• Wright Flyer - The 2014 Bremont Limited Edition Watch

    The 2014 Bremont Limited Edition Watch has now been officially announced!

    I'm pleased to present you with the Bremont Wright Flyer



    The inspiration for this timepiece is the Wright Flyer aircraft, which was designed and constructed by brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright from Dayton, Ohio. On December 17, 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville Wright became the first person to successfully pilot a heavier-than-air powered aircraft and sustain flight! That first flight only lasted 12 seconds, which was enough time to travel 120 ft/ 36.5 m before returning to earth, but the impact of Man's first flight sent shockwaves that have reverberated through time. The Wright Brothers successfully piloted four separate flights that day, the final trip lasting 59 seconds and covering 852 ft/ 260 m before sustaining irreparable damage upon landing. Nevertheless, aviation as we know it was born on the beaches of North Carolina on that day, and the English Brothers have chosen this moment in history to commemorate as the Bremont 2014 Limited Edition watch.



    Now that we know a bit about the history behind the project, lets take a look at the actual watch! As you can see, this particular model strays from all of the previous Bremont LE watches in that it is NOT a chronograph! Instead, Bremont have elected to take on a simpler 3-hand design. There are elegantly inspired central hour and minute hands, as well as a running sub-seconds dial located at 9 o'clock. "1903" is inscribed on the sub seconds dial to commemorate the year that Mankind first conquered the problem of flight.



    This watch features a few "firsts" for Bremont. You may notice that there is no date feature on the Wright Flyer. Every other Bremont model produced so far has featured a date complication, however the vision behind this design was to stay true to the period of an early 1900's timepiece, and the date complication had not yet been introduced in the horological realm. Well done on Bremont to take that detail into consideration with the final product design!



    The most anticipated feature of the Wright Flyer is the first incorporation of a Bremont "in-house" movement into a watch! It is dubbed the BWC/01 Automatic Movement, and features 25 jewels, Glucydur balance, Nivarox CT balance spring and Nivaflex 1 mainspring. It has a 50+ hour power reserve and is beautifully finished with perlage detailing and Bremont branding. Bremont states that many of the parts were crafted in their own workshops at their HQ in Henley-on-Thames. While we don't know exactly which parts Bremont are making at this point, its a valiant move away from the ETA movements used up until this point. No word on if the BWC/01 movement is COSC certified, but I think we should hear more on that soon.



    Attached to the new Bremont movement is a very special rotor, which takes the shape of the hand-carved propellors the Wright Brothers created for the Flyer. Etched onto the tips of the propellor are the initials, WW and OW, which obviously represent the Wright Brothers initials. In the center of the rotor rests the "priceless" material that we've heard mention of in the lead-up to the Wright Flyer release. The original wings of the bi-plane were wrapped in a type of muslin cotton, which they called "Pride of the West", and allowed the pilot to warp the shape of the wing during flight for better control. The muslin cloth from the 1903 Flyer was stored with the aircraft for several years in an Ohio basement, but by 1916 time had aged the fabric and it required significant repairs by Orville Wright. In 1925, the fabric had been fully replaced before the Flyer was crated up and sent to the Science Museum in London, where it remained on display from 1928-1948. However, when Orville Wright passed away in 1948, large sections of the ORIGINAL 1903 aircraft were discovered among his belongings! This fabric holds a VERY special place in aviation history, and has been selectively donated by the Wright family to special figures and organizations in aeronautical history. Neil Armstrong actually carried a small piece of the fabric in his pocket while taking Man's first steps on the Moon in 1969!



    After hearing of how Bremont have been incorporating physical pieces of mechanical history into their Limited Edition watch projects, the Wright family approached Nick and Giles about the possibility of creating a watch that would properly honor the Wright Brothers' legacy. The result is what we see today in the Bremont Wright Flyer watch. Amanda Wright Lane, who is the great grand-niece of the Wright Brothers, had this to say about the project:

    “Our partnership with Bremont on the Limited Edition Wright Flyer watch is a natural fit. Bremont’s dedication to historical themes, particularly in aviation, demonstrated by their iconic limited edition watches, all incorporating genuine historic artefacts, caught our attention immediately. As a top quality watchmaker, the brand is a perfect fit for the Wright brothers’ legacy. The wing cloth from the 1903 Wright Flyer is considered almost priceless by some, but we felt Bremont’s passion for aviation heritage made them a suitable choice for this rare use of the cloth. The Bremont Wright Flyer is a stunning way to launch our brand in international markets and is sure to become one of the most valuable watches ever made.”

    Nick English also spoke of the project for which he and Giles have had a particular passion about:

    “Giles and I still cannot believe that it’s happened. Holding the original and invaluable muslin used to cover the 1903 Wright Flyer is incredibly emotive. The Wright family has been wonderful to work with and it was inspiring to see their passion for the project. Does the creation of a special aviation-inspired watch really get any better than this? Probably not. The combination of this amazing material and our new BWC/01 movement has resulted in a truly mind-blowing timepiece.”



    As with their previous Limited Edition projects, proceeds from the sales of each Bremont Wright Flyer watch will be donated back to the Wright Family to help fund the restoration of the Wright Family Home in Dayton, Ohio. This is the physical location where the Wright Brothers dreamt up, designed, and constructed the World's first functioning aviation machine, and it deserves to be memorialized for future generations to appreciate.

    The Wright Flyer will be available in 3 separate versions, totaling 450 pieces:



    300 Black Dialed Stainless Steel Pieces





    100 White Dialed Rose Gold Pieces





    50 White Dialed White Gold Pieces






    Below is the video created by Bremont to help announce the Wright Flyer tonight at the Science Museum.



    So what do you think? Does the Wright Flyer live up to your expectations? What is your favorite feature, and which dial/case configuration do you prefer? I do not have prices or a ship date at this time, but will post them here when I find out.

    If you have any questions about the Wright Flyer, please post them here and I will make sure to get you an answer!

    Thanks!

    Jeremy
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