Introducing the Bremont H4 Hercules 'Spruce Goose' Limited Edition
With the annual release of each new Limited Edition, Bremont's own one-upmanship has become something of a tradition that we greatly anticipate around this time every year. Shaped by interesting ties to military and aviation history, each yearly release usually brings something entirely new to the table in a highly limited and collectable format. Past editions have paid homage to British codebreakers in WWII, fighter planes that once saved Britain, and record-breaking aircraft that would later inspire the jet age. Last year's edition was perhaps the brand's most ambitious yet, using a new in-house calibre to power a watch inspired by the legendary Concorde. This year though, the stakes have once again been raised with the handsome new H4 Hercules, which introduces a new GMT movement finished with birch from the largest amphibious plane ever to take flight: the Spruce Goose.
Granted, the Hercules only flew once on November 2nd, 1947, and for the span of only sixty seconds, but in the face of everyone who said it could never be done, that single minute represents a landmark in aviation history as a singular act of defiance and engineering might by its pilot and inventor Howard Hughes – a man with enough money and gumption to challenge the established industrial norms.
To bring the herculean dream of a massive transport aircraft to life, the H4 was constructed using criss-crossed layers of wafer-thin birch wood – yielding an innovative skin that was far more readily available than any other material at the time, due to wartime restrictions on metals. Most importantly though, because the Hercules was over double the size (it had a wingspan of 320 feet, and its tail topped out at a lofty eight stories from the ground) of any contemporary aircraft of the era, its composition had to be light enough to give the massive 200-ton plane and its 24,000 horsepower engines a fighting chance of ever getting off the ground. And speaking of fighting chance, many believed a long-range troop & armor transport aircraft to be the Allies' key to turning the tide of war in Europe, where Axis U-Boats ruled the seas, sinking vital transport ships with impunity.
But as history would go on to tell, the war was won through other means, and the Hercules' later pioneering flight would be its last. Practicality was, after all, never meant to be its strong suit, and it would eventually be retired to an aviation museum outside Portland, Oregon where it rests today – a living testament to the ingenuity and industrial might of the United States during WWII.
The direct tie to the Spruce Goose resides at the heart of the H4 Hercules watch, where Bremont tasked Swiss manufactory La Joux Perret to build its BWC/01 GMT movement. Characterized by its cool slate-grey brushed finish (inspired by the exterior of the original plane) and propeller rotor finished with original birch wood taken from the actual Spruce Goose, the movement displays time in both 12 and 24-hour formats, and features a running seconds subdial at 9:00 and a date aperture at 6:00. Like the date, the 24-hour hand can be quick-adjusted in single hour increments.
As Bremont has traditionally done with many of its Limited watches, the H4 Hercules is available in a trio of 43mm case options: stainless steel (black dial with beige 24-hour indicator), which is limited to 200 pieces, and platinum and rose gold (each have a brown dial with cream 24-hour indicators), both of which are limited to 75 pieces each. Due to the extreme limited production and desirability of the incorporated historical elements, Bremont LEs tend to move quickly, and this release should be no exception.
Subdial details on the Platinum reference
If you'd like to add one of the Bremont H4 Hercules edition watches to your collection, we have received a small allocation, so we'd urge you to speak with a sales representative directly to learn more, or inquire by calling Topper Jewelers at 888-730-2221 or emailing email@example.com.
Pilot, philanthropist, and American business magnate at the controls of the Spruce GooseThe Topper Blog consists mainly of original writing by Rob & Russ Caplan with occasional special contributions and interviews. All photography in the blog is taken at Topper Fine Jewelers , or on location unless otherwise indicated in the photo captions.