Breaking Away: A Closer Look at the Bremont MBIII Rapha Special Edition
The British watchmakers have teamed up with the Rapha Cycling Club to create an exclusive high-performance titanium timepiece.
As someone who commutes by bicycle, I’m always disappointed that there aren’t more watches associated with my preferred mode of daily transportation. That’s why I was so psyched when Bremont announced the MBIII Rapha Special Edition – a collaboration with the Rapha Cycling Club to create a watch that can not only withstand the rigors of riding (bumps and perhaps the occasional accident) but look effortlessly cool at the same time.
The idea of a mechanical watch made for cyclists caught our attention. Watchonista was lucky to get our hands on this members-only special edition. Having it in our hands only made us want one more. Here’s why.
Life in the Bike Lane
British watchmaker Bremont and premium cycling and lifestyle brand Rapha created the MBIII Rapha Special Edition with members of the Rapha Cycling Club in mind. Like watch enthusiasts, cyclists come together through a shared passion and a sense of community. And both groups like to connect by sharing their struggles and triumphs, both online and at in-person meetups.
Cycling is also a stylish sport. Thus, it should come as no surprise that, in addition to the rides and experiences it offers its members, the Rapha Cycling Club is devoted to its distinctive clothing and accessories.
Based on Bremont’s classic Martin-Baker collection, the MBIII Rapha Special Edition’s 43mm Grade 5 titanium case coated in black DLC is the first mechanical watch offered to the club. Featuring a “Rapha pink” second hand with signature ripcord counterweight and the cycling brand’s logo at 6 o’clock, the minimalistic design not only reflects the aesthetic of Rapha’s cycling apparel, but it is also built for comfort. Afterall, no one wants to ride with an anchor strapped to their wrist, and while this special edition measures in a robust 43mm, its lightweight black titanium construction and gently rounded shape.
However, more crucially for avid cyclists is that the watch comes with a rubberized anti-shock movement mount to protect the mechanism from the bumps and vibrations of an endurance sportive. So rest assured, the MBIII Rapha Special Edition is a timepiece designed for cycling beyond just its looks.
The caseback features a smoked sapphire crystal that reveals the chronometer-rated BE-93-2AV automatic movement and customized Rapha winding rotor. The gently rounded contours of the case are very comfortable. The knurled edges of the barrel and crowns make it easy to operate the GMT and date functions. And the watch is supplied with both a black leather stitched strap and a black rubber strap so you can wear it securely both off and on-road.
Watches & Wheels
In a world filled with gadgets that can simultaneously check your vitals and record your Strava stats, many people will question the idea of going cycling with a mechanical watch.
But allow us to take this moment to remind you that many famous cyclists have worn conventional wind-ups during important competitions. For instance, Breitling paid tribute to Charly Gaul’s infamous race in 1956 with the Giro d’Italia Chronograph; the legendary Eddy Merckx climbed the hills of the Tour de France wearing a gold Rolex; and American Greg Lamond won his third Tour de France wearing a Cartier Santos.
While most Rapha Cycling Club members will never take on the Dolomites, the MBIII Rapha Special Edition is still designed with the physical challenges of competition-level riding in mind.
Bremont and Rapha are relative newcomers to the luxury scene, with the latter founded by Simon Mottram in London in 2004. However, these two UK-based brands have helped redefine performance and style in their respective fields.
The Rapha Cycling Club now has more than 22,000 members worldwide. Still, we appreciate the British sensibility of prestigious practicality that both brands bring to the table (full disclosure, I tootle around town on a made-in-London Brompton).
Another advantage of joining the Rapha Cycling Club is access to a members-only app, which acts as a virtual passport that connects you to a global network of ride leaders, group rides, and members. And, of course, joining the club provides access to an extensive range of members-only RCC products and special editions like the MBIII Rapha Special Edition (you can even get your membership number engraved on the back).
Pricing & Availability
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)