Posted by Lee Sullivan on 13/08/2020
Bremont releases a new classic in the form of the ALT1-C Griffon, paying tribute to the Spitfire that brand Co- Founders Nick and Giles English’s father operated and is now owned by Rolls-Royce. The PR Mk XIX was the last of the specialised photo reconnaissance variants of the Spitfire, one of the few with a Griffon engine and arguably the finest of them all.
Bremont is steeped in aeronautical heritage by virtue of the English brothers who grew up in and around aviation, who both became pilots themselves and were subsequently supported through university by the RAF. With this passion for flying, aircraft and all things mechanical running deep, Bremont has always specialised in pilots’ watches. The original ALT1-C was in fact the first Bremont timepiece that the brothers ever designed and has been a bestseller for the brand since its debut back in 2007, it has become the staple pilot’s watch within the brand’s stable.
Whilst the Griffon retains the core DNA from the original ALT1-C Cream, it has an updated dial and hands and the detail on this new model harks back to some early chronometer designs with more of a ‘military instrument’ feel to it. The cream lume certainly adds to this effect, very much reminiscent of the lume one might have seen on such equipment. A fusion of sublime craftsmanship with the very best of technical innovation, precision and durability, the Griffon is a firm new favourite within this family of watches. The beautifully finished mechanical movement can be seen through the exhibition case back.
Giles English comments, “The ALT1-C has become an iconic part of our history and, whilst it’s a timeless classic, we always enjoy revisiting our designs and evolving them. It’s lovely to know the Mk XIX Spitfire is a well-loved part of the Rolls-Royce collection today, not only an iconic aircraft but one which also holds personal significance to myself and Nick. The Griffon will certainly feel very much at home in this cockpit or any other for that matter!”
The Rolls-Royce Griffon is a British aero-engine designed and built by Rolls-Royce. In keeping with company convention, the Griffon was named after a bird of prey, in this case the griffon vulture. Design work on the Griffon started in 1932 as a derivative of the 36.7 litre Buzzard, but development was paused in favour of the now famous Merlin. The design was revived in late 1939, but due to demands for Merlin it was not fully defined until it was allocated to a new aircraft application at the request of the Fleet Air Arm for the Fairey Firefly which first flew in 1941. A year later it was also decided that the engine could be adapted for use in the Spitfire as a more powerful engine. Griffon engines remain in Royal Air Force ceremonial service today with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
Bremont is an award-winning British luxury watch brand, manufacturing mechanical watches in Henley-on-Thames, England.
Bremont is making considerable investment with its UK watch making and manufacturing and at the end of 2014 launched a new Parts Manufacturing Facility which saw the firm starting to produce its own case and movement components. Co- founded by brothers Nick & Giles English in 2002, Bremont has made a substantial impact on the watch making industry in a very short period of time. The brand remains true to its original principles of: aviation and military, British engineering and adventure. As well as manufacturing watches for some of the most exclusive military squadrons around the world, Bremont continues to play an influential role in revitalising the British watch industry, the birthplace of numerous timekeeping innovations still used today. The brand is now in the top handful of chronometer producers in the world.