A classic model from a British company renowned for its engineering skills: WRUK reviews the Bremont MBII aviation watch.

Bremont MBII Review

Bremont kindly lent WRUK one of their flagship Martin Baker watches for a week for this review. How did it fare over seven days in real-world use?

At a glance

Bremont MBII

Price
£3,995
Case size
43mm
Thickness
13mm
Water Resistance
100m
Movement
Bremont Caliber BE-36A

The first thing that struck me about the Bremont MBII was the presentation. The last watch of theirs that I reviewed (the Bremont RFU150) was sent without packaging, so I was pleasantly surprised to see the leather case. It’s made from superb quality leather and is a lot more useful during the watch’s lifetime than a cardboard box.

Case and Movement

The Bremont MBII’s 43mm case is beautifully machined and – in this case – finished in orange. The two-tone finish is not for everyone, but I think it works well. The knurled sides of the central part of the case (the “barrel”, as Bremont calls it) give a tool watch feel, and the PVD finish covers some superbly machined and finished steel. The crowns are knurled for ease of grip. Neither screws down – the watch has just 100m of water resistance – but don’t let that fool you into thinking the tolerances of the build are anything but the best quality. Bremont tests these just like a Martin Baker ejection seat!

The movement is Bremont’s Calibre 11 BE-36AE. This is based on an ETA 2836, but it’s unfair to compare it to that movement directly: unlike some brands, Bremont adds a lot more to the movement than a fancy rotor. Bremont’s patented anti-shock modifications make this movement far more than the sum of its parts.

As you might expect, we have a sapphire crystal, and in this instance, Bremont has gone for a window on the back of the case that shows off the detailing on the movement. The case is 13mm thick and wears beautifully, with just enough weight for a premium feel and near-perfect balance on my 7.5″ wrist.

Dial and Hands

The Bremont MBII in this configuration has a white dial and inner rotating bezel with crisp black printing. It’s effortless to read, and the finish is as you would expect on a watch costing the best part of £4,000.

I like the sword hands – they are legible and no-nonsense. I was less convinced by the second-hand counterweight, which perhaps adds a few too many colours for my liking. I understand what Bremont is going for here, but it felt a little too frivolous for my tastes. A date at three satisfies my preference for this complication. Overall, a beautiful watch.

Strap and Buckle / Bracelet and Clasp

Canvas straps look good but can be a bit stiff. Rubber straps feel great to wear but have a less premium look. The Bremont MBII strap has black canvas stitched onto an orange rubber backing. The textured rubber helps with comfort and mixes the best of both worlds.

The tang buckle is nicely finished and engraved with the word “Bremont”. Overall, I liked the strap and, despite my preference for a bracelet, I think it suits this watch better than a metal band.

Bremont MBII – Video Review

What I Liked

What I Didn’t like

  • The dial is clear and legible
  • The watch has excellent build quality, fit and finish
  • Great to wear, with near-perfect balance and weight
  • There are a lot of different colours on the dial and hands
  • The two-tone case finish is not going to suit everyone
  • The MBII costs more than similarly-specified watches from rivals

Bremont MBII – The WRUK Verdict

I really like the Bremont MBII: it is a well-made watch with outstanding credentials and a unique look. The only thing that could prevent me from making an all-out recommendation is its price tag. I’m not averse to paying the going rate for luxury items. Still, unless you require the shock-resistant features or have a connection to aviation, then it’s hard to pick out the Bremont MBII over, say, a similarly-specified Breitling or Tudor watch at £1,000 less.

However, if there is more to your watch-buying decision-making process than cost alone (and let’s be honest, there is, or we’d all be wearing Pagani Design watches!), then the Bremont MBII will give you your money’s worth and more.

Buy a Bremont MBII

You can buy Bremont watches online at the brand’s website.

 

Author: Mike Richmond

Mike spends what little spare time he has writing for WRUK; and what little money he makes building up his collection of timepieces.

One Reply to “Bremont MBII Review”

  1. Nice to see a higher end review. I have owned an original MB2 (black dial) for a number of years now. Then they cost around £2200 and were good value for build quality. Bremont prices have got silly now though for a watch with a modified (agree heavily modified) ETA movements. These are great watches but shop around and by a Hirsch or CW strap. Quality is just as good!

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