The Design Details of Bremont’s New Terra Nova Collection

A Stitch in Time: The Design Details of Bremont’s New Terra Nova Collection

We recently talked to Bremont CEO Davide Cerrato about the British brand’s first field watch, its relaunched branding, and how subtle alterations will better communicate the Bremont story.

By Rhonda Riche

In fashion, editors will always describe the line that differentiates the quality of fast fashion and haute couture as one of attention to detail. For instance, the cut of a suit makes all the difference in how it looks on your body. Good stitching, interfacing, and lining keep your clothes from bunching up.

Unfortunately, these details often get overlooked because the media tends to focus on trends, like “quiet luxury” and “stealth wealth,” without educating buyers about the who, what, where, when, and why of well-made garments.

The watch world is no different.

After Watches and Wonders 2024, we’ve read and written many reviews that focused on trends and specs, but details in cut and finish are just as important in haute horology. That is why we met Bremont CEO Davide Cerrato – one of the dandiest dressers in the industry – in Geneva to talk about what makes a watch a great fit.

Editor’s Note: We prepared for this interview before Bremont launched its 2024 novelties at Watches and Wonders. The rebranding took many enthusiasts by surprise, and the reaction was mixed. But the reviews were never meh – and a strong response is always better than a lukewarm one.

However, during his stints at Tudor and Montblanc, Cerrato built a reputation by using historical references to revitalize those brands. Understanding why these details are so important is the key to recognizing why Bremont felt the need to rejigger its signature look.

Field of Dreams

Cerrato joined Bremont in May 2023, and his first step was to focus on communicating the brand’s passion for adventure. Of course, Bremont is best known for its association with aviation (its manufacture is called “The Wing,” after all) and its Supermarine line of dive watches. But land exploration was missing from the narrative.

The first step in correcting this course was signing athlete, author, adventurer, and Academy Award-winning film director (for the 2018 documentary Free Solo) Jimmy Chin as a brand ambassador.

The multi-hyphenate also knows a thing or two about fashion (he even photographed Jared Leto mountain-climbing for a collaborative campaign between Gucci and The North Face). Thus, Cerrato sees Chin’s resume as a corollary to Bremont’s rebranding: Land rovers like Chin, Cerrato said, “are about believing yourself without copying others, showing interest in all aspects of life, and inspiring new narrative forms.”

Simply put, it was finally time to introduce a field watch into the Bremont story.

Brave New World

Many would argue that no watch wardrobe is complete without at least one example of a pilot’s watch, a dive watch, and a field watch. And Bremont fans certainly wanted to see one. However, if Cerrato and the team were going to deliver to collectors a field watch, they wanted to make sure it aligned with the rest of the Bremont history.

This new family is called Terra Nova. “In Latin, it means ‘new land.’ For chapter two, we wanted to do a field watch, but we first went through the diving line and the heritage pilot watches, and then we looked at them through a lens we called ‘exploration,’” explained Cerrato.

So, as a Saville Row tailor goes back through generations of patterns and textile history to create a bespoke suit, the Bremont team was inspired first by functionality: “In particular, military pocket watches from World War I. They were built to be rugged and operated in low visibility conditions, but they also have very beautiful numerals and crowns,” Cerrato told Watchonista.

He continued, “So, I designed the Terra Nova’s new case shape to be a visually interesting mix between a cushion and a round shape. The lugs are short [for comfort], but everything is brushed.” Other beauty spots not often seen in a field watch include polished hands, oversized crowns, and very graphic numerals.

However, although the Terra Nova collection tips its hat to the OG field pocket watches, these watches are meant to be useful in the 21st century. Case in point: the highly readable white numerals carved into the dial and filled with Super-LumiNova. “What is nice [about these numerals],” according to Cerrato, “is that they refer to the vintage story, but the execution is really modern.”

Trad Life

Cerrato was born in Italy and works in England. So, naturally, he has a great admiration for fine suiting, and in the worlds of tailoring and dressmaking, terms such as “rises,” “breaks,” and “darts” are often bandied about. These are all subtle processes that can make or break the silhouette of a garment.

The CEO also knows that even if a garment is built to last a lifetime, it will require a few adjustments to stay in style. Thus, while designing the new collection, Cerrato and his team knew that, for the Terra Nova, a different kind of “cut” was imperative. “We decided to inject smaller sizes in our collection, which is a 38mm,” said Cerrato.

Moreover, to boost the downsized case’s wrist presence, they played with a high polish around the bezel to contrast with the brushed surfaces, creating a feeling of light framing the dial. The big crown also provides a space to display the brand’s new updated logo. Plus, the new articulated metal bracelet has small links that better conform to the shape and size of a wrist.

However, in the end, it’s all about how well the details come together that make or break any design, whether it be fashion, furniture, or watches. As someone who dresses from the watch out, the Terra Nova collection can be considered challenging.

Due to its sleek geometry and heavy use of lume, it is modern but not in a cold, minimalist sense. Moreover, its fonts and cushion case shape lend a warm sense of emotion. Plus, because Bremont is an independent brand, it can get away with playing in the space between vintage and contemporary.

“It’s a relationship that I like very much,” Cerrato told us. “It’s a mix of the ‘70s but with numbers that are a little older yet also very new because they’re big.”

The purest execution of the Terra Nova aesthetic is the 40.5mm with the date, ceramic compass bezel, power reserve, small second, and date. He also pointed out a tiny curve in the crystal, which led us to another interesting discovery: Instead of the expected fold-over clasp, the bracelet has a pin buckle so the wearer can more easily see the care that went into finishing the movement.

Still, despite all these details and design updates, when it came time to ensure the seamless integration of the Terra Nova collection into the brand’s air and sea legacy, Cerrato realized that a little rebranding across the board would assert a stronger family resemblance.

The old Bremont logo suggested an airplane’s propellers, but the new “wayfinder” logo is focused more on pan-military signage. The updated indices on the Supermarine also share the same trapezoidal shape as the ones on the Terra Nova to create “a really strong sense of convergence,” explained Cerrato.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Styling should be considered as important a complication in watchmaking as a tourbillon or calendar function. Finally, as Cerrato told us as our interview came to an end, “If you don’t take a chance and move things around a little, you aren’t going to discover all of the beauty that surrounds you.”

To learn more about the brand’s new Terra Nova line, check out Bremont’s website.

(Images © Bremont)

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