Updated: Jan 5
I have always been a fan of Bremont and their collection of Very British Watches ever since their formation in 2002. It has always struck me that their balance of precision engineering, and quality, with its rich history, is an emotive and compelling combination.
Much like I have tried to emulate in my own work and writings - a balance of history, and, what I hope that some might say, art.
Life for brothers Nick & Giles English changed significantly one clear day in March 1995. Nick was practicing for an air display with their father Euan. But the 1942 WWII Harvard aircraft they were flying was involved in an accident. Giles, waiting to take off for the next sortie was told that his father had been killed. His brother had broken over 30 bones and probably wouldn't make it.
Six months later, however, Nick was back in the air and being flown by Giles. But things would never be the same again. Life was too short to waste. The two brothers decided to pursue what they enjoyed most: a life crafting beautifully engineered mechanical devices.
When they weren't flying old aircraft, Nick & Giles had spent most of their childhood making and restoring things in the workshop of their gifted father - an ex-RAF pilot with a PHD in Aeronautical Engineering. They even helped him to build an aircraft they still fly to this day.
Euan was also passionate about mechanical timepieces. He would often bring home an old clock from an auction for the brothers to try and get going again.
Their passion lives on today in the classic range of Bremont timepieces.
When I looked deeper into the history of the watchmaker, I just wanted to read more and was further inspired when I read the story of why they named the company what they did, despite having an obvious and powerful family name to put to it.
So much so, I have included the following extract from my latest book, Gipsy MOTH, the story of my Aunt Nikki, my father, and their friendship with the great British Aviatrix, Amy Johnson.
Extract from Gipsy MOTH:
"I checked my Bremont. It was just after three. It had been a treat for myself on the release of my last book, Cold COURAGE. Everything that they did reminded me of the quality of the past with the technology of the future. I often found it almost eerie the amount of connections that exist between my writings and reality. I recalled the story of how the two English brothers named their company.
They were flying across France in their 1930s biplane, the weather was closing in, the engine was misfiring, and they were forced to make an emergency landing in a farmer’s field. He invited the brothers into his home, it happened he was a former pilot during WWII, and evidently a gifted engineer with his home filled with half restored clocks and engine parts. He extended his hospitality, the brothers appreciative, and their company was named after that farmer, his name was Antoine Bremont.
My Uncle Tommy was right, I liked stories but then again, as time goes by, I realize that stories like me."
This tale just resonated with me, and as I think about the stories and characters from my other books, I can imagine Mitch, a former 22 Special Air Service soldier, in Operation ARGUS and Bikini BRAVO being a proud owner. As would be Shackleton and his crew of the Endurance in Cold COURAGE. As I am sure my father, my Aunt Nikki, and Amy Johnson would be in Gipsy MOTH if Bremont were around at the time.
Just like the iconic brands of Bentley, like Aston Martin, de Havilland, and their Gipsy Moth, Bremont is a name and a brand worthy of bearing the English name and of course the British Flag!
Thanks to Giles and Nick English, to Bremont and to their late father Euan for allowing them to share their passion, great adventures, chronometers, and their personal and profound stories.
Check out the Bremont website: https://us.bremont.com/
Gipsy MOTH is due for release towards the end of 2020 by iUniverse Publishing.