Belated Victory post

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  1. #1
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    Default Belated Victory post

    HMS Victory is the only surviving warship that fought in the American War of Independence, the French Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic wars. In the latter she served as Lord Nelson's flagship at the decisive Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 and she continues to be flagship of the Second Sea Lord. That she should play host to the launch of a watch that not only shares her name, but also original parts of her superstructure, was something more than a little special. So when I received an invite to this event from Giles and Nick English at Bremont, I jumped at the chance. Travelling down from London with numerous proper watch journalists (including representatives from #watchnerd favourites QP Magazine and 00/24 Watchworld), I must admit to feeling more than a little inadequate. But back to the watches...


    Caseback by Noodlefish, on Flickr

    The Victory Watch stems from Bremont's close association with the Navy, through working previously with the Fly Navy Heritage Trust and the Royal Navy Historic Flight. However, from the sounds of it, Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, GCB, DL, Chairman of the Trustees of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, wasn't going to let just anyone waltz off with original parts of the oldest naval ship still in commission. Luckily for Bremont, they passed muster, and were granted unprecedented access to parts of the wooden superstructure and even a copper nail. These parts have been used in both the trademark Bremont mid-barrel (see below) and the caseback of the Victory watch (above).


    Victory Barrel by Noodlefish, on Flickr



    The watch itself marks something of a departure for the guys from Henley-on-Thames: not only does it use the most complicated mechanical movement within any Bremont watch to date, but it is also their first foray into the world of precious metals. For the Victory is available in both a Limited Edition of 200 stainless steel pieces, as well as 40 in 18 carat rose gold (at left). As you can see from the photos, the watch shares many of the features that have become associated with Bremont watches:
    • the TripTick three-piece construction, showing off the beautiful curved lugs that can be found on all Bremont watches
    • an easy-to-read, subtly embossed dial that seems both modern and reminiscent of marine chronometers
    • a railway-style track above the minutes, just like the EP120; and
    • a red triangle on the rehaut at twelve o'clock.
    It's a very Bremont watch, combining the best of the new with a great deal of the old.


    Bremont Victory RG by Noodlefish, on Flickr

    The caseback contains some of the most wonderful details that I've seen in a long while. Bremont were able to borrow Nelson's seal - the seal he wore on the Victory - and produce a cast from it. From there, they found one of the last places in the UK that is still engraving glass, and commissioned them to etch the seal, in reverse, onto the sapphire display back. I didn't manage to get the best view of the engraving, so see Al's photo for a much better look: http://forum.atgvintagewatches.com/g..._launch_13.jpg. The rotor is also highly-decorated.

    The movement is very interesting: it's a chronograph with double retrograde running seconds and date, known as the Bremont BE-83AR. A little bit of #watchnerd-fu shows few other movements that fit this description: the cal. 831 used by Chronoswiss in their well-received Balance Chronograph (based on the La Joux-Perret 8310) being the only other one I could find. It's a fascinating movement to watch, and I'm sorry I haven't managed to get a video of it. The running seconds glide up the left-hand side of the dial, flicking back to zero when they hit the 30 second mark. The retrograde scale on the right of the dial shows the date. Two subdials at 12 and 6, recording the 30 minute and 12 hour elasped time round off the dial. The hands are rather good too, with a very fine chronograph seconds hand and a set of well-balanced hours and minutes.


    Victory Stainless Steel by Noodlefish, on Flickr

    As mentioned previously, there are relatively few people using this movement at present, so it remains a bit of an oddity. Interestingly, La Joux-Perret (formerly known as Jaquet, and part of the wider Prothor Group) have recently been purchased by Citizen.

    It's a remarkable watch: bold, beautiful, brilliant. And all that, while wearing a piece of history on your wrist. I'm not sure it gets much better than that.

    [An enhanced post for ATG, taken from my 'blog, here]
    Last edited by Noodlefish; 31-07-2012 at 12:31.
    Your bleeding-edge Now is always someone else’s past. Someone else’s ’70s bellbottoms. Grasp that and start to attain atemporality.

    the #watchnerd

  2. #2
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    Excellent post Mat...really great....
    #womw
    info@atgvintagewatches.com
    Call: +44 (0) 203 544 4012
    Official Dealers
    Bremont, Dodane 1857 & PITA Barcelona

  3. #3
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    Thanks mate. Appreciate it.
    Your bleeding-edge Now is always someone else’s past. Someone else’s ’70s bellbottoms. Grasp that and start to attain atemporality.

    the #watchnerd

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    Fantastic! That watch ring so many bells on so many levels.
    "We'd better synchronize our watches."

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    For me that watch was just made to be gold...really nice and infinitely more fitting than the steel version in my opinion!

    Thanks for posting,

    Nick

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    I went to leave a comment on your blog Mat at Blogger but asked me a shed load of questions so could not complete... am I being dim?
    #womw
    info@atgvintagewatches.com
    Call: +44 (0) 203 544 4012
    Official Dealers
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    Default Greta job

    Really great job!
    "I rather be lucky than smart. Smart doesn't keep you from being eaten by the bear."

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATG View Post
    I went to leave a comment on your blog Mat at Blogger but asked me a shed load of questions so could not complete... am I being dim?
    The only control is one of those Captcha things where you have to type in a word to prove you're not a bot.

    If you have a Google+ account, it should be very easy to leave a comment...

    M
    Your bleeding-edge Now is always someone else’s past. Someone else’s ’70s bellbottoms. Grasp that and start to attain atemporality.

    the #watchnerd

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    Great Post Mat.

    I must say though the more I see pictures of the Victory the more I'm undecided on it, which is great as it means I might actually have a few quid in the bank come this time next year.

    Mark.

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    Out of passing interest, Al, are these all gone? Stunning piece.
    Dave J

    "I may at times be wrong, but I am never in doubt"...anonymous surgeon.

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