Bremont, the UK-based watch brand, has largely built its reputation by making handsome and highly capable pilot’s watches that draw on the company founders’ aviation background, and through partnerships with ejection-seat maker Martin-Baker and plane-building juggernaut Boeing. But admittedly, the golden age of the pilot’s watch was the 1940s and ’50s, when oversized wrist timers were strapped over flight jacket sleeves in the cold cockpits of Spitfires and F-86 Sabres. So what would a mid-century pilot’s watch from Bremont have looked like? Maybe something like this: the limited-edition U2/T.
Based on Bremont’s existing U2, a watch made for the small cadre of spy plane pilots, the U2/T retains the basic architecture of that watch — a three-part 43mm case with knurled middle barrel (this one bronze-colored) and an inner rotating ring operated by a second crown. But instead of the elapsed time ring found on the U2, this one gets a more useful 12-hour scale for tracking a second time zone. And in keeping with the basic tool watches worn by World War II flyers, for the first time on a Bremont, the date function is eliminated. This gives the matte black dial a clean simplicity made even cleaner by the absence of any other wording besides the Bremont name and propeller logo. Lending a vintage aesthetic is the gold, “aged” color of the luminescent markers and hands, the latter framed in blued steel.
The U2/T may be made in England, but it was the brainchild of an American, Dan Broadfoot. Broadfoot is the owner of Timeless Luxury Watches in Frisco, Texas, a Bremont retailer. Timeless has worked with other brands, such as NOMOS, on custom limited editions, and, rather than settling for a simple logo or color swap, is heavily involved in the design.
“We actually put months and months into this design,” Broadfoot says. “We started with a concept, which was just a vintage Bremont that was period-authentic in terms of styling. So right off the bat, we knew we’d be using a matte black dial and ‘aged radium’ paint. Naturally, we looked to Fliegers for inspiration.”
Despite the vintage design cues and minimalist dial, there is a small hint to the U2/T’s Anglo-Texan connection: a Lone Star on the watch’s lower crown.
The U2/T is only available from Timeless Luxury Watches and can be pre-ordered starting today from their website. It will come delivered with two straps: one in black leather with gold stitching, and the other, a leather NATO-style strap. The price is $5,495.