It’s hard to believe that the Bremont Watch Company is just 10 years old – and that its aviation-inspired timepieces have only been available for the past five years. It goes to show the value of time spent in research and development, for the marque is fast becoming not only a great British favourite, but also a big success in the US and Asia. In 2011 it was named Watch Brand of the Year at the UK Jewellery Awards, and this year won Watch Pro’s Luxury Watch and the People’s Choice Award in the watch category at the Couture Watch & Jewellery Show in Las Vegas.
And so the arrival of its first standalone store – in the hallowed retail grounds of South Audley Street in London’s Mayfair – is, of course, well timed. Giles and Nick English, the charming brothers behind the brand, are building Bremont’s quintessentially British reputation and heritage with the new boutique. Over two floors, it has a clubby ambience, including a bar (the perfect place to breathe life into the phrase “Time, gentlemen, please!”). Apart from the bar and a second world war BSA motorbike parked inside the doorway (second picture), in some ways it feels like a traditional, smart and light Englishman’s library, with fascinating items and photographs to look at, and comfy leather armchairs and a sofa upstairs. But there is more.
Unique items such as the Bremont B-I Marine Clock sit alongside the watch collections – which include Bremont’s first global timer model, the “wonderfully over-engineered” ALT1-WT World Timer (£3,995), launched earlier this year, and the brand-new, limited-edition Victory watch (250 in steel, £11,995 – first picture; 40 in gold, about £20,000), which incorporates original parts from the 18th-century HMS Victory, with a large proportion of the proceeds (exact amount still to be decided) going towards the ship’s restoration. The boutique will also be the base for an explorers’ club. (Adventurer Bear Grylls and polar explorer Ben Saunders both sport Bremont wristwatches.)
And even though clients are surrounded by watches in this horological haven, there’s a great excuse for running late here: as is tradition, the display watches have the time set to 10 past 10 so that none of the markings or sub-dials are hidden from view.