Here we have another rare watch with a military connection – the Bremont MBI.
The Bremont MBI is a watch that’s only available by special order for pilots who have ejected from a fighter jet using a Martin-Baker ejector seat – while it may look like an ‘ordinary’ Bremont MB watch, it can be quickly identified by its red aluminium barrel – the MBII and MBIII are available in many very attractive colours but not in red. Red barrels are exclusively used on the MBI (and a very few, very rare MB1.5s but they are a different story for another day) .
Each Bremont MBI caseback is engraved with up to 10 digits consisting of the pilot’s call sign, name, or date, and also features the individual’s Martin-Baker Tie Club membership number – a number that’s issued to the lucky survivor along with their ejector seat handle by Martin Baker.
This particular Bremont MBI was made for Hungarian Air Force pilot Major Sándor Kádár as a result of an incident that occurred on 10th June 2015 when shortly after taking off, he reported that the landing gear of his Saab JAS 93 Gripen had malfunctioned. After trying to cycle the landing gear, Major Kádár realised that a normal landing was not going to be possible but rather than ejecting at altitude to give himself a better chance of survival but guaranteeing the loss of the ‘plane and risking civilians below, he attempted a ‘belly landing’.
Unfortunately the belly landing didn’t go as well as it might and Major Kádár was forced to eject unusually close to the ground – the weight of the ejector seat at such low altitude created a massive impact that damaged his spine and unsurprisingly he was hospitalised as a result – you can see the whole thing on the video on this page. The brave pilot was visited in hospital by Hungarian Home Secretary Hende Csaba who awarded him the ‘For Homeland’ medal for saving the $30m fighter jet.
Major Kádár later ordered his Bremont MBI and it was delivered on 13th February 2019 – unfortunately he found it necessary to sell his one of a kind watch and we were happy to help him find a new and appreciative owner for such a special watch.
Please email me with serious enquiries.
Photo credits are due to Bremont Chronometers for the pics that I blatantly stole – Sorry Giles & Nick, hope you don’t mind.