Bremont OTUSA-R/BK Review
The Bremont OTUSA-R/BK is part of the British brand's collection of America's Cup yacht-racing inspired watches. Specifically, it's the much sportier side of the collection, featuring a chronograph and regatta timer.
Bremont is the official timekeeper for not only the America's Cup yacht race but also the defenders, Oracle Team USA. This collaboration has resulted in, as I see it anyway, two sub-collections of watches. The first, like the AC I, is a very dressy, classic interpretation that incorporates America's Cup themes like the trophy dial motif.
The second are watches like this one, the OTUSA-R/BK, which are intended to actually be used in yacht racing. Naturally, this part of the collection is far sportier, and I dare say that this particular variant is the sportiest of them all.
That's due, in part, to its very bold bi-directional bezel. No, this isn't a dive watch, but you can get an America's Cup dive watch in the form of the Oracle II. From a design standpoint, it's a bit interesting because although it only features hour markers, it also has the minutes marked at 15/30/45.
The other attribute that contributes to its sportiness is, of course, the dial, which is filled to the brim with complications. The most interesting, of course, is its regatta timer. Regatta timer complications are a bit obscure, but they are, in effect, short-term countdown timers.
Bremont's implementation of the regatta timer is very slick. As the chronograph runs, the red side (1-5) begins to rotate and gradually turns blue. Simultaneously, the blue side begins filling up with the word START. The timer is more than just for five minute countdowns though. It's difficult to see, but the white subdial underneath the seconds hand keeps counting minutes after the 5 minute period ends.
It still has a chronograph in the conventional sense. The white disk below the timer counts minutes while the subdial at 6 counts hours, so you don't really give up much, if any, functionality to get the timer.
The lume is quite good, as you'd expect from a Bremont.
The titanium case is 43mm, which, while large, but not crazily so. The titanium should help to keep the weight down.
In typical Bremont fashion, an element from its inspiration is included, this time in the crown, which has foil material from the racing yacht integrated into it. It looks quite nice. As I mentioned before, although the crown screws down, the watch is rated for 100 meters. Given its aquatic roots and diver-like looks, I wouldn't have minded seeing more water resistance here, but the truth is that this will have no impact whatsoever on most people's use of the watch (and perhaps mine more than most). As I mentioned earlier, check out the Oracle models if you want an America's Cup themed watch intended for diving.
The movement, clearly a derivation of the Valjoux 7750, is fabulously well decorated. This is one of the prettiest interpretations of the 7750 I've ever seen.
One of my recent reviews on the Zenith El Primero got a few comments about the integrated chronograph versus modular chronograph. While the El Primero may be the most famous, the 7750 (and members of its prestigious family) are far more numerous. Just like with an El Primero, you can actually peer down into the workings of the chronograph.
I'm not sure what degree of customization was required to get the regatta timer to work as it does, but it sure does look great. The subtle, but easily distinguished America's Cup rotor is a nice touch.
Whereas the AC-I and AC-II focus on a sort of aesthetic connection to the America's Cup, these three watches, which also include the white dial AC-R in steel and gold, focus on a functional connection. These are the ones that might actually be useful for yacht racers.
Of course, I'm not a yacht racer, and I suspect that if you're reading this, you're not one either. But that really isn't the point of these great things we call watches. Why do we feel the need to give a practical explanation to use the things we find fascinating? I certainly don't. The regatta timer is a worthwhile part of this watch because it's cool. I don't need to justify it. It's just fun to watch and play with, and that's what makes it so good.