As with any Bremont limited edition, the Codebreaker is all about the details, like the subtle 10101010 binary pattern on the sub dials. Bremont has gone to great lengths to connect the Codebreaker with Bletchley Park and its code breaking past, incorporating a number of artifacts into the construction of the final watch. Mounted in the nine o’clock case side of the Codebreaker is a small display for its serial number, but a closer look reveals that the serial number has been sourced from the original punch cards used to store and manage a wealth of Enigma decryption information. The tiny “001” seen in the photo above (on the side of the Codebreaker) is actually a tiny piece of an actual punch card from World War II. Bremont used five of these cards in the process of sourcing the correct numbers for the Codebreaker, which will be limited to just 240 units in steel and 50 in rose gold.
Continuing the Enigma connection, the rotor of the Codebreaker (used for automatically winding the mechanical movement) will contain material sourced from an original Enigma machine rotor (wild, right?). Expanding on that, the rotor’s design is meant to look like the drum of Alan Turing’s Bombe Machine, a fantastically powerful and complex machine that helped to more quickly decipher active Enigma settings so that messages were decrypted in time to still be useful to the military. The Codebreaker rotor also carries a code of its own (see the photos), which I will leave to the comment section to decipher.
Finally, Bremont was able to source original pine from the floor of Hut 6, an area within Bletchley Park that was used for the decryption of Enigma messages. Bremont has used this pine as a cap for the crown of the Codebreaker, a nice detail that offers yet another connection to the legacy of not only Bletchley Park, but also those who worked there during the war.
For my eyes, the Codebreaker has elevated Bremont’s methodology for historical limited editions to the next level. Can you think of any other brand that would make a watch like the Codebreaker? I think the styling is spot-on and speaks to Bremont’s strengths and to the military-focused roots that define much of their lineup. Not only do I think that Bletchley Park may be the coolest historic entity to be immortalized by Bremont, I also rather like the breadth of their inclusion. From innovations like the punch card system, to the Enigma, Turing’s Bombe Machine and finally the wood from Hut 6, they seem to have physically encapsulated the character of Bletchley Park into an already desirable watch. I highly recommend visiting Bremont’s site (link below) and reading more about the stories behind not only the development of the Codebreaker, but also the systems and people that occupied Bletchley Park and managed to have a huge effect on the outcome of World War II.
Even without the historical connections, the Codebreaker is a seriously cool watch and Bremont’s first flyback chronograph (news enough for many brands). The Bremont Codebreaker will have a retail price of $18,500 for the steel version and $33,995 for the rose gold models. Considering the rarity and provenance of the special materials and that a portion of the proceeds will go to support the maintenance of Bletchley Park, we doubt Bremont will have any trouble filling orders. Let us know what you think in the comments and feel free to decode the text shown on the Codebreaker’s rotor. bremont.com