• A Week With the Bremont ALT1-C/PW

    Bremontís sporty ALT1-C cleans up nicely in this white-dialed, polished steel iteration.

    You might say that the newest watch to come out of the Bremont workshop in Henley, the ALT1-C/PW, has a familiar face. Thatís because the watch is an adaptation of the esteemed ALT1-C, one of six initial models released in 2007 as part of Bremontís Classic Collection. Despite being a sport watch, the two-toned dual register chronograph gives off a very refined aesthetic, making the ALT1-C the quintessential watch of the Bremont brand. In particular, the Cream dialed variation has been used in numerous promotional images since the brands' inception, and likely remains the most familiar piece in the entire Bremont range.

    During a promotional video for the CODEBREAKER shown at BaselWorld 2013, Bremont first hinted at a forthcoming gold ALT1-C, and later that year officially added the ALT1-C/RG (Rose Gold) to their Classic chronograph range. This was the first ďdress watchĒ introduced as a permanent member of the Bremont collection, and aside from a few Limited Edition Victory and Codebreaker pieces, it was also the first core range watch to feature a polished rose gold case. While all agreed that it was a stunning watch, the substantial amount of gold used in the Trip-Tick case drove the asking price up to a hefty £13,950/$18,250, limiting its reach to potential buyers.

    Thankfully, this year Bremont have decided to produce an identical watch in a hardened and high-polished stainless steel, at a much more accessible price point of £4,495/$6,695. Over the past week, I was able to borrow an ALT1-C/PW to review and photograph for the Alt1tude forum. After spending 5 days with the watch on my wrist, I can safely say that Bremont have themselves another winner with this effort.

    To fully understand the design of the ALT1-C/PW (and RG), you need to go back a few years and look at another Bremont watch, the Victory LE from 2012. This watch was made as an homage to the HMS Victory, used by Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. It had a very traditional aesthetic featuring a stark white dial, vintage handset, a mesmerizing double retrograde movement, and the very first polished steel case for Bremont. The watch was limited to 290 total pieces, 40 of which were made in rose gold. All of the watches sold out and until this point, Bremont have not ventured into a similar direction with any of their other designs. Take a look at the two watches together, and you can clearly see that many of the styling cues for the ALT1-C/PW were taken from the Limited Edition Victory watch.

    Like the Victory before it, the ALT1-C/PW comes standard on a black crocodile leather strap and a polished steel pin buckle, which adds an extra bit of luxury to the overall package.

    While the black croc strap is beautiful and quite comfortable to wear, my personal preference was to dress it down just a bit, so I spent most of my time with the watch mounted on this lovely dark brown strap with brown stitching. This pairing was a perfect match, and if I were buying the watch, would be an excellent, less formal alternative to the black croc. Take a look to see what I mean.

    Here are a few more shots featuring the brown strap on the wrist.

    As usual, I had to play around with a few other strap options, so here is the ALT1-C/PW mounted on the dark brown Vintage strap from Bremont. I've yet to find a Bremont watch that this strap doesn't like!

    Lastly, I tried out the Nubuck strap with ecru stitching. I don't think it looks quite as good as the others, and it certainly dresses down the watch dramatically, but I still think it works alright.

    One of my favorite features of the ALT1-C/PW is the enlarged exhibition case! While I didn't have an ALT1-C on me for comparison, I did have my ALT1-P, which shares the same case as the standard "C". Here are a few photos that hopefully show you the difference in the case finishes, and the enlarged rear display.

    A larger exhibition case enables one to admire all of the moving parts involved in keeping perfect time with mechanical watch.

    The new, larger Bremont rotor featured in the ALT1-C/PW also makes an appearance on the top of this amazing Chivas tin!

    Final Thoughts

    The Good

    -Loved the dial on this one - The white on white chronograph registers scream "smart", and the tone of the dial is just right. Not glossy, not completely flat, but a happy medium. There are small flecks embedded in the finish to give it just a slight sparkle at certain angles. The numerals on the dial stay out of the way of the subdials, ensuring that no numbers are cut out. The red accents at 12 o'clock give an extra bit of aviation flair. I think this picture captures the details of the dial very well.

    -The Handset - The hands from the Victory were so elegant, I love that they decided to reuse them on the ALT1-C/PW. They are thick enough to stand out against the white dial, but thin enough to be extremely precise between the minute markers. Of course, there is no lume on these hands, and thus no lume on the dial, but that's to be expected on a fine dress watch.

    -Hardened Polished Case - As you can tell, the shiny finish adds a whole new element of formality to an otherwise sporty watch. The surface cleans up easily with a microfiber cloth, and Bremont have managed to keep the case hardened to the standard that we have grown accustomed to. Over the week that I wore the watch, there were absolutely no tiny micro-scratches to the front or rear surface of the watch, which was very encouraging to see.

    -The Price - This polished steel version is identical to the Rose Gold version, except that its almost 1/3 of the cost! Compared to the regular steel version, the ALT1-C/PW will set you back an extra $700, which seems quite reasonable given the look and feel of the final product.

    The Not So Good

    -Although it's a "New" watch, the PW is still "just" an ALT1-C - For those of you wanting something entirely new from the brothers in Henley, this isn't exactly it. It's a bit fancier looking, but beneath the surface, its got the same layout and parts as the brushed steel ALT1-C that's been available for the past 8 years. It also borrows design cues and parts from other previous Bremont watches, which may be a turn-off for some.

    The Verdict

    I feel strongly that Bremont will have no trouble selling these watches. Sure, it may be a bit fussier looking than the rest of the Bremont range, but in a world of sport watches, every guy can use a dress watch to use for special occasions. Bremont did it right this time by evolving their best selling model into a mature looking masterpiece. Bravo to the English Brothers for tastefully growing their ALT1-C range to include the ALT1-C/PW.

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