Bremont and Martin-Baker are both British companies, and both have close links to aviation. Martin-Baker make ejector seats used in fighter jets, and in 2016 they will reach the figure of 7,500 lives saved using their technology (two short as at February 2016). They asked Bremont to make a “definitive aviation watch” in 2007, tough enough to withstand the same sort of stresses endured by their ejection seats. In 2009, Bremont created the MBI, a limited edition available only to pilots who have ejected from an aircraft using a Martin-Baker seat. Bremont successively made the MBII (black dial with orange or green caseband) and MBIII (with GMT complication), available to anyone.
This year, Bremont presents the MBII White, with white dial, and three colour options for the knurled aluminium caseband, orange, green and anthracite. The second-hand counterweight is in the shape of a yellow and black loop, a reference to the ejection pull handle.
Each watch is thoroughly tested. It goes through live ejection launches, and an altitude test chamber that simulates climbing to about 30,000 metres, cruising up there for an hour and then rapidly descending. Other tests include salt fog and humidity (typical of an aircraft carrier deck), vibration tests, temperatures from -40°C to +40°C, and acceleration to values of over 18G. The movement is protected from magnetic fields by a soft iron inner case, and this in turn is attached to the outer case with a flexible ring to absorb shocks. The caseback is in stainless steel. The watch is supplied with a leather strap and a Temple Island rubber strap. Water resistance 10 bar/100 metres.
The watch is 43 mm in diameter, and it has a bi-directional rotating inner bezel, operated using the crown at 4 o’clock. This enables events to be timed using whichever of the hands is most applicable, and likewise countdowns. Numerals and hands are coated in SuperLuminova for night-time visibility.
Inside, the BE-36AE automatic movement is Swiss-made, ETA 2836 automatic day/date, and chronometer-certified. It runs at 28,800 vibrations per hour, 4 Hertz, with a 38-hour power reserve.
The Bremont MBII White costs £3,595.