Bremont Introduces Much-Awaited Third Martin-Baker Watch, The MBIII
In 2007 Bremont, then very new to the watch world, decided to do something unusual. The small brand founded by brothers Nick and Giles English introduced the first of its collaboration watches.
But that’s not the unusual part. In fact, “collaboration” has remained an element characterizing the English brand’s timepieces to this day. No, the unusual part is that this particular certified chronometer was tested by the Martin-Baker ejector seat company and was only offered to people who had successfully ejected from one of the company’s seats and lived to tell about it.
Upon its introduction five years ago, Bremont hadn’t quite expected the impact or desire that the first Martin Backer watch would create.
The first regular-collection Martin-Baker watch was the MBII, a timepiece available to all. Its aesthetic case design incorporated a distinctly colored case band and some interesting technical features, including a soft iron non-magnetic Faraday cage to protect the automatic movement and a patented protective anti-shock movement mount. The Martin-Baker became an instant favorite among aviators in the military and civilian worlds alike.
While the aluminum case band of the MBII was available in a number of colors – most notably a bright orange that seems to have made quite an impression – the MBI was only available with a red case band.
At Baselworld 2014, Bremont introduced the next incarnation: the MBIII. The new model goes a step further than its predecessor with the addition of a new GMT movement; however it still retains the distinct feel of the original.
I had the very good fortune to have visited the Martin-Baker factory in England last year thanks to Bremont. There, Andrew Martin, grandson of James Martin (one of the founders), told me that he is a fan of watches. He had spoken to other watch companies before fortuitously meeting the English brothers. Martin wanted a true collaboration, not just a logo on a timepiece.
Thus, the Martin-Baker ejector seat became part of the design and testing phases of this line. “This is one of the most rigorously tested watches,” Martin told me at that time. And I’m sure he’s right.
Like the two before it, the new MBIII has been put through an extensive testing schedule designed in conjunction with the iconic British aviation company, which is responsible for supplying 70 percent of the world’s air forces with fighter ejection seat technology.
Naturally, the watch had to withstand the same rigorous testing as the seats themselves. These tests take place at Martin-Baker’s testing facility in Middlesex, England and include shock, temperature extremes, and salt and fog tests among others. Importantly, they also include vibration tests and Martin personally explained that they simulate 30 years’ worth of vibrations – the average lifespan of an aircraft.
“The good thing is this is not marketing talk,” said Martin. “We test it for real.”
This is the first time that Bremont has introduced a non-chronograph, C.O.S.C.-certified GMT movement into any of its watches. To differentiate it visually from the MBII, , in addition to anthracite and orange the MBIII introduces a bronzed aluminum case band as one of the color options.
For more information, please visit www.bremont.com/chronometers/range/mb.
Quick Facts Bremont MBIII
Case: 43 mm, hardened stainless steel
Functions: hours minutes, seconds; second time zone (GMT)
Movement: automatic C.O.S.C.-certified Caliber 13 1/4”’ BE-93-2AE (modified ETA), 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, 42-hour power reserve
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That looks stunning! Fortunately I’m going to Chichester this summer where there’s an AD. Will try to make time to try them out.
I still remember that Zenith Xtreme of yours, have you still got it?