Having announced its new role as the official timing partner of Formula 1 team Williams in 2021, British brand Bremont has now unveiled the first fruit of the collaboration in the form of the WR-22 wristwatch.
The 43mm chronograph features 1970s-inspired hands that hark back to the team’s founding, a touch of Williams blue on the dial and an oscillating weight based on the design of one of the car’s rims. And thrown in for the price is an original wheel nut from one of the marque’s historic grand prix cars.
Bremont has also produced 45 sets of two watches comprising a blackened DLC-treated version of the 43mm chronograph and a 40mm three-hand watch with dial details in Williams blue and a blue nubuck leather strap. The set comes with a race day experience scheduled to take place at Grove in October.
Each buyer and their guest will get a guided tour of the facility which includes a visit to the museum and the mission control room where the technical team reviews the cars’ race metrics and liaises with the drivers and engineers trackside.
The firms say the partnership is more than simply making watches with automotive references. It’s a mutual pursuit of engineering excellence and skill sharing, and they might end up making parts for one another.
“The WR-22 is really the launch watch for the partnership but, as time goes on, we’ll be exploring the possibilities for technical collaborations,” explained James Colgate, Williams Racing’s operations director. “We’re looking at how Williams could make a part for a Bremont watch using some of the materials, coatings and manufacturing techniques involved in building our cars. Movement parts are probably too small to consider, but the body [of a watch] is not dissimilar in size to the type of components we’re used to working with.”
Williams Racing previously enjoyed a successful 18-year partnership with Swiss watch brand Oris but, says Colgate, the move to Bremont has greater potential.
“The fact that Bremont is a British watchmaker operating just an hour from the Williams factory presents an obvious synergy and, as well as being mutually beneficial to us, we hope the partnership does something to promote British engineering.”
And there’s no doubting that the watch brand’s co-founders, brothers Nick and Giles English, are committed petrolheads. Between them they own a small fleet of classics that includes the Jaguar E-type that their father rebuilt from a wreck, a Porsche 911 that Giles has owned since his student days and an Austin-Healey 100/4 that Nick races. F1 next?
Latifi, Albon – keep looking behind you.
Bremont WR-22, £5695
This is the third watch to emerge from the collaboration between Girard- Perregaux and Aston Martin – and the first to pay tribute to the F1 team. The 44mm case is made from particles of titanium and carbon fibre removed from two 2021
F1 cars and blended with tinted resin.
The strap also contains elements from the cars, being made from a mix of PKM rubber and carbon to create ‘GP rubber alloy’. Just 306 will be made, representing the length in kilometres of the British GP.
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph Aston Martin F1 Edition, £21,500
We last brought you word of a new TAG Heuer Senna tribute watch in December when the brand launched a quartz-powered Formula 1 to mark the 30th anniversary of the Brazilian’s third F1 championship victory. Now TAG has introduced this follow up powered by an automatic movement and with lacquered detailing on the top pushpiece, crown and ceramic bezel inspired by the red highlights that featured on one of Senna’s watches while a TAG Heuer ambassador.
TAG Heuer Formula 1 xSenna, £2950