The task of suggesting whether a watch is good or not is one that’s obviously quite subjective. I mean, it’s easy to look at a watch in the physical and decide there and then whether you like it or not. Does it look good, is it sized well, is it nice and proportional, is there a certain aesthetic flow that just seems to work? These are questions that I ponder on almost immediately when I get sent a watch to spend a bit of time with. The watch in question is the Bremont MBII-BK, and boy did it please the team here at Haulogerie.
Just as a bit of a background, the MBII is actually a consumer-available timepiece based on the MBI, which was produced solely for those who had ejected from an aircraft using a Martin-Baker seat. Martin-Baker is a British aviation company that supplies about 70% of the world’s air-forces with fighter ejection seats. The watch in question was created with the idea that it too had to withstand the incredible forces that the Martin-Baker ejection seat would be subjected to. So, while the MBI was made purely for those who have actually used the ejection seat technology, the MBII was created with the exact same process, but instead of being as exclusive as the MBI, the MBII would then be available for all to purchases.
Okay, now to the watch. The MBII has some heft to it, but let me just say does it wear well. I wore it during one of Sydney’s warmest Autumn days for about 6-hours and it didn’t miss a beat. It was comfortable, it wore wonderfully well and it of course kept perfect time. The hardened stainless-steel case sits at 43mm in diameter which, in my opinion, is right in that Goldilocks’ sizing zone of comfort, functionality and legibility. The piece I got to spend some time with featured an orange trim, but you can also get it with either a green or a black trim. The dual-crown system was a pleasure to use, too. The crown at 4 o’clock operated the inner bi-directional Roto-Click bezel (patented by Bremont), while the crown at 2 o’clock was used to change the time, the day and the date. Very easy to use.
The black metal dial was crisp and very legible in different lighting environments. The Super-LumiNova coated hands and hour numerals were, again, super legible. The sweeping lollipop seconds hand has a red tip as well as a counterweight reminiscent of an ejection seat pulley lever. Little aesthetic touches like that mean the world to me. It means that the manufacturer has thought outside the box and gone above and beyond to create a truly exceptional, very specific and very well planned out piece. There is a day and date indicator window sitting at 3 o’clock, as well as all the appropriate branding insignia at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock.
The Bremont MBII is powered by the BE-36AE automatic COSC certified chronometer. This is actually an ETA 2836-2 calibre which Bremont have of course heavily modified so it could achieve its COSC status. These modifications include a Glucydur balance, an Anachron balance spring, a Nivaflex 1 mainspring as well as a Bremont decorated rotor. Like I mentioned, the MBII was built to handle the rigorous experience of being ejected from an aircraft, and as such its case was built to protect the most important part of the piece, the movement. The case features technologies like an inner soft iron anti-magnetic Faraday cage to protect the movement as well as a patented anti-shock movement mount. The movement is covered by the stainless-steel caseback which features the Martin-Baker logo as well as the number of your limited-edition timepiece.
Purposeful, wearable and really very cool, the MBII works on so many levels. We’ve got an aesthetic that works well in basically any situation with an ability to dress it up or down. We’ve got a build that’s not that dissimilar to an airplane’s black box with respect to its durability and rigidity. And we have a COSC certified movement powering it all. Now whether you appreciate the fundamentals of an ejection-seat or not is kind of irrelevant. The Bremont MBII is, at the end of the day, a great watch made with a hell of a lot of thought. I had this watch for the better part of a fortnight and I wore it as much as I could. Why? Because I wanted to, not because I thought I had to. And that in itself should say it all for you. Great watchmaking, period. The Bremont MBII is price at $6,400AUD. Follow the link to check it out.