Well, it was going to happen at some point and honestly, I’m surprised it took so long. A collaboration between Bremont and Bamford was an inevitability, and not simply because they happen to sit close alphabetically.
On the one hand you have arguably the highest-profile British watch brand; on the other, a company known for plenty of cool, custom pieces and limited editions for some serious brands. Granted they come at watches from different angles, but they’ve always been on course for a collision – and that collision was all but guaranteed to look like the Bremont S500 Bamford Special Edition.
George Bamford has a specific colour palette he tends to return to, specifically a combination of black and light blue that he’s lavished on his own, accessible watches, his LVMH partnerships with TAG Heuer, Zenith and others and pretty much every partnership he’s done in the past.
So, if you were expecting a Bremont draped in Bamford’s signature combination of black DLC and light, ‘California Blue’ highlights then… you’ll get just what you expected. It seems like they began what I can only assume will be an ongoing British partnership with a relatively safe option.
That said, there are some changes that go beyond the colourway. Rather than the applied dot and baton indexes of other S500 models, the pair opted for a supremely cool California sandwich dial. Not only does it hark back to the most covetable of vintage Panerais, but it shows off that blue lume incredibly well.
Otherwise, this has the same specs as the base S500. That means the impressive 500m from which it takes its name, a helium escape valve and a 2 o’clock crown with elongated protector. Inside is the Calibre 11 1/2’’ BE-36AE calibre, solidly shock resistant even if it’s 38-hour power reserve is on the low side. In short, it’s business as usual for Bremont’s serious diving watch.
Sure, it would have been cool to see a Bamford take on the MBII with a light blue mid-barrel, but there’s still plenty to love in the new dial here. Yes, it’s safe and yes, it’s obvious, but as a jumping-off point for a British partnership, it does just what it should.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Bremont S500 Bamford Special Edition
- Case/dial: 43mm diameter x 16.5mm height, black DLC ‘Jet’ treated stainless steel Bremont Trip-Tick case construction with uni-directional bezel, California sandwich dial)
- Water resistance: 500m (50 bar)
- Movement: Modified Calibre 11 1/2’’ BE-36AE, automatic chronometer, 26 jewels
- Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
- Power reserve: 38h
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
- Strap: Black sailcloth with light blue side stitch with
- Price/availability: £3,995, limited to 250 pieces