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View Full Version : ALT RESPONSE #2 - The Answers! (Giles English)



Alt1tude
09-27-2011, 03:01 PM
In response to our second QA session, Giles English the co-founder of Bremont has responded to ALL of the questions submitted. Many thanks to Bremont and especially for Giles for spending the time to answer your questions... Right onto the answers...

http://i265.photobucket.com/albums/ii229/piersberry/giles-1.jpg

Question 1
From SuperRichieM

"Hi Giles

firstly, I love my anthracite ALT1-C, a recent wedding present from my wonderful wife.

One of the things I like most about Bremont is its independence from the big luxury brands i.e. LVMH, which I think gives Bremont a greater appeal.

My question is - are you planning to keep Bremont an independent watch company or will there come a point where you think a sale to a well-known company is necessary?

Best regards, Rich."

Giles:
"Hello Rich

Thank you for your questions and glad your enjoying your ALT1C. There is no doubt we pay the price because the bigger groups share resource in manufacture and distribution and the cost per watch that we produce is far higher, but the problem about being bought out by one of the big guys is that you loose all your independence and that is one of the reasons why Nick and I got into this business in the first place, to do our own thing. I would never say never about being part of a big group but Nick and I feel we have only fulfilled a very small amount of the potential and of where we want to take Bremont and we would love to see our children working here in years to come".

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Question 2
From G-F
"With Hong Kong being the largest market for luxury watches in the world, is there any plans to bring smaller unisex watches to the Bremont line up?"

"We get asked this a lot and although we are very unlikely to go into ladies watches but we do have a lot of ladies buying our watches at the moment especially the BC range. I do think however that the BC range could be a bit thinner and lighter to be an ideal ladies watch and I would like to come up with this new design at some stage. If you to travel around China it is amazing to see how all the brands are promoting very different ranges of watches to the West and generally thin/small is the theme.

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Question 3
From G-F
"I'd also like to know just how much anti-magnetic the MB watches really are?"

Giles: "We have never released a figure because we have not had it independently verified to be able to cover ourselves but I do know that it is as good a Faraday cage as any other watch I have seen. We don't just cup the movement back and use the dial as the front of the cage, we instead cup the whole movement. With modern components like the Ipad2 with 58 magnets in it with the cover there are more and more cases of magnatised watches out there. One other problem is that you go to all this effort and people turn around and complain because they can't see the movement through an open case back".

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Question 4
From Whiz Wheel
"Hello Giles,

ALT1-C/BK owner and loving it. My question, given the Bremont focus on aviation and producing special editions(EP 120, P-51, C-17), are there any thoughts on producing a C-130 Hercules edition? Also, given the rugged build of your watches and "wear anywhere" appeal, any thoughts on using Tritium tubes?"

Giles: "Really glad your loving your watch Jerry. There is always some confusion about the number of limited edition watches that we are making because we are supplying a number of the Air Force Squadrons around the world. The EP120 and P-51 were true limited editions that we are selling through retailers around the world but the C-17 watch was a watch that we were commissioned to build for the US C-17 Squadron that is not commercially available. If we were approached by the C-130 Squadron we would happily speak to them. On the Tritium question we constantly look into new materials and we could make the watches stronger but we set out wanting to produce a classic elegant looking watch that you could wear in the boardroom or up Mount Everest. The problem on many of these other treatments is that it can make the watch look and feel cheap so it is always a fine balance".

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Question 5
From Captain Danger
"I have a couple of questions for you, if you wouldn't mind answering please...I know it says to ask one, but I have more than one that I'd like answering.

1) Do you think Bremont would be where it is today if your father had not been in the accident in 1995? Do you think you would still be working in the City and just joining your father for air displays etc, or do you think you would have actively pursued your passion of making watches anyway?"

Giles: "Interesting question, I studied Engineering and Naval Architecture and was in the City for a short time advising the bank about the Engineering business that they were working with. In short I realised that it was not for me and I had a strong yearning to build something and work in manufacturing and I would have left had my father been alive or not. Would I have gone into building watches if my father had not died I very much doubt it, I don't think I would have had the balls and attitude of go out and live your life had Nick and I not gone through that experience.

I am such a strong believer in following what you enjoy, running a watch business you go through many highs and lows manufacturing is not easy, everything takes so much longer that you think in addition Nick and I are constantly traveling yet we have young kids at home. If we did not love what we were doing we would never have got this far"".

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Question 6
From Captain Danger
"2) You and Nick first told your wives it would take a couple of years to get your first watch to market. What was the biggest obstacle in getting your ideas from your head to your wrist?"

Giles: "Captain Danger again, great name. Even the simplest things take forever to get right just designing a crown that looks good, easy to manufacture be strong etc etc takes many attempts to get to a position where you are happy to release it, then you have the whole range to worry about. We were also very insistent on having these watches tested in the real world we knew we had come up with a new innovate case design but we had to make sure in real life that it was going to withstand the pressures. Hence the Bear Grylls, Charley Boorman, Mike Golding type adventures. This is where we discovered our satin cases were getting trashed and then developed our hardening treatment. It is very easy to buy a case with components off the shelve and create a watch but far harder to come up with new developments. It must also be remembered that we are not making that many watches and ours are made by hand and not through automated production lines.

Moving forward our key challenge is to bring more manufacture over to the UK and that is something that we are working on but as with all these things it takes time!"

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Question 8
From Matjmcd

"I would like to make a comment, followed by my question.

First, the comment...

I have found your watches to be among the very best timepieces around. Period. Full stop. The thing that I love most about my Bremont ( MBII #187, thanks ) is the fact that it is sooo close to being a viable contender for a true "One and Only" watch. It is tough, reasonably water resistant, shock resistant, and flexible enough to go from the shooting range ( my hard use hobby of choice is action shooting here in the US ) to a work day in a suit and tie. It also looks fantastic. It's the best pilot's watch around, IMO. However...

I can't help but think think that the best pilot's watch is one which incorporates a 2nd time zone complication. This brings me to my question. Are there any plans to upgrade or split the MB range to incorporate a GMT function? Many watch fans would say that a non-chrono GMT watch is a benchmark piece in any aviation oriented collection. Will Bremont ever do a watch like that? An MBII ( or, perhaps an *MBIII*?) with a GMT feature would be brilliant.

Thanks for the great watches, and best to all at Bremont."

Giles: "Great to hear your thoughts Matjmcd, thank you. That is exactly what we have tried to create a sports watch with the classic style that can be used in all environments. Naturally there are tougher watches out there but it ends up being twice the size and weight. I hate having beautiful things in life that you can not use and that also bugged me about watches. There is no doubt people often do treat our watches too harshly but with our 3 year warranty we will stand by our product.

I agree with you a GMT feature in both the MB and Supermarine is something I would like to do and the way we have built the World Timer into the C17 Globemaster is fantastic as we have incorporated the roto-click bezel into watch as well".

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Question 9
From Andy Milts

"When do you anticipate making your 1st complete in house movement and it being avalible? What do you think the price point will be?"

Giles: "Hello Andy, technically we have come up with our first in-house movement but we have put it into a clock rather than a watch! We have two thoughts about in-house movements; the first is that every watch company and watch maker wants to have one and the second it is going to push your prices up considerably. We have been working on a project for a long time and it is looking great but it takes a lot of investment to get it right and we have to be sure that the market is there for it. Our view is that we want to do something different that is going to improve the watch and not just do it for vanity, many in-house movements are not as reliable and cost far more to buy/maintain we do not want to fall into that trap. To see what it does to retail prices Breitling is a good case study".

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Question 10
From Andy Milts

"Is there any chance of you making a second Spitfire based watch similar to EP120 but based on another spitfire?"

Giles: "We feel that it is unlikely that we will ever get another part of a Spitfire that is as special as EP120, our second iconic aviation watch is the P-51 and it is every bit as special".

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Question 11
From Andy Milts
"If you had to chose between the following as an iconic plane to make a watch from which would it be.. Lancaster, Vulcan, Lightning, Concrde or Harrier?"

Giles: "My heart would go for a Lightning because my father flew one but my head would go for the Concorde due to commercial reasons".

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Question 12
From Trevington

"Hello Giles,
Although Bremont obviously has a very strong link with aviation, the limited edition Norton watch and the courting of Jaguar with their concept car recently seem to suggest that you are happy to cast the net a little wider. It would be great to see some more watches associated with great british automotive engineering, so maybe something inspired by Jaguar, Triumph or Land Rover / Range Rover? I'm itching to buy a Bremont, but I'm not a great fan of planes and feel a little fraudulent buying something so inherently linked to aviation. So, my question is will there be a motor sport fan's watch coming soon?"

Giles: "Hello Trevington.
We feel that although Bremont's DNA is in aviation it is far more than that and it centers around adventure and engineering. Both Nick and I believe many of our customers are fascinated about so many different areas of design and engineering beyond aviation; Goodwood, Jaguar and Norton gives you a glimpse of that. We have been approached by a number motor racing teams and I am sure one day we will do something but nothing yet seems right at the moment".

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Question 13
From Jon

"If you could go back to the start and do something different what would it be and why?"

Giles: "Hello Jon,
Without doubt in watch making hindsight is a valuable thing when designing and building. I believe I would chosen to end up with the same thing but via an alternative route. I think my biggest regret is on a commercial side with some of retailer agreements that we have historically been in".

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Question 14
From Jon

"...And out of the current range which do you think would have been your dads favourite."

Giles: "Wow never thought of that, I would probably go for the ALT1C black or U2 but I sure that Nick will say something completely different".

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Question 15
From HillTop Michael

"Hello Giles,

I recently discovered Bremont watches and must say that I am very impressed by what you've developed in such a short time. Your watches have many unique or non-common features that truly set your brand apart from most other watches available - and they're very beautiful as well. I'm looking forward to following your company over the coming years and adding a few more of your watches along side my Bremont Solo.

My question is about your case design. What inspired you to come up with the three piece case with the changeable barrel? I can't think of any other watch with a similar design, yet now that you've done it, it seems like such an obvious way to design the case to allow for any number of customizations. It's a very pleasing effect on my Solo, and on the MBIIs you can easily produce a number of different versions (I really wish I had discovered Bremont watches while the yellow Selfridge MBII was still available.) "

Giles: Hello Michael
"Lovely to hear your enjoying your SOLO. It was a very hard one the triptick case, we new we had to come up with our own style but we did not want a fashion watch and to was looking to keep the vintage style. We felt that doing something with the case would enable us to have a classic look but with the barrel it would give it a modern engineered feel, this combined with the fact we could change the metals patterns etc really opened up the options. Our worry when first playing it was strength but this was not problem due to the way we designed it".

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Question 16
From HillTop Michael

"...I would like to see larger Bremonts. 46 mm is about the perfect size for me. A larger MBII/U2/GMT would be just the watch for me. I might also upgrade my Solo were one to become available."

Giles: "Maybe one day, the general style however across watch companies is for reducing the sizes".

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Noodlefish
09-29-2011, 11:42 AM
It's going to take me some time to analyse all those responses! Top stuff!

G-F
10-04-2011, 02:26 AM
That's awesome! Thanks to Giles for his time and answers!

Oracle
03-23-2014, 09:01 AM
Great find by JWalker to bring these q&a's back at an appropriate time.