Davide’s Way: Bremont’s new CEO looks to the future

The dynamic new CEO of Bremont, Davide Cerrato, talks strategy and teases an exciting 2024.

Davide Cerrato has been in the top job at Bremont for a little over six months, so we feel justified in calling him the British brand’s “new” CEO. However, it would be foolish to think that Cerrato is anything but perfectly suited to guiding Bremont into its next evolution. Cerrato’s CV is long, and his list of achievements is legendary. He’s worked for Panerai, struck gold at Tudor with the Black Bay, and been pivotal in shaping the design and identity of Montblanc’s watch department, as well as a dalliance with high-end brand HYT. In short, much like Liam Neeson, Davide Cerrato has a particular set of skills that makes him incredibly well-suited to making sure Bremont’s next mission is a success.

Bremont Supermarine S302 collections
Bremont Supermarine S302 collections

Cerrato explains, “The mission of Bremont is to inspire people around the world to believe in themselves and achieve their dreams. We just launched a very powerful new campaign called ‘Take It Further’. It’s focused on celebrating adventure and exploration, encouraging you to be outdoors and within nature. It’s about looking at the mindset of inspiring people and examining how they realize incredible achievements. They never give up, they face their fears and cope with risk, and they believe in themselves; and this is exactly the mindset that allows them to achieve great things. I want the brand to make a strong call, to take it further.” In a very real way, the new message of achievement through mindset is the story of Bremont itself, which started as a plucky challenger with a dream of bringing commercial watchmaking back to Britain.

It’s a dream that has become a reality which, according to Cerrato, is a monumental achievement. “What the English brothers achieved is mind-blowing. They created with a utopian dream, fighting against everything and everyone, and, 20 years later the brand employs 180 people, with £20+ million turnover, all housed at The Wing, an incredible manufacture in Henley-on-Thames in the U.K. whilst also having a strong presence in the U.S. It’s incredible. They were also clever enough to understand that they had to bring in someone from the outside with a strong watchmaking product knowledge to help the brand shift into the next phase and scale up – along with our New York investors, who are incredible, really committed and passionate about watches, which will help us really focus on the long term. It’s a perfect match and it’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity. We are working on a strategy of ‘simplify to amplify’, refocusing all of our communications to adventure and exploration, cleaning up some of the product range, and we are now focused on three key collections: Land, Sea and Sky. Sea reflects the Supermarine collection that have undergone exciting new design changes and there is more to come next year. Land will be our big story at Watches and Wonders — we’re happy to be a part of this fantastic environment in Geneva — and then we will celebrate our aviation collections with ‘Air’ later next year.”

A bright future for the British brand

Davide Cerrato's influence can be seen on the new Supermarine models.

Change is already being seen in the Bremont product catalog. It’s too early in the process for Cerrato to bring his full creative weight to bear, but there are touches evident in the new Supermarine GMT watches. “To be very transparent with you, when I joined, these watches were already in the pipeline, but I could twist the design and add a number of key elements. The 24-hour indication on the bezel, the blue and green two-tone, the font, which is much more technical and readable. All our watches are signed with London in bright orange, as much as the Supermarine branding. A new strap — I’m very keen on and focused on the wearability of the watches. There’s a new vintage leather strap, and a new thinner, tapered rubber strap. We’ve made a limited edition developed with Ocean Ramsey, who is engaged in marine wildlife preservation. I really want to push the company to engage and commit to a very strong environmental stance, and this is just the first step.”

Bremont Supermarine S302
Bremont Supermarine S302

After the first step comes the second, and with a new year just around the corner, 2024 is shaping up to be a pivotal one for Bremont. Cerrato is clear where he wants the brand to be. “I want to make Bremont the king of tool watches: watches you can wear every day, watches that are fit for purpose and deliver technical characteristics and performance that mean you can use them everywhere. Field watches are a fantastic type of subgroup of this category, and our ties with the military and British heritage mean that I’ve been going through a lot of historic military timepieces. It was a fascinating experience, and I’ve found hints into this journey to create a very powerful field watch product line, with a completely new look and design code that emboldens the spirit of Bremont. I’m really looking forward to presenting this at Watches and Wonders.”

It should come as no surprise that Cerrato isn’t ready to spill the beans on what the new Bremont field watch will look like just yet, but he is prepared to tell us how much it will cost and why. “The whole entry part of this new line is below 3,000 pounds, between 2,500 to 3,000 pounds, which for me is where, in this premium segment, the soft belly of the market is. This is where consumers are. I love this segment, it’s difficult, it’s competitive — for less money, you have to do everything that more expensive brands do with the same level of sophistication, sexiness and precision.”

This “soft belly” is where Cerrato has made his name; exceptionally designed timepieces with a solid value proposition dominate his personal portfolio. But it’s easy to forget that design is a process. A hit watch doesn’t just emerge, fully formed, from the sketchpad of a designer. And over the years, Cerrato has developed his own process when it comes to design. “I’m very curious. I’m like a sponge. I take inspiration from everything. Over time, I’ve developed my own way of doing design; it’s really an organic process. It’s similar to learning a new language. In the beginning, you get some new words — some design hints — and then you can make phrases, and express some simple concepts. Then you can make paragraphs, and at a certain point, you can write poems. Design grammar and language is exactly like this. In the beginning, there are a few elements you can grab and that coagulate around, and then step by step, it grows, and you create your own language, and it becomes very natural. So we are looking at our branding, our font and our logo. It really is a 360-degree assessment, and I think for us, Watches and Wonders will be the turning point and a pivotal moment for Bremont.”

We can’t wait.


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