The Bremont Codebreaker Limited Edition watch pays tribute to Bletchley Park, the melting pot of science, mathematics and engineering which during World War II was the covert location for the Government Code and Cypher school.
Even though the Bremont watch collection is already equipped with other wonderful stuff, and even though they are still a youthful watch company, I am going to stick out my neck and suggest that the Bremont Codebreaker is a piece which will define this brand.
It brings to the portfolio a flyback chronograph, requisite equipment for pilots everywhere - Bremont is a brand intimately linked with a love of historic aircraft. It offers a poignant link to the heroic contributions of ordinary but quite exceptional individuals involved in Britain's efforts to bring an end to World War II - Bremont are quintessentially British and rather proud of it too. And it combines a synopsis of everything they have learned this far - the complex Trip-Tick case has been perfected and can now be "tweaked" as required, their version of horological bootcamp ensures that everything they produce, no matter how elegant it may appear at first glance is now unequivocally built to endure the wear and tear of everyday life, and their own version of classical understated styling is now highly recognisable, also - they have become so adept at the incorporation of "historical artefacts" that they do so with aplomb and the result is anything but tacky.
The Codebreaker takes inspiration from the watches which would have been worn by Officers in the 1940's, bringing classical plainness to this new piece. A new calibre, the BE-83AR has been devised using a Valjoux 7750 but a lowering of the twin counters results in a new perspective which allows enough room for the Bremont logo to enjoy its own area of dial space. The date window between the 30-minute totaliser and the running seconds adds symmetry and the GMT hand with its elongated red arrow tip provides its own quirkiness.
Despite the historical importance of Bletchley Park, the references and materials used are subtle. The rotor of the movement contains material from an Enigma machine, and the coding translates as "Bremont" and more importantly "Turing", a nod to the inventor of the Bombe Machine, Alan Turing. Each piece will feature an ingenious method of serial numbering to be featured on the caseside, which uses material from original punch cards which were used for programming the first rudimentary computers used at Bletchley Park, and taken from the flooring of Hut 6, each crown will have a wooden insert. Also, the subcounters feature a delicate binary coding background, a further refined inclusion.
Previously Bremont have used original parts from HMS Victory for their Victory watch, and parts from a rather famous 1944 Mustang WWII aircraft, the P-51k-10 in the construction of their Bremont P-51, but with the considered approach to the design of the Codebreaker, its launch and the information compiled for release to the press, Bremont have set themselves apart, and defined their brand as one which is quite unique. There was no swagger, no puffery and nothing peacocky to be found in the press release that we received. As much, and perhaps more was written about the Bletchley Park Trust and the individuals involved in its operations during the war than was disclosed about the watch. A refreshing andmature approach from such a youthful watch company, and a fitting tribute too I think.
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