On Tuesday a shiny new ALT1-C arrived from our sponsor at Toppers for me to do a review of. As with many here in the US, given the scarce number of AD, I’ve only read about and admired the brand in pictures. I never actually held one in my hand. While I wait for my MB2 to arrive next week let’s take a look at this Bremont Classic Range piece.
The unboxing took me back to the past weekend. My wife has her eye on a new Jaguar XF and we were in the dealer over the weekend looking at cars. Opening this box reminded me of opening the door to the Jaguars in the dealer with the smell of new leather aroma to lure you in. This has to be the first time a watch unboxing will be remembered by a scent (and I mean that in a good way). After finding the watch in its zipper pouch I unwrapped the plastic protectors to get a look at it. First impression is…Wow, for a strap watch it has good heft, and the case has a flawless brushed finish to it. This one arrived in the color I would choose, which is the cream with anthracite sub dials. I love this color combo! Most white or silver dials would make the polished stick hands disappear in bright light, but the cream color provides plenty of contrast to easily read the time out in the sunlight. The anthracite sub dials have a circular texture that creates a circular motion effect as you turn the watch (kind of like twin propellers). Bremont has an illustration on their site showing the dials mimicking the Mosquito Fuel Gauge so this must be the inspiration (Also a twin engine De Havillan WWII aircraft I will note). The printing on the cream dial including the Arabic numerals is in black. The Sub dial markings are in white in contrast to the anthracite. Bremont uses a chapter ring (reflector) instead of an exposed rehaut which has the 60 second/minute markers including the super luminova filled 5 second/minute square markers. All the hands are polished SS military stick hands. The hour, minute and second hand have super luminova areas with a painted red tip on the end of the meatball second hand. The lume is surprisingly good given there is a limited amount of it. The date is located at the 6 o’clock position. The main part of the case which the bezel rests on is arch shaped. Below that is a black ribbed barrel and the stainless steel exhibition case back. From the OEM site Bremont refers to this multi layer construction as “Trip- Tick”. On the other side of the case is an oversized crown. It has a nice deep gear type knurling cut in it with the side finished in what could pass for an onyx jewel with a silver propeller logo set in it. Most likely this is achieved with some type of coating. The pushers for the chronograph are larger than average without being too big and help balance the look with the oversized crown. The strap is a dark chocolate brown leather that is thick and sturdy, has nicely finished sides and accented with a thick white stitching. This may be one of the best finished straps I have ever seen. On the end of the strap is a Bremont signed butterfly deployant clasp. The case is water resistant to 10ATM (100m).
Going over the specs the case size is 43mm without the crown or 46mm with it. The lugs are 22mm wide and span 49mm lug to lug. The ALT1-C is 16mm thick and the front and rear crystals are sapphire. Inside is the BE-50AE movement that is derived from a ETA Valjoux 7750 with a Soprod module. This movement is COSC certified. The Chronograph movement puts the watch second hand register on the left and the chronograph minute register on the right. Thankfully Bremont chose the 6 o’clock position for the date so when the chronograph second hand is at rest it is not blocking the date window. Setting the watch requires first unthreading the screw down crown. From here two clicks out is the time setting position, one in is date setting position, and one more in is the winding position. Some watch companies have forgotten the simple joy of listening to the fine clicks as you wind a watch. This is another area Bremont has thankfully given the watch an nice well oiled ratchet sound. It is a true joy to wind this watch. The chronograph is set up with the standard start/stop button being below the crown and reset button on top of the crown. Operation is top notch with regards to feel and everything resets right on the money even when viewed under magnification. Time keeping averaged +3 seconds a day which is great. Let it be noted that the watch ran at about +2 seconds a day with the chronograph in constant operation throughout the day. Bremont claims a 42 hour power reserve for the watch. The decorated movement can be viewed from the exhibition back.
So how does it look and wear on the wrist? Given its size, weight, and thickness I expected it to wear big. Surprisingly it wears to size and is extremely balanced. I think the deeply curved down lugs and thick strap make the watch sit down more and manage the weight. Many new watches could learn a lesson here that larger watches can be big and thick, yet don’t have to be top heavy and unbalanced. Finally a comfortable heavy watch! The deployant pin folds up and allows quick easy size changes when both sides are extended. Those with wrist sizes less than 7.25 inches should order the short strap. The standard strap may work down to 7 inch wrist sizes but it will be loose so keep this in mind. This watch also gets a lot of second looks. I’m certain this happens with several of the other dial colors so if you like less attention you may want to choose black or silver. While on that subject the watch can be had in the cream we see here, a really nice green, dark grey, silver and black. Playing with the configuration tool on the Topper site I think my favorite combination for the ALT1-C is the cream dial with the blue Supermarine rubber strap.
I’m having a hard time coming up with enough words to describe how nicely finished the watch case and components are. Everything just drips high end yet durable. I’d also like to give Kudos to Bremont who have hit the mark on a great selection of dial color choices that make the line even more appealing. Most manufacturers would only offer black and silver. Everything is very well thought out. I prefer two register chronograph watches since they are less busy and the registers are easier for me to see. This would be my first choice of Bremont chronographs even nudging out the Limited Edition P51 by a hair. I tend to be more practical and while the P51 has more wow, the ALT1-C is more long term classic charm. Classic looks, fantastic finish, exceptional comfort and balance makes this a winner.
Please enjoy the photographs, I've tried to capture every angle here.