The Bremont P51, The ALT1-ZT & the 2016 Historical Limited
Last week, Bremont co-founder Nick English stopped by Topper Jewelers to preview the 2016 Bremont prototypes and to discuss some of Bremont's plans for 2016, including a teaser on the upcoming launch of its latest historical limited edition.
Bremont's three most recent limited editions included the Victory, which focused on England's greatest naval triumph, the Codebreaker which memorialized the World War II British intelligence efforts, and the Wright Flyer which celebrated the birth of manned flight. While all successful introductions, there are many enthusiasts who have been longing for another historical vintage aviation themed piece like Bremont's first two limited edition offerings (EP120 and P-51).
While each of the new for 2016 watches have their own significance, the ALT1-ZT/51 in particular is the perfect piece to discuss in preparation for the introduction of the 2016 historical limited edition to be announced this summer. This is true because the ALT1-ZT/51 takes the design of last year's ALT1-ZT and infuses it with inspiration from the 2011 historical limited edition P-51. This post will look at the ALT1-ZT/51 and discuss what we know (and don't know!) about Bremont's 2016 historical limited edition. Both watches have a lot for long standing Bremont fans to be excited about.
The P-51 was announced a few months before Topper became a Bremont dealer, and was the first historical limited edition we ever sold. Like the EP120 which came out the previous year, the P-51 integrated part materials from a historically significant aircraft. In this case, a 1944 Mustang WWII aircraft P-51K-10, a veteran of the effort in the Pacific theater and nicknamed "Fragile but Agile" by its pilot. The watch featured an integrated sub-dial and a winding rotor that were both crafted from pieces of the aluminum skin of the actual plane.
The Bremont P-51 features a subdial crafted from the aluminum skin of a P-51 Mustang. Image courtesy of Bremont.
The rotor of the Bremont P-51 is a replica of the propeller on the P-51K-10, which was nicknamed "Fragile by Agile" by its pilot. Image courtesy of Bremont.
Bremont sold out the 251-piece limited edition of the P-51 rather quickly. Since then it has become incredibly collectable, often being sold on the watch markets a great deal above retail. Some have sold for more than double its original retail price!
The 2015 ALT-ZT (above) is the origin of the P-51 influenced ALT1-ZT/51.
The 2016 ALT1-ZT/51 is a watch that is inspired by the Bremont P-51, though without the integration of historical materials. It takes last year's more austere ALT1-ZT and effectively adapts several color cues from the P-51. While the ALT1-ZT/51 retains all the design shapes of last year's ALT1-ZT, the colors of the hands, indices, and subdials are direct calls to the P-51. The ALT1-ZT/51 also has two silver subdials that reference the 30-minute subdial of the P-51, and all of the lume features are the same vintage-feel cream color that was used on the P-51. However, instead of a sixty-minute counter on the internal bezel, the ALT1-ZT/51 features a twenty-four hour scale which is the hallmark of all ALT1-Z and ZT models. At $5,895, the ALT1-ZT/51 is around half the original retail price of the 2011 limited edition P-51.
The 2016 Bremont ALT1-ZT/51 has design ties to the 2011 historical limited edition P-51.
A look at the more subtle of the three subdials on the ALT1-ZT/51.
The crown and pushers of the ALT1-ZT/51.
The vintage feel nubuck leather strap and deployant clasp of the ALT1-ZT/51.
The Historical Limited Edition for 2016
Reviewing the ALT1-ZT/51 and all of its callbacks to the P-51 seems like the perfect springboard to discussing the 2016 limited edition. We do not know the exact nature of the watch, and won't know until we see it at the launch party in late June, but there are some things that Bremont has shared with us about the timepiece.
We know that while Nick and Giles continue the work with artisan movement designer Stephen McDonnell on a new calibre that will have more manufactured components than current Bremont calibres, that anticipated movement will not make its debut in the 2016 Historical Limited Edition. We also do not know the exact complication, though we do know the watch will be feature a movement that is at least similar to an existing Bremont Calibre. And where the last three Bremont historical editions have ranged in price from $18,000 to $25,000, we are told this piece will be a priced closer to the P-51 and EP120. That should put it in the neighborhood of $12,000 to $13,000. Also like those two watches, the new piece will feature a hand-built historical rotor. The quantity will be similar to, though not exactly mirror, the 251-piece quantity of the P-51.
Finally, we've been told the watch will celebrate an English as opposed to an American achievement. What exactly will it be? As the ALT1-ZT/51 shows, in 2016 Bremont seems committed to looking back and delivering watches that celebrate the best of their young history. What will be their theme and execution this year? While we are excited to bring additional details back from the launch party in England later this summer, we also look forward to talking to you about the watch leading up to the event. What's your best guess?
A look at the case back of the ALT1-ZT/51
A closer look at the C.O.S.C. grade movement of the ALT1-ZT/51
The lume of the ALT1-ZT/51
The 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.