Jaguar And Bremont, Six Unique Chronometers
During California's Pebble Beach Concours this week, the British brand Bremont is set to unveil an equally interesting retro-style driver's chronometer.
Most Watchonista readers will know the news about Bremont's 'Wright Flyer' watch (and the controversy sparked by the confusion over its 'in house' movement) - but the British brand is set to unveil an equally interesting new piece in the form of a truly superb looking chronometer.
The August 14 reveal will coincide with the initial public appearance of the first production version of the six 'continuation' lightweight Jaguar E-Type sports racing cars that were announced by Jaguar earlier this year. Jaguar Land Rover's elite Special Operations division will finally finish the Lightweight E-Type project which, 51 years ago, resulted in the creation of a series of highly focused racing versions of the car featuring all-aluminium bodies and engine blocks, stripped-out interiors and numerous other weight-saving deletions. Only 12 of the intended 18 cars were ever made, leaving the remaining half-dozen allocated chassis numbers on file. These will now be used by Jaguar to build the 'missing' Lightweights in a move which is causing considerable excitement in the historic car world, where these most special and rare of all competition E-Types have become highly coveted.
To coincide with the project, Bremont has been commissioned to create the series of six unique watches which will initially be offered to customers buying each of the continuation Lightweights. Drawing inspiration directly from the car, the 43mm watch features a black dial based on the look of a Lightweight rev counter and featuring a subtle 'red zone' quadrant. The chamfered hour and minute hands replicate the instrument's tachymeter needle, while the chassis number of the relevant car is printed at the six o'clock position.
The central band of the white gold case, meanwhile, is made from aluminium saved during the construction of the new Lightweight body panels and will be anodised to match the colour of the car it is designed to complement. Other touches include a winding crown which is engraved with the pattern of the period-correct Dunlop racing tyres which will be fitted to the continuation Lightweights, and straps made from the same Connolly leather which is being used for the interior trim.
Turning the watch over reveals a further reference to the car in the form of the automatic winding rotor - visible through a sapphire crystal case back - which takes the form of an exquisite miniaturisation of an alloy-spoked Lightweight steering wheel, complete with authentic wooden rim. The back of each watch also carries the engine number of the car it is paired with.
Ian Callum, Jaguar's design director
«The Lightweight E-Type project is so special that we thought we really needed to create something which complemented the cars and, since most classic enthusiasts also tend to be horophiles, a wrist watch seemed to be the answer», says Ian Callum. «Bremont was the obvious choice as a partner, both because we have worked together before - Bremont clocks were used in both the CX75 concept car and aguar's supplied to the Royal household - and because, like Jaguar, it is a quintessentially British brand. We didn't want a watch that was too obvious in terms of design, but something which captured the spirit of the Lightweight in a subtle yet relevant way. I think Bremont has certainly achieved that goal and I'm sure the owners of the six cars will wear their watches with pride.»
Later this year, Bremont will produce a limited edition of 500 further watches designed to honour the Jaguar E-Type road cars. Details will be made available soon.