Keith Campbell gives the once over to the new Bremont Arrow, a military watch from the brand’s Armed Forces collection.
Bremont Arrow Watch Review
Bremont have been around since 2002, creating watches that will survive extreme situations. Working with the likes of Martin-Baker, who manufacture ejections seats for fast jet military aircraft, the watch company has developed timepieces that will withstand the huge forces place upon them when strapped to a pilot’s wrist if he or she has to leave the aircraft in an emergency situation when the ejection seats rockets out of the aeroplane at up to 30 times the force of gravity. I’ve personally experienced 12G in my time in the air, and that is not a pleasant sensation! They have, amongst the Bremont range, created dress, dive and aviation watches, which are designed to do a specific job, certainly, the latter two types are tool-watches, but they also have an aesthetic value as well which have allowed the watches to progressively be offered for sale in Highstreet Jewellers as well as Bremont’s own boutiques across the world, from London to New York, to Hong Kong.
Bremont have released their Armed Forces Collection, which are actually approved for military use by Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, but I can’t see these being issued from Stores on the base when people deploy… This release brought a first for the company – the same military watch designs would be available to both Military Personnel and the Public. The collection comprises of 3 timepieces, for the Army – Broadsword, for the Royal Navy – Argonaut, and for the Royal Air Force – the Arrow, the subject of this review.
The watch is a 42mm mono-pusher chronograph that certainly has a no-nonsense military feel to it. Styled to represent one of the ‘Dirty Dozen’ watches from World War 2, it certainly has the look of an issued watch. You can start, stop and reset the timer with a single click of the pusher in the 2 o’clock position. The only thing you cannot do is pause the stopwatch and start it where you left off, but that is not normally an issue in the military as you can just mentally carry forward or back the seconds you are early or late on a planned leg of your flight. Not really suitable though if you want to pause to time and deviate from your planned navigation track to give Mum and Dad a flypast in your aircraft and then go back to the turning point and restart the stopwatch where you paused it so your timings work for your navigation and route planning (never done that myself, honest!!).
The beautifully machined case is 42mm in diameter and 15mm deep. The lug to lug measures 51mm and the lugs are 20mm wide. It is satin and polished with a solid caseback showing the three Service Heraldic Badges that the collection represents. Bremont are indeed the only luxury watch brand that have been permitted to place the insignia of all 3 Services onto their watches. Waterproof rating is 10ATM/ 100metres, so no issues getting it wet in the shower, swimming pool or during the overly long time during survival dingy drills when you are waiting in your tiny one-man dinghy for the helicopter to winch you up (which always seemed to take place in winter!).
The black metal dial is very functional and well laid-out, being very easy to read at a glance. The Super-LumiNova for the numbers and markings is a custom mint colour. A sub-dial at 9 o’clock shows the seconds of the time. A second hand on the main dial show seconds elapsed on when the chronograph is running and a sub-dial at the 3 o’clock position show the chronograph elapsed minutes that have passed, measuring up to 30 minutes, which is more than enough for timing a single leg of flight, or a pizza in the oven. There is also a very clearly displayed date window in the 6 o’clock position. A domed anti-reflective, stretch resistant sapphire crystal provides excellent viewing and protection as well. The hands are matte black with C1 Super-LumiNova filling.
Inside the case is a chronometer rated (ISO 3159) modified 13 1/4″ BE-51AE automatic movement containing 27 jewels. There is a Glucyder balance, Anachron balance spring and a Novaflex 1 mainspring. A 48-hour power reserve when fully wound, either by hand or via the Bremont decorated rotor, operates at 28,000bph (4Hz).
You get a 20mm RAF blue canvas style sailcloth strap with the watch, along with a very ornate carry case as well. The strap has a nice feel to it and holds the watch well. Putting it on a NATO strap will give it a more military feel, but the supplied strap compliments the watch nicely.
The Arrow is a modern representation of a classic military design, which pays its compliments to the British Military, with a sporty design thrown in for good measure.. Bremont have not tried too hard, as many other manufacturers do when building military-inspired watches, to create something that is overbearing or with too many extras. It is a relatively simple, straightforward and effective watch that does exactly what would be needed in most military situations. I know of individuals in the British Military who do wear this watch on a day-to-day basis on Operations, so the trust in it is definitely there on the Front Line! Bremont, who are establishing themselves well in the watch marketplace now, should be proud of what they have achieved through this watch. It would look equally at home on the wrist in a jet as it does on a wrist on the school run. My first trip out with my Bremont Arrow on my wrist was to see the Queen at Buckingham Palace, but that is another story…
Buy a Bremont Arrow
The watch retails at £3595 but, if you are a serving member or veteran, you can see 15% by ordering it through the Bremont website, www.bremont.com
After spending 16 years circumnavigating the globe and going up-diddly-up as part of the Royal Air Force, Keith became a Professional Aviation Photographer. His natural progression to watch product photography came after companies approached him due to the images he was creating of his own watch collection with an aviation theme. He now works with over 50 watch brands, from the majors to micro brands. His aviation (and Star Wars) work can be found and purchased via his website at www.captureasecond.com along with @captureasecond on both Instagram and Twitter. Worth following out of morbid curiosity!
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