As a 17-year-old at high school here in the UK, the more traumatic memories I have are from time spent in class rooms (specifically results day). I took a business studies class in my last year (I wanted to do economics and business but my professor advised me that I would be better suited to just the one). It was during one of those classes however that I experienced one of the few positive periods, when I got to see a documentary showcasing the brothers Nick and Giles English building their brand Bremont, with a focus on their early trips to India. Seeing two young gents getting out there and making things happen had an impact on me.
This week Bremont is releasing a limited edition run of 300 watches developed in partnership with brand ambassador and record-breaking explorer Ben Saunders. The aptly-named Endurance is based on the Supermarine product line but is definitely something new to the collection. It has bright orange accents, a 24-hour GMT hand, as well as a compass bezel that can be used for navigating. This is a serious tool watch.
Why This Watch Matters
People often say they are going to do certain things and then don’t. However, Bremont has always said they make watches “Tested Beyond Endurance,” and this watch is further confirmation that they not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk. This new watch has been developed with Ben Saunders for his Trans-Antarctic Solo Expedition and is the second collaboration between the British watch brand and the explorer (you will no doubt remember the Terra Nova released back in 2014).
It was in November last year when Ben set off, attempting to make the first solo and unsupported crossing of the Antarctica. The trip was set for a west-to-east traverse from Berkner Island to the Ross Ice Shelf via the South Pole and the Shackleton Glacier. Initially planned by Ben’s close friend Lt Col Henry Worsley, who nearly completed the expedition before falling ill and passing away in hospital in Chile in January 2016. On December 28, 2017, Antarctica – 52 days and 1,086 km into his Trans-Antartic Solo Expedition – Ben reached the South Pole (he is the third person in history to have skied full-length expeditions to both poles solo, and the first person in the world to have skied solo, unsupported and unassisted to both poles solo).
I made a promise to Henry to get home in one piece. As much as I am determined to finish this trip for him, I need to make my decision based on safety and not let my own determination cloud my judgement. There is a very fine line between success and failure in extreme environments
Having expected to reach the South Pole with 20 days of food remaining to see him through the final 576km of the journey, which he expected to take a minimum of 17 days, he was left with only 13 days of food (as a result of the ferocious conditions). Taking on more food at the Pole would have rendered his unsupported record attempt a failure and continuing with depleted rations would have meant banking on near perfect conditions and unhampered skiing. There are also sections of the final glacier where air rescue was impossible due to the nature of the terrain. He decided to halt his expedition. He is the only person in history to have done so without support (such as food resupply) or assistance.
While this limited edition clearly shares the Supermarine family DNA, the orange accents give it its own identity. At 43mm in diameter, the titanium case is relatively light, and the bi-directional rotating compass bezel, crown protector, and orange GMT hand have functional applications as well as aesthetic. In the design process, Ben felt strongly that the Endurance should have an exhibition case back and as a result Bremont created a new case back which was robust enough to enable the watch to still reach depths of 500m. The development of the thicker case back came from a military project, drawing on the experience gained from previous work.
Model: Endurance Limited Edition
Case Material: Titanium
Dial Color: Black
Water Resistance: 500 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Orange NATO strap or titanium bracelet
Caliber: Bremont BE-93-2AE (modified ETA 2892-A2)
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, GMT hand
Power Reserve: 42 hours
Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 vph)
Additional Details: Glucydur balance, Anachron balance spring; Nivaflex 1 mainspring, Bremont molded and skeletonized rotor
Pricing & Availability
Availability: April 2018
Limited Edition: 300 pieces