Watches: Bremont Supermarine 500 Royal Marines Commando

By Thierry Ané on November 21, 2013

If you are in the high-end watchmaking business, manufacturing extremely fine timepieces is no longer enough to make a name for yourself. You need to tell a convincing story. More often than not, watches are bought in great part for the image associated with the brand and the success of its story-telling. With a plethora of well-established brand with decades, if not centuries, of history to legitimate their image, it is extremely difficult for young brands to build an identity people will believe in. It came very naturally, however, for young British brand Bremont.

Since childhood, Nick and Giles English have shared a love and fascination for military aircrafts and long before they embarked on their watchmaking journeys, both brothers were flying historic airplanes. Specializing in beautifully crafted pilot’s watches thus seemed to be the perfect way to combine their love for watches and aviation. They quickly gained a reputation for making high quality aviation-inspired watches that mixed Swiss technical prowess with a distinctly British flair.

Not surprisingly, given their ability to produce watches that are both rugged and reliable (they are all Chronometer-certified), Bremont have always had a tight working relationship with the military. They have produced bespoke mechanical timepieces for many squadrons around the world and have always encouraged them to put the watches to the test. In my opinion, Bremont and Bell & Ross are the only two brands out there with this type of field credibility.

Confirming their close bond to the military, Bremont have just released a very special commemorative military limited edition for the Royal Marines Commando as they celebrate 350 years of history. Named Supermarine 500 Royal Marines Commando, the watch is a special edition of Bremont’s diver watch introduced in 2009.

The watch will have the Corps' crest on the case back

Powered, like the original version, by the automatic BE-36AE calibre, this timepiece indicates the time with three hands but also the date and day of the week by two windows. The movement is protected from magnetic fields by a soft-iron Faraday cage and the watch is water resistant to 50 ATM. The trip-tick case construction includes a helium valve.

As a reference to the men it has been designed for, one can find the inscription “Royal Marines Commando” in red on the black dial. The watch also features a bespoke case back: it is engraved with the Corps’ Crest with a Fairbairn-Skykes Fighting knife on each side. Aesthetically, these are the only differences relative to the unlimited version.

The customization level is a little low to my taste but if you factor in the price of the watch despite its outstanding standards, you could not expect a total makeover! Indeed, this limited edition is only priced at £2,450 with a rubber strap (£2,685 if you opt for a metal bracelet) when the “civilian” (i.e., unlimited) model retails at £3,295 on a rubber strap! The reason is that these 350 pieces are sold exclusively to serving and retired Royal Marines. I really like the idea that the brand is making an effort on the price for such a deserving audience.

If you like the watch but are not part of the Royal Marines there is no need to enlist tomorrow! Bremont is donating a very limited number of watches for auction. This will be the only opportunity for members of the public to purchase one of these chronometers. All the auction proceeds will go to the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund showing again Bremont’s commitment to the military community. I truly like all the aspects of this special project and I hope that many members of the Royal Marines will order the watch.

For a technical description of the timepiece and additional pictures: