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Month: August 2014

Evolution, not revolution

Bremont Martin-Baker MBII and MBIII

Evolution can be defined as the change in the inherited characteristics of a population over successive generations, and might well be used describe the approach that Bremont Chronometers has taken with this, the next iteration of their MB series of watches.

First shown in 2009, the MBI was a dual crown three-hander, designed and tested in collaboration with Martin-Baker, the Bucks-based ejection seat manufacturer. Martin-Baker’s change in focus from producing aircraft to saving the lives of pilots through the development of ejection seat technology was, rather poignantly, due to a similarly-named ‘plane, the MB3: Captain Valentine Baker lost his life whilst executing a difficult forced landing, crashing in a field in 1942.

While industry standard tests simulate dropping a watch from one metre onto a hardwood floor (a shock of 5,000G according to the literature), Martin-Baker’s tests are limited by the forces that a human pilot can withstand. An ejection can take place at up to 18,000ft at Mach 2, producing 25-30G on exit (it’s interesting to note that any watch on the wrist of an ISS astronaut is subject to a mere 3G as the main engines ignite). Martin-Baker challenged Bremont to produce a watch that could withstand the same tests and simulations to which they subject their seats, including salt fog and humidity, altitude, extreme temperature, vibration and (finally) ejection.

Six Small Words: Amusing

Amusing /əˈmjuːzɪŋCausing laughter or providing entertainment

Watches aren’t meant to be amusing: watches are serious items to be collected, locked away; an investment. They certainly shouldn’t make you smile. Well, not unless you’re able to buy cheap and sell high; this isn’t a hobby, after all, this is a business. Gordon Gekko (for example) had a really cool watch, a Cartier if I remember correctly, and we *all* know about the residuals on those.

Or maybe watches are just status symbols; items of conspicuous wealth; wrist real estate for oligarchs. A secret handshake for the meta-Masons? Perhaps. I’ve always believed that most watches are to be worn, experienced, enjoyed.

Righting the Rolex crown

Drawing from Rolex Patent US 20130114383 A1

It’s a question that has bothered Rolex owners for fifty years “Why doesn’t the coronet logo on the crown line up perpendicularly with the case?” Those of you who own watches with screw-down Twinlock crowns may have noticed that it’s basically pot luck whether the logo sits in its correct alignment. Maddening to some, unnoticed by many, it’s the kind of thing that Rolex owners debate from time to time on the strange recesses of the internet that we call watch forums.