Bremont is a British company that makes excellent watches with some great designs but I’ve always had them down as a bit, I don’t know, gimmicky? By this I’m referring to their limited editions, some with bits of old aeroplanes and ships used in their construction and of course the seemingly limitless special projects for the armed forces. I have nothing against that per se but I didn’t really get it. What I do get is the fact that they are bringing mass production and in house manufacturing of wristwatches back to the UK and that has to be applauded. Whilst not yet at the point where they produce their own movement they do a fantastic amount of their own manufacturing in the UK and an in house movement is well along the development path.
When an opportunity to have a tour around Bremonts head office and assembly/service facility along with their manufacturing facility presented itself even though I didn’t “get it” I jumped at the chance!
Bremont are situated a few miles from where I live and over the past few years I’ve watched them construct their purpose built head office, which they’ve now outgrown. They’ve now commissioned a state of the art production facility in the village where I grew up, this will bring all their production and assembly/servicing under one roof instead of being split across multiple sites as it is at present, and it’s due for completion in 2020 I believe.
After seeing first hand Bremonts facilities and spending a few hours in the company of Nick at their head office and Giles at their case manufacturing facility I must say my perception of the Brand has changed. To see the passion the brothers have for doing what they do and the sheer attention to detail that is shown by all the members of staff I met was an eye opener. I now understand why they create all their special projects and why they are such a core part of their business, as I said previously I thought it was a bit gimmicky but it really fills a niche in the market that no other manufacturer has properly tapped into and I believe the brothers are doing this for the right reasons. Being shown around the assembly and service areas I had a big case of workshop envy, their workshop equipment is currently being completely upgraded and the investment must be massive. Seeing their case making and development facility first hand really blew me away! The accuracy of the machines that are used to produce and finish the cases is jaw dropping and I think Bremont are the only watchmaking company outside of Switzerland to have these German/Japanese machines.
What I also found incredible is the traceability they’re striving for, when all their new systems are up and running, in addition to the usual manufacturing “build sheet” which is basically knowing which tech assembled or serviced your watch and on what date, they will also be able to immediately ascertain from the live online database which machine and at what time the various components were made, the complete records of all the timing tests it had undergone in the factory, the pressure test results, even down to having a log of how tight the various individual movement screws were torqued down to. Jaw dropping stuff. (more…)