Martin-Baker is a British aviation company responsible for supplying 70% of the world’s air-forces with fighter ejection seat technology. They first approached Bremont to create the definitive aviation watch in 2007/08. More than simply putting a logo on an existing model, the watch had to withstand the same rigorous testing programme as the ejector seats themselves. Two years later, the Bremont MB range (MBI & MBII) was born. The limited edition Bremont MBI was solely for pilots who had ejected from an aircraft using a Martin-Baker seat. This rather select group includes US congressmen and senators, CEOs of leading FTSE and Dow companies, and the chiefs of six air forces around the world (the one exception is a major Hollywood star who tracked down and persuaded an ejectee to buy a watch on his behalf). While the MBI is reserved for the few, the MBII is available to all and has become a Bremont best seller. Nobody quite expected the impact it would have on the aviation watch world. Its unique case design, distinct coloured barrel, and ground-breaking technical features made it an instant favourite among aviators in the military and civilian worlds alike.
The introduction of a new GMT movement able to simultaneously keep the time in two time zones takes this heritage one step further. Yet the MBIII very much retains the classic DNA that has made the MB a must-have for any serious collector. It has been put through the same intensive, extensive testing schedule that includes shock, vibration, temperature extremes, and salt-fog tests:
ACDT - Aircraft Carrier Deck Test Simulates the level of salt fog and humidity that an aircraft carrier deck would endure during a 6 month tour.
AT - Altitude Test The watch is taken up to 100,000 feet for 60 minutes before being rapidly brought down again.
ETD - Extreme Temperature Endurance The watch is held for one day in temperatures as low as -40° C, and then up to +40° C for a further 24 hours.
Vibration Shakes and vibrates the watch on the wrist of a test dummy to simulate a 30 year life of a helicopter.
Ejection Tests Live ejection launches put the watch under extreme g loads and forces.
Along with the Terra Nova this is the first time that Bremont has introduced a non-chronograph GMT movement into any of its watches and to further differentiate it from the MBII is introducing a bronze aluminium barrel as an option to the watch (in addition to anthracite and the iconic orange). The bronze was specifically inspired by a number of military watches Bremont has done in the past based on the anti-reflective coating used on their cockpit canopies. As with the original MB watches, in terms of design the MBIII is very much inspired by the MB ejection seats themselves, featuring characteristics such as the knurled effect on the barrel matching components on the seat and the yellow and black loop at the end of the second hand which is a direct reference to the ejection pull handle.
Giles English, Bremont Co-Founder said: “It has been a wonderful relationship with Martin-Baker over the years. We have always been proud to work with such an amazing British business. When Nick and I sat down to design the MBIII we were very conscious not to make a drastic change and lose the MBII DNA. I think we have accomplished this as we have evolved the watch and made the addition of the GMT function.”
Martin-Baker’s Director of Business Development and Marketing, Andrew Martin said: “We greatly respect what Bremont has achieved so far. I truly believe that the MBII has won its place as one of the iconic mechanical watches of the 21st century. Our life-saving ejection seats are tested to the absolute limit, so the creation of such a unique timepiece that can withstand the same rigorous testing is a clear demonstration of the quality and craftsmanship involved. The MBIII is the next chapter in the story and one we are all very proud of.”
About Martin-Baker With facilities spanning the globe, Martin-Baker has established an extensive range of unique, specialist engineering capabilities. They ensure that all Martin-Baker products are of the highest quality and reliability and will always perform as designed – first time, every time.
Past and continued success has defined the iconic British company as the number one choice for over 88 air forces throughout the world, fitted to over 80 aircraft types. The equipment may represent a crew member’s last chance to survive and there can be no compromise. Every facet of the safety system must work perfectly to safeguard a precious life.
Furthermore, aircrew members must reach the ground uninjured, especially in a hostile environment, if they are to have the best possible chance of survival. This understanding is reinforced by 60 years of experience dating back to the first live ejection test in 1946 and the first life saved in 1949. So it comes as no surprise that Martin-Baker is the only company worldwide able to offer a fully-integrated escape system that satisfies the very latest in pilot operational capability and safety standards. To date, Martin-Baker has saved 7,438 aircrew lives for more than 93 Air Forces.
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- Modified calibre 13 1/4” BE-93-2AE automatic
- 21 jewels
- Glucydur balance
- Anachron balance spring
- Nivaflex 1 mainspring
- 28,800 bph
- 42-hour power reserve
- Bremont moulded and skeletonised decorated rotor
- date at 3H
- 24H GMT hand
- Hardened stainless steel Trip-Tick® construction with case barrel in various colours
- Inner soft iron anti-magnetic
- Faraday cage to protect movement
- Protective patented anti-shock movement mount
- Patented inner bi-directional Roto-Click® bezel operated by crown at 4H
- Case diameter 43mm, lug width 22mm.
- Stainless steel decorated case back with 6 stainless steel screws with polished heads
- Black metal dial with SuperLumiNova® coated hands and numerals
- Domed anti-reflective, scratch resistant sapphire crystal
- Water resistant to 10 ATM, 100 metres
- C.O.S.C chronometer tested and certified.
- Embossed calf-skin leather strap with pin buckle and NATO military nylon strap.