Bremont’s new chronograph regatta watches were developed as part of their role as Official Timing Partner to the 35th America’s Cup and to the defending team Oracle Team USA, an agreement that began in 2015 and will continue to the final races in Bermuda in 2017. They all feature the countdown function, which is important when racing, with a numerical 15-minute display countdown and a 5-minute-to-start time.(See more regatta countdown chronograph watches here.) The Bremont Regatta Otusa is made in white and black dial versions, and it has a physical link to the winning 2013 Oracle team, with a small amount of black carbon fibre from one of the long foils of the AC72 yacht incorporated into the crown.
Jimmy Spithill, skipper of Oracle Team USA, explained the significance of this mechanical chronograph watch. “Naturally we have a central digital clock on the boat, but every sailor still likes to have the time on his wrist, and before a race the countdown to the start is critical…” Giles English, co-founder of Bremont, said, “We wanted to build a set of mechanical watches that were specifically designed for the sailing community, and the Regatta function is so useful for anyone who races. Marrying functionality with design is not easy in mechanical watches, but it was important to us that the watches were built for purpose and not just for the club house.”
Bremont is a British brand and so it is in a way ironic that they are linked to the defending Oracle Team USA. However they say “Bremont is pleased that the 35th edition welcomes a new British challenger: the Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) team. Sir Ben Ainslie, the most successful sailor in Olympic history… his team hopes to return the trophy to Great Britain for the first time since 1851.”
The countdown feature
Instead of the conventional chronograph minutes subdial at 12 o’clock, there are three arc-shaped counter windows. When you press the chronograph start pusher, the blue window gradually becomes red, revealing the word “START” letter by letter, while the red arc counts down from 5, progressively becoming blue. At the same time, the minutes counter (almost hidden by the hour and minute hands in the photo above) counts up to 15 minutes. After 5 minutes, the red and blue arcs recommence their cycle, and after 15 minutes, the 15-counter below also starts again. So this unusual countdown indicator can also be used to time events, just like a normal chronograph, because at any time the minutes counter indicates up to 15 minutes, and the hour counter at 6 o’clock has 15-minute markers.
Case and movement
The Regatta Otusa has a satin titanium case 43 mm in diameter. The bezel is bi-directional and so it can be used with the chronograph seconds, or the minute or even hour hands, as another method of timing events. The case, made in the UK, is in three parts, bezel plus sapphire watchglass, middle case in titanium, and satin titanium caseback with sapphire display window. Bremont neatly call this “Trip-Tick” case construction, and it is patented. Water resistance is 10 bar, 100 metres; rubber strap with titanium pin buckle.
The dial is in white or black metal, with indexes and hands coated in SuperLuminova. The 5 and 15-minute regatta countdowns are at 12 o’clock; there is a 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock, and continuous seconds at 9 o’clock.
The watch has an automatic movement, Swiss made by La Joux-Perret. It is chronometer-certified by COSC.
Price and reference
The Bremont Regatta Otusa is a limited edition, with 235 pieces in the two white and black series. Each watch is individually serial numbered and supplied with COSC certification. Price is £4,995. It will be available from June 2016. More details on the Bremont website http://www.bremont.com/