We are privileged to come across some very unique and special watches. One of these is an extremely rare genuine Bremont MBI Chronometer – a specially designed, shock-proof watch launched with exclusive eligibility – usually available only to Martin-Baker ejectees.
Bremont is a brand that stands for class, culture and classic British design. Founded by brothers Nick and Giles English, the collection is thoughtful – with incredible attention to detail.
Bremont has an inimitable partnership with British aerospace company, Martin-Baker who make ejection seats – a pretty vital piece of equipment on a high-speed aircraft. Since 1945, they have saved the lives of 7,559 pilots. The seats are tested to extreme levels of shock, vibration, temperature, and more – and Bremont’s Martin-Baker watches are subject to the same demands used to test the seats! With the movement protected by an anti-magnetic Faraday cage and a specifically designed anti-shock case mount, these are watches which are built to withstand pretty much anything you can throw at them. Or throw them from.
Recognisable by the red aluminium barrel, the original MBI examples are exceptionally rare. Why? Because they are only given to those who have actually survived an ejection during flight. They have a story. Every Bremont MBI watch is engraved with a personal inscription of up to 10 digits consisting of the ejectee’s call sign, name, or date, as well as their Martin-Baker Tie Club membership number. Just like the one Jimmy Fallon presents to his father-in-law in this fantastic clip from The Tonight Show (2015).
There are, of course, many wonderful stories surrounding these watches, but not many told by civilians. TV’s Ben Shephard is the lucky owner of an MBI, and he has a super story which he tells Christina Borg-Mirza from The Watch Gallery, around how he came to have it.
We have been lucky enough to have two of these rare examples available through Oakleigh. We sold this outstanding example in 2016.