Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 27

Thread: A Week With the Bremont U-2 Blue

  1. #1
    Administrator jwalker9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,417

    A Week With the Bremont U-2 Blue

    A Week With the Bremont U-2 Blue

    By now, most of you are quite familiar with Bremont’s Martin Baker series of watches, which were designed and tested in a collaborative effort with British ejection seat manufacturer, Martin Baker. The two companies intended to put the slogan “Tested Beyond Endurance” to the ultimate challenge by constructing a watch with anti-shock properties that would allow it’s mechanical movement to withstand a real-life ejection scenario at forces of up to 20G’s!

    The MB1 and MBII were released in 2009 to a warm reception from both aviation and watch enthusiasts around the world. Later that year, the elite U-2 spy planes squadron out of Beale California commissioned Bremont to make a special run of watches based off of the MB for their pilots: Thus, the Bremont U-2 was born. In 2010, Bremont released a civilian version of the U-2 in stainless steel and DLC cases, as well as special limited edition version, which sold out its run of 150 pieces. The civilian U-2 continues to be a popular offering in the Bremont catalog.

    Bremont continues to dedicate significant efforts into producing special military edition watches for different elite squadrons around the world. In 2012, one particular military watch caught the attention of Bremont fans: the IAFDT U-2 with a stunning blue dial, exhibition case back, and MB-styled second hand. It was an instant hit once photos appeared on this website and many of us wished that we would have the chance to own one. Lucky for us, Bremont obliged its fan base and released the U-2 Blue at BaselWorld in 2013.

    This past week I had the chance to borrow one of Bremont’s latest offerings, the U-2 Blue, for a “Week on the Wrist” review. I knew the watch would be arriving on Monday, which was perfect since I had the afternoon off from work. To my great pleasure, I heard the large diesel van arrive in front of my house, and made sure to meet him for a smooth exchange at the doorway. As I opened the case containing the watch, I caught my first glimpse of the special U-2 Blue. My first impression was “wow, that blue dial is special!” I gave the watch a full wind and sync'd it with my iPhone clock to keep track with it's daily accuracy.



    At this point, I wear a Bremont ALT1-P in black as my daily watch. It’s been my trusted companion for almost two years, and I still enjoy admiring it on my wrist on a daily basis. As I’ve been contemplating purchasing a second Bremont, the U-2 Blue has been near the top of my list for many reasons. Like most watch collectors, I’d like my watches to reflect a variety of styles and dial colors. Already owning a tri-compax chronograph, I’ve wanted a simple 3-handed option. The same goes for wanting a blue dialed option rather than another black dial. Since the MBII and U-2 watches represent the flagship of what Bremont stands for as a brand, this particular watch hits my top 3 bullet points for what I’m looking for.

    The U-2 Blue comes standard with a dark blue leather strap to match the dial and barrel. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t so sure that I’d like the blue strap on this particular watch. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of blue, but the promotional shots I had seen online left me feeling that this watch might look “too blue”?

    I’m happy to report that I was wrong. The blue strap works really well, and certainly isn’t overkill.
    Nevertheless, I decided to try several different straps combinations during my week with the U-2 to find the optimal pairing. First up for Monday was the cream EP-120 strap. Immediately after securing this strap to the case, I knew that this pairing would be hard to beat. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.









    I also wanted to test the lume of the watch, so after charging the lume for several minutes outside, the lume looked like this. Very legible and quite satisfying. I feel like it kept a good charge at night and while in the dark, just as with my ALT1-P.




    On Tuesday I wore the brown Nubuck strap. This was another solid pairing and again provided great contrast to the rest of the watch.



    Since the U-2 is water resistant to 100M, I felt it was my responsibility to get this beauty wet! As expected, it survived a frigid submersion of approximately 3cm in our local stream. Here are a few pictures to prove it.










    On Wednesday, I started with a GasGasBones Zero-Zero in blue nylon with red stitching. A perfect match! Bremont watches are very comfortable and attractive on these straps, and if you end up owning a Blue U-2, I highly recommend that you ask Carl to make you this exact strap.






    After work, I met some co-workers downtown for dinner and decided to change straps into something a little more formal. I decided to go with the blue crocodile strap from Bremont. This is the same style strap that comes standard on the Victory and ALT1-C Rose Gold, but in a lovely dark blue tone. As you can see, a simple strap swap totally changes the tone of this watch from casual to formal.









    On Thursday, I decided to go with my all-around favorite Bremont strap, the brown Vintage. Let me just say it: If you own a Bremont but don’t own this strap, you are missing out! It’s truly one of the best-looking straps you can wear with your watch. It has a nice thickness to it, and a deep, rich brown that ages beautifully over time. On a side note, this is the only strap I still wear on deployment, as I think it looks and feels great on it.













    For Friday, I went with another favorite strap, the Bremont Military Canvas in “Desert Sand” color. This is a fantastic strap in a casual color that looks neutral, yet sporty. The blue dial and barrel was really accentuated by the contrast of the sand colored webbing.







    Finally, for my last day of wearing the U-2, I traded my sand colored canvas for black with white stitching. This is often the “secondary” strap that comes with the purchase of a new Bremont watch, and thus is one that many of us already own. Again, the U-2 looks great as a “black and blue” combination.




    As my week with the U-2 Blue came to a close, I realized I’d grown quite attached to it. As I snapped the standard blue strap back to its case and packed the watch in its folio to send back, I knew I’d be missing it soon. I walked away very impressed with its wrist presence, its gorgeous color, and perhaps most of all, its versatility. I tried the watch on ten different straps (I didn’t photograph the black leather or black Kevlar) and I think it looked fantastic on each and every one.





    Final Thoughts-

    The Good

    -The dial – The tone of the blue dial changes with every movement of the wrist and every different light source, which keeps it interesting to look at. The simple layout of the Arabic numerals at 6, 9 and 12 o’clock keep the dial simple and uncluttered. I also enjoyed having both the day and date feature at 3 o’clock, as it’s useful for my daily work.

    -Extremely versatile – Dresses up or down easily with a simple strap change. It paired very well with every strap I tried.
    -Very accurate chronometer – Gained ~2 seconds each day, which stays within highest COSC spec.

    -The twin crowns – aesthetically, this is one of my favorite features of the watch. The decorated tips are pleasing to look at and the unique knurled texture and good crown length make the Roto-Click feature extremely functional.

    -Stands out in a crowd – If you’re looking for a unique watch that you’re unlikely to see on the wrist of another person, (even a watch nerd) this is a good choice. I received several comments about the watch over the few days I wore it, which is a good indicator of a special looking watch.

    The (Sort-of) Bad

    -Too Blue? – Some may say that between the dial, the barrel and the strap, that this watch suffers from blue overload. I would disagree, but would argue that the standard Blue strap is a bit ‘blah’ compared to some other Bremont straps. I’d also love to see an optional anthracite barrel offered a la the IAFDT watch.

    -No longer Anti-Magnetic –Despite gaining an exhibition case-back, the U-2 Blue loses its anti-magnetic properties by ditching the Faraday cage. Will that greatly change the way the accuracy of the watch? Probably not, but it’s one less feature that was present on the MBII and original black dialed U-2.

    -ETA movement –Despite the accuracy of the highly modified BE-36AE movement, some folks will be looking for an in-house movement at this price point. To be fair, I think we are all hoping to eventually see Bremont create and display their own in-house movement in that rear exhibition case Hopefully, that won’t be to the detriment to the fair pricing of the current collection.

    The Verdict

    In summary, I would certainly recommend the Bremont U-2 Blue to anyone who is in the market for a well built pilot style watch, especially if they were looking for something with a non-black colored dial. I think you would be hard pressed to find a similar style and spec watch at this price point that is as much fun to wear as the U-2 Blue. It is certainly on my short list of possibilities for my next watch purchase. I hope this review was as entertaining to read as it was to create! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions at all about the watch.

    Jeremy
    Last edited by jwalker9; 11-10-2013 at 06:14 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Gloucestershire, UK
    Posts
    869
    Jeremy - I'm just blown away by the depth and quality of your 'week on the wrist' review. Informative text and great pictures, this has clearly been a labour of love for you. Much enjoyed seeing the watch paired with multiple straps, I particularly like the blue crocodile, which I saw yesterday at Salonqp, and the 'Desert Sand' canvas offering from Bremont. Your photo of the lume was most impressive! Anyone thinking of buying a U-2 Blue would do well to read this review, I am certain they will not be disappointed.

    Many thanks for the time and effort you put into this project!

    Gavin
    Last edited by Sunray02; 11-10-2013 at 11:41 AM.

  3. #3
    Administrator jwalker9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,417
    Cheers, Gavin! It was a pleasure.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ALT1-S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    313
    Thanks for this awesome review Jeremy, really insightful and the images are great. Its quite hard to show the colour and beauty of this watch, but you have done a great job - I am sure everyone else will agree!

    S

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Hampshire, UK
    Posts
    544
    Great job mate, looks amazing and great to see on a number of straps. Now another goes on the "Wanted" list.......

  6. #6
    What a fantastic review and some excellent pictures .The U2 is another favourite model of mine .
    Thank you Jeremy .

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    2
    Jeremy, Thank you for a great review of the U2 Blue. It is a watch I have been eyeing off for some time now. Already owning 3 Breitlings, each with a black, brown and silver face, I was attracted to the blue Bremont for something unique and the clean simple face it has. Last week I saw it up close and on the wrist for the first time when I visited the Bremont Boutique in Central Hong Kong. What a great store!!!
    I looked briefly at the new rubber Bremont straps in particular the blue colour. Does anyone have any photos or experiences of the rubber strap matched with a U2 Blue? Having read the recent post within the forum on the rubber straps I was curious.
    I was also wondering where you can purchase the GasGasBones Zero-Zero in blue nylon with red stitching?
    Cheers.
    Breitling Montbrillant
    Breitling Aerospace Limited Edition
    Breitling Navitimer 01
    Raymond Weil Collection Don Giovanni
    Bremont U2 Blue

  8. #8
    Administrator jwalker9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,417
    My pleasure baldrick! It's a lovely watch an I'm glad you had the chance to check it out at the HK Boutique! I've seen Mike Pearson post a picture of the U2Blue on a blue Temple Island...I'll try to round it up! I haven't personally been able to test a Temple Island yet, but I hear they are pretty nice!

    Carl Evans at GasGasBones will be glad to make you a zero-zero like the one seen in this review. His site is www.gasgasbones.com and he will ask for you wrist measurement to have it fitted perfectly. It should run about 30.

    Let us know if you end up taking one home!

    Jeremy


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Administrator jwalker9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,417
    Here are the pics of the U2-Blue on blue Temple Island I mentioned in the previous post.






  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    2
    Thank you Jeremy for your photos and insights. The Zero-Zero canvas strap with the Blue is a great combination. I will certainly send a post when I acquire a U2 Blue.
    Since learning about Bremont, I have been amazed at the cult-like following this watch brand has generated, particularly within the aviation fraternity.
    They certainly do it well.
    Breitling Montbrillant
    Breitling Aerospace Limited Edition
    Breitling Navitimer 01
    Raymond Weil Collection Don Giovanni
    Bremont U2 Blue

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Top Watch Sites