British marque Bremont has taken design inspiration from a wide variety of sources over the years, ranging from classic Jaguar racing prototypes to the British military, but the core of the brand’s ethos has always been aviation. The ALT1 line of chronographs has long been one of the clearest and best examples of Bremont’s aviation-flavored style, and with two new announcements for 2020 the series extends its pool of flying inspirations to include the final Mark XIX model of the legendary Supermarine Spitfire fighter plane, as well as the cutting-edge world of jet-powered wingsuit flight. Both new models, the ALT1-C Griffon and the ALT1-P2 JET, reinterpret the ALT1’s classic sports chronograph formula in dramatically different ways.
The first of these, the Bremont ALT1-C Griffon, is undoubtedly the more elegant and refined of the two models. Building on the ALT1-C design that has been a staple of the brand since its inception in 2007, the Griffon pays tribute to the final generation Mark XIX Supermarine Spitfire fighter of WWII (one of very few variants to be powered by the Rolls-Royce Griffon engine, hence the name) with a more elegant and aged feel. The 43mm stainless case follows Bremont’s signature layout, with a classical, slightly rounded appearance from above punctuated by the unique-ribbed DLC-coated central case that dominates the side profile. Speaking of the side profile, it’s here where one of the major concerns with the watch’s design crops up. While the ALT1-C Griffon aims to be Bremont’s more refined, gentlemanly sports chronograph, the case is a full 16mm-thick. Coupled with the thoroughly modern 43mm diameter, the size of the ALT1-C Griffon feels at odds with its design goals.
Once one moves past the case, however, the design of the Bremont ALT1-C Griffon becomes focused and clean. While the elements themselves are simple and elemental, the magic of the Griffon’s dial is really in the details. Everything feels brilliantly proportioned, with clean, gauge-like printed Arabic numerals perfectly balanced against the size of the chronograph subdials and the Speedmaster-esque pointed baton hands. The 12 o’clock marker is just a hair larger than the rest, creating an instant orientation point and acting as a visual counterweight to the 6 o’clock date window without feeling out of place. The matte black of the main dial surface, coupled with the pale gold printed accents of the subdials and outer seconds track, help to sell the idea of age and patina subtly without leaning on the standby of khaki lume.
The ALT1-C Griffon is powered by a modified in-house Caliber BE-50AE automatic movement. Beyond impressive technical specs, including COSC chronometer rating, a Nivaflex 1 mainspring, and a balance spring made of advanced Anachron coupled to a Gluycdur balance, the view of the movement through the sapphire caseback is a handsome one (although the intricate cutout pattern on the custom rotor is of radial engine parts, while the namesake Rolls-Royce Griffon was a V12, but that’s nitpicking). Power reserve sits at 42 hours.
Bremont offers the ALT1-C Griffon on a choice of either a vintage-look brown leather strap or an oyster style three-link bracelet. While the bracelet is nice, the warm aged cast of the dial really comes alive when paired with leather. The Bremont ALT1-C Griffon is available now from authorized dealers at a starting MSRP of $6,695.
For those looking for a more modern and aggressive take on the ALT1 formula, Bremont has also unveiled the ALT1-P2 JET, a blacked-out follow-up to the original Bremont JET worn by film star Tom Hardy in the 2018 blockbuster film “Venom”. While this particular model is slated to co-star along Hardy later this year in Venom 2, Bremont’s own testing of the ALT1-P2 JET is nearly as super-heroic. In order to properly put the watch through its paces, Bremont contracted Gravity Industries, designers of revolutionary arm-mounted miniature jet engines, to strap on the ALT1-P2 JET for jet-powered wingsuit test flights at speeds of up to 85 miles per hour.
The watch features the same 43mm multi-part case as the ALT1-C Griffon, but this time it’s fully rendered in matte black DLC stainless steel. The overall effect is stealthy and aggressive, far more modern than its WWII-inspired stablemate. Even the sapphire display back is smoked here to complete the blackout look.
Like the case, the dial of the ALT1-P2 JET is a more serious, modern, and aggressive take on the same base elements. The numerals, although slimmer, are larger here, and the hands have been replaced with broad military-style Roman swords. The black dial itself remains stealthily matte, while a generous fill of Bremont’s unique “’51” fauxtina lume adds some warmth.
The ALT1-P2 JET is powered by the in-house COSC chronometer-rated BE-53AE automatic movement. Very similar in overall construction to the BE-50AE used in the ALT1-C Griffon, the BE-53AE adds a third register at 6 o’clock and moves the date wheel to 4:30. Otherwise, the same suite of advanced materials, 28,800 bph sweep, and 42-hour power reserve are all carried over.
Bremont pairs the ALT1-P2 JET with a choice of either a minimalist black leather strap or black DLC-coated oyster-style bracelet. Pricing for the ALT1-P2 JET starts at $5,595, and the watch is available now through Bremont authorized dealers. For more information on either of these new additions, please visit the brand’s website.