Part of Bremont's product strategy includes producing special military-only editions of their watches, the ALT1-WT was originally seen dressed-for-duty as the C-17 Globemaster. Public response to the Globemaster was enough to warrant Bremont producing the civilian version featured in this review. The ALT1-WT takes its place in the Bremont family among fan favorites like the ALT1-C and ALT1-P military inspired chronographs. Personally, I feel the watch world has been thoroughly inundated with marketing fluff concerning watches which have been designed for military, or designed with help from various military groups. Provided that the watch in question is a good watch, I don't actually care if it is the same watch worn by the Navy Seals, GSG 9 or even the Girl Guides. That said, Bremont is able to use strong connections with many military outfits to test their watches, vet new technologies, or soft-launch new designs. From the ejection-seat-ready shock system of the MBII to the gauge-like design of the U2, I believe that Bremont's genuine passion for military, especially for pilots and aircraft, makes for a better final product.
Here is some shameless "Stallonage." Sly dons a Carl F. Bucherer Patravi TravelTec GMT watch during the European premier of the Expendables II movie (in Germany I think). I must admit that I am really looking forward to seeing the film - especially because Arnold will be more prominently featured in it. Hopefully he will get some battle damage to show his metallic Schwarzenegger innards.
Automatic ETA 2894
Calibre: 12 ½'' '
Frequency: 28,800 Vib / h - (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 42 hours
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds, date and chronograph
Bracelets and clasps
Materials: rubber strap + 2 additional fabric bracelets
Clasps: stainless steel folding clasp engraved with "EZ" + clasp steel tip for fabric strap
The bracelet is quite comfortable with a push-button deployant clasp. While the links are large, there is a half-link to help size it properly. In addition to metal bracelets, SISU offers quite nice rubber straps. Those can help if you don't get a good fit with the bracelet, and obviously make the watch lighter. Larger watches can often benefit from having a rubber strap because the friction-based fit will help the case from moving around.
The dial is very legible and clear as per Bell & Ross aesthetic standards, but also has a unique aged look to it. Bell & Ross wanted the entire piece to look vintage, but also high quality. The dial is black with specs of red, that when mixed with the patina-style cream-colored markers and hands give an aged feel. Did you notice the red accent as part of the "0" indicator on the rotating bezel? The covert addition of red is a time-honored trick to making watches feel more sporty. The dial looks very cool and is complimented by the case and strap.
SAROS and Ring Command together make for one of the most complicated Rolex watches movements ever. Rolex is known for making extremely high-quality, durable movements, but nevertheless simple ones. Their most complex movements thus far have only been chronographs (not even with the date). An annual calendar GMT is a great traveler's watches, and a good addition to the Rolex line-up. It also signals Rolex's willingness to experiment with new designs and more complicated movements. In about 40 years we might see a Rolex tourbillon at their current rate.
The limited edition also has a neat looking black case with gold trim. I have been very open on how much I think black and gold go nicely together, so the overall presence of the watch is impressive. Unlike the more tool-like and serious Ananta Automatic Diver in polished steel, the limited edition version is more dress, formal, and overall just plain fancy. The 44mm wide is steel with ion plating (IP) for black as well as gold. A little issue I have with Seiko is their use of IP plating on some of their higher-end pieces. They probably do IP better than anyone else around, but for watches in this price range I started to want PVD, DLC, or otherwise. Why am I being nit-picky? Well it really has more to do with the type of person who buys a watch like this. They are discriminating watch lovers and know what to expect in a watch that costs several thousand dollars. Why PVD and DLC over IP? Well it is a matter of strength and wear resistance. When Seiko uses IP and everyone else used PVD or DLC, questions start to be asked. At the same time, I am open to the fact that I might be wrong. If Seiko tells me their IP coating process is hard enough to justify its use, I am totally cool with that. I don't mean any of these as a complaint, but more as info Seiko can use when designing watches like this in the future. The majority of the time I am incredibly impressed by their high-end pieces.
Listen to the HourTime Show watch podcast episode 105 here.