Bremont Q&A: A Moment with Nick English

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We were thrilled to welcome Nick English, one of the two founders of the venerable British watch brand, Bremont to Oster Jewelers earlier this week. He did a marvelous meet and greet in Oster Jewelers and shared valuable insights into the brand including details on exciting collaborations including Jaguar and America’s Cup with Team Oracle. He also took the time to have a question and answer session with us!

Nick English Bremont Event at Oster Jewelers


Oster: When you make a watch for the military what sort of process do you go through in order to deliver an exceptional product?

Nick English: So we were approached by Martin Baker in 2007, if you know Martin Baker they produce ejection seats for over 70% of the worlds air forces. I must say at their headquarters its like going into key laboratories in a James Bond film. They still are family run and to this day they have saved thousands of pilots lives. So we had a conversation with them and they basically said, look if you eject from an aircraft currently you get a ropey tie and a dodgy badge it would be nice if they could have something a little more than that, we will subsidize it. As a solution to this we developed the MB 1 with a red barrel. Our testing went on for a number of years and when you think about an ejection seat it might be sitting on an aircraft carrier or it might be in Nevada, it might be in Alaska. You have weather, altitude, and all of the vibration from the shock of ejecting.  We put the watches on these mannequins and other rigs that had gone through 40 years of vibration testing and all of our movements were coming apart. We had to develop a suspended movement with a rubberized mount to counteract such intense vibrations. We ended up creating a watch that was incredibly durable and since then military contracts have accounted for over 25% of our business around the world. They will now come to us and say “I’m a pilot for a U2 and I’m flying at 80,000 feet and I’d like to wear my watch on the outside of my space suit” and so we will show them the testing that we have done with Martin Baker and when they can see the watch ticking over beautifully at -50 degrees at 80,000 feet, it ends up getting exciting for everyone.

See also: Jimmy Fallon Surprises his Father-in-Law with a Bremont MBI

Oster: What led to team Oracle and the Americas Cup partnership?

Nick English: So we ended up having a wonderful meeting with sir Russell Coutts, who is a legend in the sailing world. He called us up and he wanted to do something different with creative branding for the world cup, so he brought us in with Team Oracle to help add our expertise to the timelessness craftsmanship of the boats and the historical beauty of the race. Through Russell we met with Larry Ellison, The CEO of Oracle, and he had us design a watch for his team which was based on our Titanium Supermarine, but more robust because we knew the team would be banging them around.

Bremont's West Side News publishing that paid historical homage to their Wright Flyer piece. | Oster Jewelers Blog

Bremont’s West Side News publishing that paid historical homage to their Wright Flyer piece.

Oster: What really drew you in about this event?

Nick English: Apart from the incredible engineering that goes into the boats, one of my fondest memories is sailing with my dad.  He and I would talk about this amazing race and what an honor it would be to partake in it, and so when I saw this opportunity it truly meant so much me.

Oster: If your father was still alive today, which of the watches that you have made do you think would have been his favorite?

Nick English: Dad always had a watch collection and he had a few nice ones, but the rest of his collection was a bit ropey. As Giles and I designed all of our watches we always wanted to picture our father wearing them but I would say he would have been a fan of our first watch the ALT1 C, he quite liked the vintage style of watch.

Bremont ALT1-C | Oster Jewelers

The ALT1-C is a beautifully executed bi-compax chronograph. The dial was inspired by the Mosquito airplane dashboard. The Bremont ALT1-C remains true to each of the technical principles behind any revered automatic timepiece.

Oster: What is the most important thing for you when you create a watch?

Nick English: First and foremost we want to manufacture as much as we can in the United kingdom. Right now most great movements are Swiss manufactured. We are in the process of making our movement in the UK and eventually we want to manufacture the entire watch in the UK.

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