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:
Simulates the level of salt fog and humidity that an aircraft carrier deck would endure during a 6 month tour.
The watch is taken up to 100,000 feet for 60 minutes before being rapidly brought down again.
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.
Shakes and vibrates the watch on the wrist of a test dummy to simulate a 30 year life of a helicopter.
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.