New territories: Bremont

Bremont starts its next chapter with the Terra Nova collection

Watches & Jewellery 15 May 2024

Bremont Terra Nova 40.5

Bremont Terra Nova field watch in 40.5mm

‘When it comes to sports watches there are a lot of diving styles, ones inspired by cars and pilots’ watches, those are the three pillars,’ explains Bremont CEO Davide Cerrato. ‘We wanted to add a fourth – land.’

The brand-new Terra Nova collection is Bremont’s proverbial flag in this new horological territory. Inspired by military-style pocket and wrist watches used during WWI and WWII – as well as the narrative of exploration and adventure that has always been a part of Bremont’s DNA – Terra Nova blends straight-up utility with interesting functional choices such as a bi-directional compass bezel and, somewhat controversially, a tourbillon.

‘We knew people were going to raise eyebrows with the tourbillon,’ says Cerrato with a wry smile. ‘It’s not the focus of the collection, we did it for the collectors.’ The concept behind the Terra Nova was to add another style to Bremont’s collection – the field watch. It was not intended, as Cerrato is keen to point out, as a rewriting of Bremont’s rulebook. It was also designed to specifically inhabit the £2,500-£3,000 price bracket, which used to be well populated but which many brands have deserted for higher-priced plains. Terra Nova has been imagined as an entry level for a younger audience who want to buy into the brand but can’t afford the prices the likes of the MBII command. A price it retains thanks to the continued use of Bremont’s signature three-part or Trip-Tick case construction and in-house modified automatic chronometer calibre. Just because the price point has been lowered for Terra Nova doesn’t mean the quality has been compromised.

The new Terra Nova collection comprises field watches which embody functionality
The new Terra Nova collection comprises field watches which embody functionality

‘We’ve invested in terms of the steel we’ve used, upping the quality to 904L,’ explains Cerrato. ‘It’s the best out there – hypoallergenic and highly resistant to corrosion.’ It’s not just the steel that has been improved. Customers fed back that the lume on some of the watches wasn’t visible in low light or darkness so the numerals on the Terra Nova are now applied Super-LumiNova blocks. Cerrato has also changed the bracelet design, opting for smaller links to ensure a better fit and, if a metal bracelet doesn’t suit your style, there’s also a leather option or a Nato-esque strap, made in France by a company that still practices the Jacquard style of weaving on a loom. ‘It’s practically a métiers d’art,’ says Cerrato.

You don’t just have options when it comes to straps, if the Terra Nova is defined by anything it is the sheer wealth of choice. ‘The idea was to build a full line,’ says Cerrato. ‘We wanted different sizes, a choice of functions.’ The collection starts with a 38mm three-hander, the ‘purest expression of the new design. It doesn’t even have a date,’ Cerrato says knowingly, acknowledging the ongoing inter-industry debate as to whether vintage-style watches should have a date window.

Bremont Terra Nova Turning Bezel Power Reserve watch
Bremont Terra Nova Turning Bezel Power Reserve watch

The next size up, the 40.5mm, comes as a three-hander with added date in a British racing green dial, which has proved popular on native shores. If you like things a bit more complicated, there is the version with a power reserve at six o’clock, a small seconds at nine and a compass bezel – an unusual function but one that chimes with the collection’s emphasis on adventure and exploration. The sizeable 42.5mm comes as a chronograph also with a compass bezel. All the cases are the new cushion shape and have a closed caseback engraved with an illustration of the globe.

As an opening salvo for a new CEO who also has a background in design, it is a bold one. It’s not one that has been popular with everyone but in a landscape filled with vintage reissues and ’70s-inspired integrated bracelets, it’s refreshing to see a brand trying something different for a change. Those new pastures aren’t going to explore themselves, after all.

From £2,500;