We published a preview of the Bremont RFU 150 last month, and the post blew up – so we asked Bremont if they would lend us one to review.
Bremont RFU 150 Review
Bremont is a brand that is on the up: their aviation watches get rave reviews. With the Rugby Union-related Bremont RFU 150 GMT, they have developed a watch that celebrates their timing partnership with the sport and updates their Supermarine series with some cool sporting touches.
The chunky case features Bremont’s patented anti-shock mechanism. Some say it is a gimmick, but I can see a value in having the system in a sports watch – even if it is unlikely that you’d be wearing a £4,000 timepiece in a scrum. The finishing is of the high standard you would expect from Bremont, with crisp engravings and sharp transitions between surfaces.
I particularly enjoyed the intricate lug design, which is unique to Bremont. The 2 O’clock Crown is another signature touch that helps prevent the watch from digging into your wrist. I believe that the movement is based on the superb ETA 2892 GMT; regulated to chronometer standards with a certificate provided with each of the 150 watches in this limited edition run.
Dial and Hands
The dial has some nice rugby-related features: a 40 minute marking on the bezel; Twickenham at 6 O’clock rather than England or London. The dial design reminds me of the Breitling SuperOcean – which is my daily watch and is perhaps what first drew me to the Bremont RFU 150. It makes it really easy to read the time, and I love how the GMT function on the inner bezel is so unobtrusive.
The hands are quite intricate, but work well against the minimalist dial, and I enjoyed the splashes of red against the blue dial.
You’d expect a quality bracelet from a watch in this price range, and Bremont does not disappoint when it comes to build quality. The screwed links are all smoothly finished with not a hint of grittiness.
The clasp is a bit of a letdown, with just two micro-adjustments. Whilst a half-link is provided to get a closer fit; it is not going to be possible to adjust the watch in and out as easily as one with three or five adjustment positions. When lower-cost watches from Christopher Ward are now offering high-quality ratcheting clasps, I expect better from the big brands.
Bremont RFU 150 – Video Review
What I Liked
- The watch looks beautiful and feels great on the wrist.
- The rugby touches are subtle, improving on the standard Supermarine without making too obvious a statement.
- The combination of GMT and a 60-minute bezel makes the watch very versatile.
What I Didn’t Like
- The bracelet is very limited in its flexibility; having only two micro-adjustments
- The watch wears quite large, especially with the long end-links
- The RFU 150 comes at a premium price point compared to a standard Bremont.
Bremont RFU 150 – The WRUK Verdict
There is something about the Bremont RFU 150 that I love, but I cannot quite put my finger on what it is. This watch brings together lots of neat touches to make it more than the sum of its parts. The design is great, and Bremont is growing into a strong British brand. I love the Supermarine, on which this watch is based, and will certainly buy one of their aviation watches in the future.
The downsides of the RFU 150 are twofold for me: the lack of clasp adjustment could make it hard to get the perfect fit, and the premium price put this watch in direct competition with some big names that have better brand recognition amongst the general public: for example, this watch costs almost £500 more than a Breitling Avenger GMT. Nevertheless, if you have £4,000 to spend and a love of Rugby Union, then this is going to be a must-buy.
Buy a Bremont RFU 150
You can buy the Bremont RFU 150 direct from Bremont but be quick: they are only producing 150 of these watches.