Photography: Andy Barter; words: Simon de Burton
Bremont Wright Flyer
Bremont has incorporated material salvaged from famous objects – a Spitfire, HMS Victory and Bletchley Park’s Hut Six – before. Now, each of its 450 Wright Flyer chronometers contains a small piece of the actual muslin fabric from the Wright Flyer, which became the first successful powered aircraft in 1903, when it achieved four short flights near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The material was salvaged from Orville Wright’s home after his death in 1948, and some of the proceeds of the watches will go towards restoring the building.
£17,950 in stainless steel; £27,950 in rose gold; £30,950 in white gold; bremont.com
Omega Speedmaster MK II
The original ‘Speedy’ was launched in 1957 and was popular as a driver’s watch before establishing itself in the horological firmament in 1969 when Buzz Aldrin wore one on the Moon during the Apollo XI mission. The same year, Omega extended the range with a Speedmaster MK II that featured a more ovoid case and a different dial. The model has proved less popular with collectors than the round-cased original – but that could change with the arrival of the re-launched MK II, available as a ‘racing’ version with orange dial highlights, or this more sober design with black and white markings.
IWC Portuguese Tourbillon Mystère Rétrograde
In 1939, two watch importers from Lisbon and Oporto asked IWC for a large wristwatch with the accuracy of a marine chronometer – the opposite of the prevailing trend for small, neat Art Deco style timepieces. IWC responded by fitting a highly accurate pocket-watch movement into a plain, 41.5mm case with the option of simple black or silvered dials. Phased out in the Seventies, the Portuguese was revived for IWC’s 125th anniversary in 1993 and has since been made available in various guises – including this high-end tourbillon model with retrograde date and power reserve display.
Bell & Ross BR01-94 B-Rocket
Bell & Ross has teamed up with British custom motorcycle builder Shaw Speed & Custom to create a second bike after the Nascafe three years ago. The B-Rocket is an even more radical machine: a retro-futuristic drag bike based on Fifties jet planes. The B-Rocket watches that go with it include this 46mm, three-counter chronograph featuring a black dial bordered by a black and white tachymeter scale for speed and distance calculations. The strap is made from padded black leather inspired by the ‘kneeler’ bike’s leather-covered knee supports. A 42mm, time-only version is to come.
Richard Mille RM 033
The RM 033 took fans of Richard Mille watches by surprise when it was first launched in 2011, not just because it was round rather than in RM’s more familiar cushion shape, but because it was unusually slim. However, the RM 033 is made in the same cutting-edge materials and techniques for which the brand’s more familiar watches are renowned – so the ultra-thin movement is hewn largely from titanium and is fitted with a highly efficient, off-centre micro-rotor made from platinum. The model pictured here is clearly aimed at the flamboyant, but more discreet versions are available.