• A Week With the Bremont Boeing Model 1 & Model 247

    A Week With the Bremont Boeing Model 1 & Model 247

    First of all, I’d like to send a big ‘thanks’ to Bremont for sending over both of the new Boeing watches, the Model 1 & Model 247 for a proper Alt1tude review. I’ve seen many of our forum members express interest in these two watches, so I’m happy to be able to share a few photos and thoughts after wearing them for a while.

    In January 2014, Bremont sent out a press release announcing a partnership with Boeing. Details were rather sparse at the time, but we did learn that Bremont would be working “with Boeing to develop a new range of mechanical watches that fully explores the aerospace company’s extraordinary expertise in advanced material technology”, with more information promised for a later point in 2014.

    Fast-forward two months, and the first two examples of the Boeing/Bremont partnership were unveiled at Basel World. The reaction on the forum was quite favorable, especially for the Model 247, which many of our forum readers seemed to gravitate to.

    Now that both models have been shipping for a month or so, you should be able to find them at any Bremont Boutique or your local Bremont Authorized Retailer. The Model 1 rings in at $5450, while the Model 247 will set you back $6750.

    The new case designs for the Boeing models are a fairly radical change from the cases that we’ve come to know across the Bremont range. The first change to point out is the two new metals used. The watches photographed in this review are made of Custom 465® Steel, for exceptional hardness, scratch and corrosion resistance. The 465 Steel has a lovely matte color and finish, and performs well enough that it does not need the B-EBE2000® hardening treatment used on the standard Bremont cases.

    Although it’s not available yet, the Model 1 and Model 247 will also be available in proprietary Titanium, called TI-64 patented by Boeing. There’s no timeline or pricing available on the titanium models at this time. I’ve also been told that Bremont are working on a matching TI-64 bracelet to pair with the Boeing watches, but unfortunately no more details are available at this point.

    The next case design to point out is the modified lugs. Although they keep a similar aesthetic, they extend out in a more linear fashion from the case, and thus they don’t taper around the wrist as much as you may be used to. Over the years, I’ve heard many people comment on how the typical 43mm Bremont trip-tick case wears smaller than anticipated due to the downward curvature of the lugs. You don’t get quite the same effect with the Boeing models; perhaps making the watches feel larger than usual.

    The lugs also incorporate a new hex screw system to mount your straps, ditching the spring bars used in every other Bremont model. This should make for a safer strap switch, without concern for the occasional “slip and scratch” that can happen when attempting to disengage a spring bar! You can see the hex screws were also used on the rear side of the case to fix the Trip-Tick case together.

    Speaking of the new strap changing system, the Boeing Models come mounted on a new Seattle strap, which is made from a polyurethane mix of materials. I can tell you that the strap is very comfortable, and has a nice texture without feeling rough or being prone to “catching” on fabrics from your sleeve. The blue stitching provides a perfect accent for the blue undertones used in the watch.

    Bremont fitted these watches with a sporty new bezel that will remain unique to the Boeing collection. The anterior surface of the bezel is sapphire coated, very much like what you would find on a Bremont Supermarine watch. Rumor has it that early in the design process Bremont experimented with a ceramic bezel made from Boeing materials, but that in the end, the design featuring a sapphire bezel won out. I personally find this to be a great outcome, as the sapphire looks amazing, is very legible, and has superb strength to avoid cracks, scratches, and other signs of abuse. Sapphire does occasionally show fingerprints, but they easily wipe off with any cloth.

    The outer rim of the bezel has an attractive decoration of diagonal notches, similar to what you might find on a nice coin. The texture provides a good grip to easily rotate the bi-directional bezel on a whim, which I found myself happily doing quite often!

    The final case detail unique to the Boeing watches is the center DLC barrel. While it looks similar to the barrel used in the ALT1 and SOLO watches, the Boeing barrel sports 5 circumferential rings instead of the usual 3. I think it looks quite nice!

    Moving away from the case and bezel that both watches share, we will take a look at some of the nuances of each model. First up is the three handed Model 1!

    Perhaps the coolest detail of the Model 1 is the crown guard implemented into the lower right-sided lug. It is very handsome and perfectly functional! It is not one solid piece, but rather two pieces secured tightly next to each other just above the crown. There is no wiggle at all from either side, so I don’t suspect you would ever have an issue with it coming loose. It may even be tacked together from the underside of the union, but I couldn’t tell without taking it apart.

    The rear case of the Model 1 gloats an incredibly decorated movement and rotor mimicking a Boeing jet engine! Very snazzy!

    It appears that Bremont are using the Sellita SW220-1 clone of the ETA 2836 movement, which is of course COSC Chronometer certified, as all Bremont watches are.

    I particularly enjoyed the three blocks of blue molding that surround the movement, which sport Bremont’s slogan of “Tested Beyond Endurance”.

    The Model 1 I reviewed featured a matte black dial with matching black hands and white lume. I loved the contrast of the Boeing inspired, blue tipped second hand against the dial. As you can see, it really pops without being too gimmicky; especially considering it is a “brand-inspired” watch. In fact, the only other obvious Boeing cue is the tasteful “Boeing” inscription on the rear case.

    The Model 247 chronograph also has a few unique design elements of its own, most obvious being screw-down pushers. While some may balk at the idea of locking pushers, you can’t deny that they look pretty cool, and when sandwiched around the matching crown, they provide an appropriately aesthetic for an aviation inspired watch.

    As with every other Bremont chronograph, the Model 247 uses the reliable and robust Valjoux 7750 movement, which is highly decorated and modified to the highest COSC standards. Even better, Bremont incorporates their anti-shock technology to protect the movement, giving you extra assurance that your Boeing watch can handle whatever beating you choose to put it through!

    Bremont used a slightly larger rotor on the Model 247, which shares the airplane engine appearance with bold red Bremont branding.

    I wore the Model 247 in the white dialed iteration, which I must confess, was my preferred color! The dial has a very subtle sparkle that you catch in certain lighting, and just looks clean and crisp. The black hands and blue accents tie together very nicely.

    Final Thoughts

    The Good

    -Special Metals- I really liked the Custom 465 Steel used on these particular watches. IT has a lovely color tone and perfectly matte finish. I can’t wait to see the TI-64 models and compare the weight difference!

    -Unique Bezel- I loved the edge of the bezel and the sapphire surface. It rotates bi-directionally with a satisfying click, and just looks super cool in my opinion!

    -Boeing, without going overboard- If you were to show these watches to a friend, I highly doubt that they would notice the subtle Boeing branding without scrupulous inspection. This is great because Bremont found a way to pay proper homage to the brand in subtle but specific ways, avoiding unnecessary fluff that could foul-up the clean aesthetic.

    The Not So Good

    -Deceptively large- Between the changes in the lugs, and the abundance of space in the dial (without any sort of inner chapter ring), the Boeing watches feel larger than any other Bremont I’ve worn, including the 45mm S2000. If your wrist is on the smaller size, both of these watches may wear too large for your satisfaction. Definitely try them on at your local Bremont retailer before purchase!

    -Thick- This is oriented more toward the Model 247 than the Model 1, but the watch has substantial thickness that not everyone will appreciate. Comparing the 247 to my Supermarine 500, the Boeing looked just a tad thicker. Again, I would suggest trying it on to get first-hand experience with the dimensions of the watch.

    -Screw- Down Pushers- Again, this only applies to the Model 247, but some folks don’t like the extra work required to activate the chronograph function. Fortunately, the locking rings look nice, and are easy to lock/unlock with a quick flick of the thumb.

    -Date Window- While it doesn’t bother me at all, I’ve heard some people voice their disapproval of the 4:30 placement of the date window on these watches. To each their own, I suppose!

    The Verdict

    Overall, these are two very nice additions to the Bremont collection. I feel quite certain that the Boeing range will be expanding further in the future, but you have two great options available now, with an ALT1-C styled dual-register chronograph, and a simpler 3-handed beater. Pick your passion, as you can’t go wrong with either model! My tastes lean be towards the White Model 247 as the watch of choice. Despite the fact that it looks rather large on my wrist, I connected with it, and felt that the white dial had the look I was going for.

    Thanks for reading, and be sure to leave your feedback!
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