There was plenty of buzz in the yacht world last summer when upstart British watchmaker Bremont became the official timing partner for the America’s Cup and Oracle Team USA. The cup is one of the most prestigious awards in sailing and just getting a chance to compete is an honor. Oracle Team USA has taken the cup home twice since its formation in 2003.
And now Bremont has jumped in the water with the big boys and is celebrating with the launch of four limited edition timepieces: the America’s Cup Series Bremont AC I and AC II and the Bremont Oracle I and Oracle II.
Founded by brothers Nick and Giles English in 2002, Bremont may be new to the yachting sponsorships, but they are no landlubbers. As children, they lived on a sailing boat built by their father, Euan English, an ex-Royal Air Force pilot with a PhD in Aeronautical engineering. And Giles studied as a naval architect.
The brothers have a history of building relationships with prestigious partners. Bremont has collaborated on watches with Boeing and Jaguar. “All of our partnerships are more than slapping a logo on a dial,” Nick told us at Baselworld 2015. For example, “Through Boeing, we got access to materials that have never been used in watches before. And with the Jaguar pieces we used their leather off cuts from the 1960s for the watch straps.”
This time out, says Nick, Bremont wanted explore the history of yacht design with these watches. The first collection, called the America’s Cup Series, consists of the Bremont AC I and AC II. The sinuous lines of J-Class yachts of the 1930s inspired the shape of the 43mm case. Both models feature sea blue steel hands and white opaline dials, each embossed with outlines of the Cup.
As a timekeeper, the stainless steel AC I is powered by a chronometer-rated ETA automatic movement, which you can view through the porthole-like sapphire crystal case back. The rose gold AC II bi-compact chronograph features the America’s Cup motif on the two sub-dials.
The second set of timepieces commemorates Oracle Team USA. The case technology of the Bremont Oracle I and II is based on the company’s popular Supermarine dive watches, but with subtle touches that nod to Oracle Team USA’s racing colors and branding.
These COSC tested, automatic chronometers are also built to work in the water, with easy-to-read applied indexes and red-tipped minute hand, a uni-directional rotating bezel, automatic helium valve and an anti-shock movement mount and anti-magnetic Faraday cage. The Oracle II has an additional second time zone enabling GMT functionality for longer voyages around the world. And each Oracle Team USA model comes with a red rubber and a black “Kevlar-style” strap.
These four watches are just the beginning. Inspired by the innovation of yacht building materials and designs, the duo hope to launch even more seaworthy timepieces between now and the 35th America’s Cup in 2017.