Bremont brings large scale watch production back to the UK with the opening of The Wing

The WingBremont has long been considered Britain’s largest watch brand. Now the founders, Giles and Nick English, are looking to build on that success after opening the doors this week to their much anticipated manufacturing and technology centre, The Wing. With the Bremont Manufacturing and Technology Centre (AKA The Wing), Bremont are looking set to stretch their lead, after their 19-year quest to increase vertical production on what is already a strong range of hardy tool watches. Through the shots of photographer Alan Schaller we get the first glimpses of what is a 35,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility at the edge of Henley-on-Thames in South Oxfordshire, to a scale not seen in the UK since the 1960’s. This facility essentially brings the Bremont mission statement to life: “To make exquisitely engineered mechanical timepieces on British soil with the lofty objective of reinvigorating the nation’s horological past, using our adventurous spirit, passion for detail, desire to innovate and dedication to the highest quality of customer satisfaction.” Time+Tide has reported at length on the exciting revival of British watchmaking (check out our article series “11 days of Londoners” ) and, personally, I’m a staunch believer in the growing market force of independent brands.…

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2 months ago

EVENT: 5 rare high-complication watches from Jaeger-LeCoultre in a stunning vineyard setting

high-complication watches from Jaeger-LeCoultreJaeger-LeCoultre are known as the watchmaker’s watchmaker with good reason. Over their nearly 190-year history, the brand has produced movements used by most major Swiss watch brands with more than 1000 calibers developed over that time. And while 2021 is all about the Reverso as the brand celebrates the 90th anniversary of the famous design, we can’t forget the high-complication watches from Jaeger-LeCoultre released in recent years, from the almost microscopic caliber 101 to the dancing Master Gyrotourbillon. Jaeger-LeCoultre looked to celebrate some of these complicated curiosities with an event hosted at Jackalope Hotel on the Mornington Peninsula. This marked the first watch event of this COVID-stricken year, which I was particularly excited about, meaning a chance to catch up face-to-face with collectors and industry colleagues after a break that felt like far too long. Present was the Australian Country Manager of Jaeger-LeCoultre, Justin Devaux, who delivered a presentation on some of the watches that were on display. In the presentation Devaux went into some detail about the manufacturing process behind the development of the watches, as well as the craftsmanship that goes into such pieces. One of the pieces that he focused on was the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Gyrotourbillon 1 that’s…

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2 months ago

EVENT: If you’ve got a need for speed the TAG Heuer x Porsche pop-up is a watch-lover’s delight

TAG Heuer x Porsche pop-upAt the start of last month, TAG Heuer announced a partnership with a pretty special brand: Porsche. Why you might ask? What’s the difference between this and any old automotive / watchmaking relationship? The difference lies in the closely linked histories of these two brands, both united by a passion for going fast and the talismanic word “Carrera”. To celebrate this relationship,  a TAG Heuer x Porsche pop-up has just opened in Chadstone, Melbourne, which is showing a number of vintage Heuer Carrera references in an exposition of the shared history between TAG Heuer and Porsche. The linked history between TAG Heuer and Porsche begins in 1950, nearly a decade and a half before both companies released products named Carrera in 1963. In the middle of last century, the Carrera Panamericana car race first ran in Mexico, covering more than 3500km as it snaked its way though the countryside. It was an extremely dangerous race with minimal safety precautions, leading to its cancellation after only five years and more than 20 deaths. Nevertheless, the high-octane legend was born. Now in 2021, the two brands have come back together in collaboration (despite some photography from TAG Heuer hinting at the partnership…

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2 months ago

Bremont show how to nail a virtual watch event with the world’s greatest mountaineer

virtual watch eventDespite a full 12 months passing since COVID began restricting the places we can go and the people we see, the watch world still hasn’t worked out how to run an interesting event online. Starved of the opportunity to present watches in the metal, the polite way to describe most virtual events is dull at best. Recently, however, Bremont took a step in the right direction by at least hosting an event with a fascinating guest. The guest in question? None other than the Gurkha and ex-member of the British Special Forces Nirmal Purja or as he likes to be called, Nims. If you’re a regular reader of Time+Tide you’ll likely be aware of the relationship that Bremont has with Nims who’s broken a number of mountaineering world records while wearing their watches. On the face of it, it’s a relationship that could look like just another watch brand ambassadorship that serves to tick a marketing box. But beneath the surface, there’s a genuine connection between Bremont and Nims. In 2018, Nims left the military to concentrate his efforts on mountaineering and. in 2019, he embarked on a journey to scale all 14 of the world’s highest peaks that are…

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2 months ago

Rolex, Patek, Tudor and TAG plus 34 other brands to show at Watches and Wonders in April

I will be perfectly honest, ever since starting to write about watches, my sincere wish has been to meet up with the Time+Tide team at Basel, SIHH or even some far-flung Far Eastern destination. But then, KER-CLUNK! It was as if a giant hand pulled down a large POWER OFF handle, the lights dimmed and it all went eerily quiet. COVID-19 signalled the temporary end of watch fairs. Yet thanks to the determination of Jean-Christophe Babin at Bulgari and various other horological powerhouses that pulled together Geneva Watch Days, things didn’t end as glumly as they might have. The GWD sent a signal to the world that we might be looking at a new future of watch fairs that are up close and personal (well, as close and personal as you can get with a mask on ). Now Watches and Wonders have announced their 2021 dates and it’s “phygital”! Yes, Watches and Wonders, the extravagantly monikered version of SIHH, is now back according to the press release (phygital is a cross between physical and digital, apparently). Five main brands are on board for the 2021 Watches & Wonders Geneva digital show: Rolex, Tudor, Patek Philippe, Chopard, and Chanel. They…

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3 months ago

AUCTION NEWS: This Vacheron Constantin sold for just 40 per cent of its $3 million prediction. Is 2021 off to a catastrophically slow start?

Important Modern & Vintage TimepiecesI did choose to be very optimistic in my story last week about the astounding Vacheron Constantin Tour de L’Ile reaching a cool record $3 million to kick off a healthy 2021. The estimate was set at Antiquorum’s Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces in Monaco to a spread of $1.8 – $3 million. But the watch didn’t make it – far from it, in fact – ending up selling for a paltry $1.2 million plus buyer’s premium. This begs the questions: are we merely looking at early signs of a fickle market in this astronomical price range? Or does this suggest another year of tumbling auction sales? This VC sold for $2.1 million when it was produced, bearing in mind that at that time is was the most complicated men’s wristwatch ever made. Having just sold for less than $1.5 million, in the world of uber complex Haute Horlogerie this surely constitutes a bargain? Relatively speaking, of course. As in selling all the houses of my close family might make me able to afford said bargain. Yet analysing the other top lots in this Antiquorum auction, the market ultimately still seems healthy if slightly unpredictable, and maybe in a transformative phase…

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4 months ago

Recommended Reading: Will yet another auction record be broken this weekend? The world’s most complicated wristwatch is up for grabs…

This might be exactly what we need to start 2021 with a BANG, and signal what we all hope is a strong year of growth for both the watch industry and consumer market in general. Auction results are a very important marker of the market temperature, and as WatchPro reminded us, this weekend sees the auction of the thoroughly mind-bending form of the Vacheron Constantin Tour de L’Ile, a vastly complex and equally dazzling micro-engineered piece of horological art. Everything is in place for a new auction record and a flying start to the year. The Vacheron Constantin Tour de L’Ile boasts a frankly incomprehensible 834 components and took 10,000 hours to complete. With two dials – both front and back – and everything from a minute-repeating complication to a tourbillon and equation of perpetual time, this is one of Vacheron Constantin’s ventures into the absolute highest echelons of haute horlogerie. Utterly beguiling, this 18-carat rose-gold wristwatch (if we can even call it that) sold for an original $2.1 million in 2005, and is estimated on the block for around $3 million this weekend.   Is this the kick-off we need for a fresh 2021?, I have high hopes. Have…

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4 months ago

Why did the second Paul Newman Rolex Daytona sell at auction for the “bargain” price of $5m?

The second Paul Newman Rolex Daytona auctionNothing over $1 million can really be called a bargain. Particularly when it’s a mere wristwatch from the Swinging Sixties. Yet we all know the stratospheric values paid for Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona 6241. The first one went for a mind-boggling and (then) world record $17.8 million USD back in 2017. Fast forward to the here and now. We are at the end of 2020, a year of slow turnover sure, but not across the board – the huge Chinese market has already picked up with YOY sales considerably up from 2019.  But earlier this month, Racing Pulse – a New York auction by Phillips in association with Bacs & Russo – sold Paul Newman’s other Daytona. This one had a dark reverse panda dial and was still delightfully clean and crisp after half a century. Being a significant Rolex, this was snapped up for $5,475,000 US – a considerable sum, of course, but a relative bargain compared to Newman’s previous Daytona, given that it sold for 70 per cent less. The Phillips/Bacs & Russo auction still achieved some phenomenal results. It included a record sale for any Heuer, the iconic Heuer Monaco ref. 1133 owned by Steve McQueen –…

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5 months ago

3 watches you can get from the brand new Jaeger-LeCoultre Melbourne boutique right now

Jaeger-LeCoultre Melbourne boutiqueThe lockdown in Melbourne has made us miss a lot of things. An avocado-heavy brunch with friends. A cocktail at Eau-de-Vie. And also the opening of the brand new Jaeger-LeCoultre Melbourne boutique. You heard me correctly, Jaeger-LeCoultre has a new home in Melbourne at the Paris end of Collins Street, right next to its Richemont stablemates, Vacheron Constantin and Cartier. This is the second part of an Australian expansion by the brand, with the first-ever boutique in the country opening in Sydney last year. At the time, Justin Devaux, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Country Manager of Australia and New Zealand, explained the decision behind the expansion as a part of a longer-term strategy to “immerse the customer in the brand universe”. Mr Devaux went on to add, “I think overall that everybody is looking quite optimistically at the market in Australia. On our side we definitely expect to have a bright future in Australia, but Jaeger-LeCoultre is not an easy brand to understand, and is one that has mastered so many different areas of craftsmanship that you need to have a specific boutique to be able to have the time and expertise to explain the range of the skills we are offering with…

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6 months ago

Live Stream – Watch the GPHG 2020 Ceremony

This is it, the 2020 Oscars of the Watchmaking industry, the so-called Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève or GPHG 2020, is about to begin and the best watches introduced during the year are about to be awarded. From ladies’ watches to chronographs and exceptional mechanical proposals, the entire spectrum of watch production is covered. For […]

6 months ago