. Thirteen years later, it is this professional dive watch that has been used for the Bamford Watch Department (BWD) collaboration. The watch was named as a tribute to the English brothers’ love of the British aircraft manufacturer responsible for the Supermarine S6B Schneider Trophy Seaplane and so it seems fitting that the Bremont x BWD watch has this iconic plane etched into the solid caseback.
Says Bremont Co-Founder Nick English, “The S500 Supermarine is an icon of our brand, and it’s been hugely exciting collaborating with George to produce this special edition. Projects such as this provide so much design inspiration, and it’s been an incredibly natural process with George sharing so many of the same interests, from aviation to automobiles and vintage military timepieces. We’re proud to be pioneering a British watch collaboration of this sort, and we’re equally as proud of the result, a watch that sublimely fuses the Bremont and Bamford design aesthetic.“
The 43mm S500 features what Bremont refers to as the trip tick case, which is essentially a three-piece construction of bezel, mid-case and screw-in case back. The case has a large crown guard and the entire construction has a black DLC coating. The unidirectional bezel features a matte ceramic insert with raised polished numerals, the whole watch having a noir ton-sur-ton vibe. It wouldn’t, of course, be a BWD without some striking Bamford Blue!
The watch has what they’ve called ‘California Blue’ Super-LumiNova® on both the dial and the hands. The dial is what is known as a Californian layout, also known as error-proof, with Roman numerals on the upper half of the dial and Arabic numerals in the lower half. The dial’s legibility is enhanced by the fact that the dial is of sandwich construction. Instead of the lume being applied to the dial plate, the lume is a solid plate on to which a dial plate is overlaid with the details cut out in relief. The finished effect also adds cool depth to the finished watch. Bamford adds, “I love the California dial and the integration of two styles. I feel it represents the blend of two British brands working together. Also using what feels like a military blue, it emulates the crossover and bringing together of Bamford Watch Department and Bremont.“
Bremont S500 Bamford Special Edition
Movement: Modified Calibre 11 1/2” BE-36AE
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds and dive bezel
Case: 43mm DLC treated stainless steel
Dial: Black and ‘California Blue’ sandwich dial with Roman and Arabic hours
Bracelet: Black sailcloth with light blue side stitch and DLC treated pin buckle
Availability: 250 pieces