Bremont's Bomber-Inspired Watch Plays It Sleek and Stealthy
Welcome to Dialed In, Esquire's weekly column bringing you horological happenings and the most essential news from the watch world.
If you live in the United States, the chances are slim that you’ve ever heard the sound of an Avro Vulcan. But if you grew up in certain parts of the UK—particularly near RAF bomber bases during most the second half of the 20th century—both its highly unusual silhouette and the noise it made are unforgettable. Part howl, part roar, part primeval belly scream, it’s a bowel-loosening racket that could crack the sky.
The Avro Vulcan was a Cold War, jet-age successor to wartime British heavy bombers like the Avro Lancaster. A tailless, high-altitude, delta-wing jet that served in the Bomber Command of the RAF for almost 30 years until its retirement in 1984, it couldn’t have looked more different than its predecessor. And it’s this iconic, supersonic plane—which last flew in a public display in 2015—that is the inspiration behind UK watch brand Bremont’s latest creation.
The Avro B-1 Vulcan is an addition to the Armed Forces collection, in which Bremont is granted the right to use the insignia of all three branches of the British military. The watch is 42mm in steel and its design is based on the Bremont Arrow, an earlier model dedicated to the RAF. Nods to the Vulcan itself are subtle, including a 3D-effect camo pattern in the running seconds sub-dial that is based on the camo on the huge delta wing of the plane itself. The other sub-dial carries a similar black-on-black nuclear payload logo. (A tidbit for plane nerds: In 1960 and 1961, the RAF took part in joint exercises over America. In the first sortie, 7 out of 8 Vulcans scored successful “bombing runs” over targets on American soil. The next year, they were 8 for 8. Weird no one heard them coming.)
On the solid case back, the RAF insignia is paired with the profile of the aircraft. The case back also bears the inscription “Approved by Her Majesty’s Armed Forces,” as it was approved during the late Queen’s reign so according to protocol cannot refer to His Majesty’s Armed Forces. Notably, the chronograph function is operated by a single pusher rather than the more conventional two. Inside, the watch is powered by a modified BE-51AE movement developed at Bremont’s Henley on Thames headquarters. It has a 56-hour power reserve. Straps come in “RAF blue” sailcloth, and also in blue-and-black camouflage. If you love planes and you love watches, there’s an even chance there’s a Bremont out there in your future. Meanwhile, search for “Avro Vulcan Howl” on YouTube to get an idea of that sound.
You Might Also Like