In this case, that something comes from the noteworthy British watch brand Bremont, who speaks our language when it comes to timepiece design. We have long been fans of their aviation-inspired MBII and U2 models (basing their designs on Martin Baker ejection seats and the famous Cold War Spy Plane, respectively), as well as their superb Supermarine Series Divers. Bremont has a superb aesthetic that combines vintage themes with modern flourishes, along with a massively impressive build-quality that encourages wearers to utilize their timepieces to their full potential in the field. Quite simply put, Bremont is a brand built on respect for heritage in combination with superior manufacturing for serious tool-watch usage.
But none of that prepared us for their latest Special Edition release: the Codebreaker. This timepiece is a tribute to the efforts of the men and women of Bletchley Park, the center for military counter-intelligence in Great Britain during World War II. Amongst many important intelligence coups, the famous Enigma code was cracked at Bletchley Park. This allowed the Allies to intercept Naval communications from Berlin to the submarine Wolf Packs operating in the Atlantic. Countless merchant lives were saved as a result. It can be argued that their efforts in deciphering enemy communications were the single most critical tool in defending Britain from the tyranny of Fascism, as well as providing key strategic intelligence that led to the successful invasion and ultimate defeat of Nazi Germany.
Unlike numerous other historically inspired “homage” timepieces, the Bremont Codebreaker has a real a connection to Bletchley Park in the form of components actually sourced from the historical location: pine used in the crown comes from the floor of Hut 6, the main operations center for the Engima deciphering operations; paper from the few remaining punch cards is used for the numbering of each special edition watch; and part of the rotor comes from an actual Enigma machine. The bulk of the timepiece is made from new materials with a keen eye towards detailing commemorating this page of British history.
If the inclusion of historical components and inspired design isn’t enough, the timepiece is also a masterwork of mechanical design, incorporating both a chronograph with flyback function and a GMT function into the movement. As with all Bremont watches, the Codebreaker is COSC certified to the highest levels of accuracy. A limited number of the sold out timepieces were produced (240 in steel, 50 in Rose Gold) and will be released this coming winter with a portion of the proceeds going back to the Bletchley Park Trust.
Words by: James Lamdin - A vintage watch connoisseur and founder of analog/shift (www.analogshift.com), an online boutique for a curated selection of exceptional wristwatches.