Back at Baselworld last month I was really excited about seeing one particular timepiece – the Bremont Supermarine 500. When I first learned about the watch sometime ago, I wrote about the Supermarine 500 here, exclaiming that it was the watch that helped me pay attention to the new British brand. The attractive 500 meter water resistant dive watch with a vintage inspired design based on an old seaplane looked like a must have – but I needed to see it in the flesh.
As I walked in the room to meet with Bremont. I felt as though I basically mumbled hello with my eye looking past the people, and stamped right over to the table with the Supermarine 500 watches. It had been long enough and I wanted to get my hands on the watches. What I really liked about the Supermarine 500 watches was the style, tech specs, and the combination of simplicity with enough decoration not to be boring. This is truly a competent daily wear – still a rarity for me to find in the sea of available watches these days.
Bremont did a good job with look of the piece in person. I had a few minor thoughts for the design to share with Bremont, but overall it is a great looking dive watch. Size is 42-43mm wide – the standard size of medium watches these days. As you can see, it wears nicely and doesn’t look too small or too large. The steel case has a neat PVD ring around it that adds to the Bremont character (part of their Trip-Tic durable case construction branding), and really helps the piece stand out from other dive watches. Clearly having a multi piece case by having the pieces contrast can result in a good look. There is an interesting long and tapered single piece crown guard that is also attached to the case near the crown that is mounted on the upper left side of the case. Another look that Bremont hopes will distinguish the Supermarine 500. Note the little propeller design engraved into the crown.
I quite like the design of the lugs that feel as though they match pieces from the famous seaplane. Even if they don’t, the look of the lugs (especially when viewed from the side) is impressive and again, different. Once more, as the entire case sandwiches the PVD black, horizontal line engraved mid section, the design is imbued with an added technical feel that is more than welcome. Wearing the watch feels more than other timepieces, like a machine on your wrist.
The rotating diver’s bezel is capped with a sapphire crystal ring that adds visual interest as well as scratch resistance. I’ve always liked that look on watch collection since I first saw it on one of the Blancpain 50 Fathoms watches (which in a way I consider a design influence to this Bremont watch). On the dial, you see more vertical lines that match those on the side of the case as well as the strap. These are meant to evoke the vertical lines on the running boards of the plane (see link to other article above for plane images). The dial is a good mixture of classic dive watch aesthetic, as well as vintage instrumentation panel (with a little bit of a retro pocket watch twist). While the dial is easy to read with purposeful hands, there are is good level of slightly subdued decorative elements. Making for a great “historic” look that still is able to separate itself from other more spartan creations. The flange ring has minute markers on it to match the smaller ring in the middle of the dial. The applied hour markers are large and attractive being covered with lume. There are a few Supermarine 500 dial colors to choose from with the light green and black being the signature look. Though I do like the blue and off-white, as well as the green and silver dial options.
Inside the watch is an ETA 2836 that has been modified a bit and is called the BE-36A movement inside the watch. The automatic Swiss movement has been COSC Chronometer certified in this watch. An important value added point that Bremont almost hides on the back of the watch. The native day/date display is on the dial with a polished metal frame around the information windows. One small suggestion I had for Bremont is to just slightly increase the height of the applied hour markers – just a little tiny bit.
The rear of the watch has an engraving of the Seaplane (looking straight at it) that the watch line was based on. Admittedly, although it is engraved well, it is not the best design. You need to stare at it too long to figure out that it is a plane, and the schematic-like illustration looks odd head-on. In addition to the case being 500 meters water resistant, it is also anti-magnetic and shock resistant, going along with the Bremont family of core durability values applied to its watches meant for activity. Bremont watches make you feel pretty confident that they can stand up to a lot. Having watches like the Martin Baker series in their collection sure helps with that.
In addition to the rubber strap, the watches are available with a really nice (and not to heavy) steel metal bracelet. The bracelet speaks for itself as you can see it in the images. I can’t tell which I prefer. If I had one of the watches I would want to go with both the rubber strap and steel bracelet, and switch them out as I saw fit. In all, the Bremont Supermarine 500 is a unique luxury dive watch, even though it has a plethora of competition. The brand does an excellent job of marketing its “active” character, and the unique British edge to the design is evident in most all of their watches. While the Supermarine 500 is not without its little quirks, it is a satisfying watch that you’ll easily see yourself picking up to wear regularly. Price (at least in the UK) is about $4,500 or so.