Dialed In, Esquire’s weekly column bringing you horological happenings and the most essential news from the watch world.
British watch brand Bremont has played hard into its military connections since it launched in 2002. See, many early adopters of Bremont’s aviation-themed watches were actively serving pilots, who frequently posted s of watches taken mid-flight in the cockpits of their fighter jets. It gave the young brand a vital connection with collectors and later sparked more formal relationships with aviation—specifically military units. That culminated in early 2019 with the Broadsword collection, a series of military-inspired watches permitted by the Ministry of Defence to carry the insignia of all three British armed forces. (Bremont remains the only brand granted such permission.) The insignia are carved on the case backs of Broadsword watches in strict order of seniority, with the Navy, the oldest of the three services, followed by the Army and then the Royal Air Force.
This week, the Henley-on-Thames-based brand debuted a new offering in its Broadsword line, a watch inspired by the “Dirty Dozen” watches supplied to certain British Army units at the end of World War 2. They were made by 12 Swiss brands (some are modern icons, others are now extinct) in stainless steel according to a strict shopping list of requirements from the Ministry of Defence that included high water-resistance, easy legibility at night, a seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock, and a no frills 39mm diameter case. Bremont’s Broadsword Recon takes that blueprint and modernizes it at just a millimeter bigger. Most noticeable in this 200-piece limited run is the sandwich dial, in which Arabic numerals are cut out of the dial to reveal a layer of Super Luminova underneath. The cutouts are set off by a slim, glossy outline, giving a 3D look to the watch even in daylight. The sandwich treatment first appeared in Bremont’s collaboration with Bamford Watch Department but is here applied for the first time in the Broadsword line.
The cryptic HMAF written under the Bremont logo, meanwhile, stands for Her Majesty’s Armed Forces—a nod to the brand’s official partnership with the Ministry of Defence. Despite her death, last year, at 96, as is customary in the UK, the queen’s insignia remains on all official signage—everything from military units to money to phone boxes—until a suitable buffer period has allowed time for new insignia to be created. Inside the Broadsword Recon, which is rated to 100m of water-resistance, is a modified, chronometer-rated BE-952AV movement with a 38-hour power reserve. Straps include a NATO-style stone-and-gray canvas and an optional second strap in black rubber or brown leather. It might not be a true “Dirty Dozen” recreation, but if you’re in the market for a watch with military bona fides and a whole lot of good looks, the Broadsword Recon is tough to beat.
Nick Sullivan is Creative Director at Equire, where he served as Fashion Director from 2004 until 2019. Prior to that, he relocated from London with his young family to Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. He has styled and art directed countless fashion and cover stories for both Esquire and Big Black Book (which he helped found in 2006) in exotic,uncomfortable, and occasionally unfeasibly cold locations. He also writes extensively about men’s style, accessories, and watches. He describes his style as elegantly disheveled.
Source : Esquire