It was a collection of elegant and sporty watches dedicated to the legendary Jaguar Type-E, the most iconic coupéof the 1960s. Upon its release in 1961 it was considered the world's fastest –and most beautiful according to Enzo Ferrari –series-produced car.
A trip to the heart of British luxury
Today, I invite you to learn more about a partnership between the automotive and watchmaking industry that conveys a particular idea of British luxury and skills. Bremont and Jaguar or the collaboration of automobile quintessence and great British watchmaking tradition.
Bremont is a British watchmaking company founded by the two brothers Nick and Giles English in 2002. They specialize in the design of high-quality watches that are certified chronometers by the "Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres" (COSC). Aiming for a renewal of British watchmaking, they delocalized most of the brand's production to Oxfordshire (United Kingdom) while some components are still produced at their factory in Bienne.
When British watchmaking skills and tradition partner with the Swiss Made label
As the co-founders of the brand established in Henley-on-Thames are experienced pilots, it is no surprise that the manufacture specializes mostly in aviation –as proved by the brand’s collaborations with Boeing, Martin Baker (British producer of ejection seats) and even with the Bremont Horsemen freestyle acrobatics team on P-51 Mustangs. Bremont also has close connections with several military units throughout the world, among which are the B-52 Stratofortress squadron and the United States Naval Test Pilot School, for which the brand has developed exclusive watches. With a strong attachment to its British roots, the brand was previously official watch partner of the renowned Goodwood Festival of Speed –a major car-racing event worldwide.
2010 - Bremont XJ75
Jaguar and Bremont signed their partnership in 2010, the year the British car manufacturer celebrated its 75th anniversary. For the occasion, the brand introduced a superlative version of its great luxury sedan, the Jaguar XJ7 Platinum, at the famous Californian Pebble Beach Concours d'Elégance. Together with state-of-the-art, high tech equipment, the feline-named manufacturer asked its watchmaking compatriot to bring its own touch of elegance and tradition to the design of the dashboard clock. The manufacture chose a mechanical watch equipped with a chronograph function to highlight the fact that Jaguar has a long winning streak. Positioned at the center of the dashboard, the Bremont XJ75 in its chrome-plated case blends in perfectly with the aluminium inserts. The two black dial timers (chronograph minutes and small seconds) feature the same satiny-matte pearlescent white of the spotless body.
2010 - Bremont C-X75
Encouraged by this unanimously acclaimed success, the two British manufacturers reiterated their collaboration and launched the powerful and feline C-X75 at the Paris Motor Show 2010, as a final touch to the car maker’s 75th anniversary. As the rightful successor of the 1992 XJ-22, the C-X75 is a rechargeable hybrid supercar (780 hp) that reaches up to 330 km/h. It is such an extraordinary car that in 2015 it featured in Spectre, the 24th James Bond movie.
Sitting at the wheel makes you feel you are in the cockpit of a fighter aircraft. To keep to the aeronautic universe that is so special to the British manufacture, Bremont made a mechanical dashboard clock inspired by its chronometers for Martin-Baker. The black metal dial is enhanced by a green grid that reminds us of a radar screen. It also sports luminescent hands that are similar to those of an aviation instruments and a seconds hand with a counterpoise in the shape of an ejection handle. The self-winding BE-36AE caliber is wound when the car accelerates or brakes –a unique innovation in watchmaking.
2014 - Bremont Jaguar Lightweight E-Type
In August 2014, Jaguar chose once more the high-end Pebble Beach Concours d'Elégance to reveal a wonderful re-edition of its legendary Type E Lightweight. In 1963, they came in a limited edition of eighteen lightweight coupés, followed by twelve the following year.
But that was the last of it until fifty years later when Jaguar decided to rebuild the last six coupés in exactly the same way. Created in the Jaguar Heritage department, which specializes in the restoration of old Jaguar cars, they were certified by the FIA for participation in historical car races.
On this occasion, Jaguar requested Bremont to make not a dashboard clock –as one may be inclined to believe –but an exclusive watch to be given as a gift to six fortunate hand-picked participants among its rich collectors. Bremont worked in close collaboration with Ian Callum, design manager at Jaguar, who has famously designed some of the most beautiful British cars, such as the Aston Martin DB7, the Vanquish and even the Jaguar C-X75 and the F-Type. He drew inspiration from the tachometer that was on the dashboard of the Type-E. To make the Lightweight E-type watch an exclusive and unique piece, he added some of the car's DNA into the watch (a method also adopted by the British manufacture Christopher Ward). The watch's middle is made of some aluminium pieces used to build the bodies of the six Jaguar cars.
The three-part 43mm case is made of 18K white gold. It features the exclusive Trip-Tick technology that guarantees robustness seven times stronger than that of traditional cases. That is possible thanks to its three-part assembly where the bezel and the back are both covered by sapphire glass and the middle is totally independent. The black dial evokes the tachometer of the Type E's dashboard –red zone and timer that disappears between 4 and 8 o'clock to reinforce the resemblance with the original timer. The luminescent hour and minute hands tick away above a discrete timer that displays the small second at 9 o'clock. The Jaguar Heritage logo is affixed at the center and is completed by each car’s frame number. The crown was especially engraved with the shape of the tyres of the Type E from 1963.
Through the sapphire glass, the especially engraved case back offers a clear view on the superb work done on the oscillating mass that is in the shape of the steering wheel of the Jaguar Type E and features Jaguar’s logo in the middle…It's splendid! The piece houses the refined self-winding Bremont BWC/01 movement that beats to 28,800 vibrations per hour and provides a 50-hour power reserve. The elegant and deliciously vintage perforated strap was made in the same Connolly leather that was used for the six Jaguar cars.
2015 - Bremont Jaguar MKI, MKII, MKIII
Following the success of the six chronometers dedicated to the new Type-E Lightweight, Bremont and Jaguar decided to strengthen their connection and announced that they were signing a long-term partnership. Giles English, co-founder of Bremont, explained: "When we collaborated with Ian [Callum] to make the six limited-edition watches dedicated to the six Jaguar Type E Lightweight, we had no idea that both owners and fans of the Jaguar Type E would ask us to make a similar watch in a larger edition and at a more affordable price". Thus, the manufacture got back to work and once again collaborated with Jaguar’s design center to ensure that the original design was not altered in any way. Introduced at BaselWorld 2015, the Bremont/Jaguar watch collection reinterprets the famous tachometer of the Type-E with its red zone.
The Bremont Jaguar MKI features the same specifics of the Lightweight E-Type and adds a subtle aperture at 6 o'clock. Its self-winding BWC/01-10 caliber, with a Lajoux-Perret base, provides a power reserve of over 50 hours. The Bremont Jaguar MKII is a bi-compax chronograph. In this version, there is a 30-minute counter at 3 o'clock whilst the famous red zone is relocated to the small second counter. The caliber housed in this piece is the BE-50AE 13 1/4‘’self-winding movement, decorated with 28 rubies. Beating at a frequency of 4 Hz with a 42-hour power reserve, it is a COSC-certified chronometer.
Lastly, the MKIII introduced a few months later is a three-hand-date watch that does not have any sub-dial and thus sports a more streamlined design. It is driven by the BE-36AE self-winding caliber –also a COSC-certified chronometer –and provides a 38-hour power reserve.
To make these three watches accessible to all aficionados of the Jaguar Type-E, they used stainless steel instead of white gold and aluminum for the 43mm case, which is incidentally water resistant to 100 meters. Yet, the pieces still feature the Trip-Tick technology. The elegant racing calfskin perforated strap that closes with a pin buckle is a superb final touch to these timepieces. The result has lived up to every expectation. The pieces sport all the elements that made the success of the limited-edition Lightweight E-Type –the engraved crown, the "Jaguar Heritage" logo on the dial and the steering-wheel-shaped bi-directional oscillating mass on the MKI and the MKII models.
The Bremont Jaguar collection has enjoyed well-deserved success. Its beautiful pieces illustrate perfectly Jaguar's spirit, whose cars blend British tradition, exceptional finishes and powerful engines. So British!
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