Bremont, the Henley-on-Thames based luxury British Watchmaker which earlier this month featured in the London Stock Exchange’s ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ is marking its 10th year designing an iconic limited edition, honouring and preserving a piece of history and heritage within one of its mechanical timepieces.
This year the brand has worked with the Hawking family to create something unique to commemorate the life of the remarkable Professor Stephen Hawking. It is the first time that Bremont will be releasing a ladies’ watch as part of the new collection.
The Bremont Hawking Limited Edition Collection is dedicated to the British scientist whose study of time enhanced our understanding of our universe and beyond.
Bremont Co-Founder Nick English, said: “Professor Stephen Hawking was arguably one of the most pre-eminent scientists of the last hundred years. We wanted to celebrate this incredible man’s life and his fascinating relationship with time.”
When Stephen Hawking was twelve years old, his schoolmates wagered a bag of sweets that he would either “amount to nothing” or “turn out to be unusually capable”. Time proved the latter correct. Their friend became a celebrated theoretical physicist who made his discoveries accessible to a global audience. Nick English says, “Hawking’s pioneering approach to popular science, alongside his tremendous curiosity and courage, make him a fondly remembered British icon.”
The classically Bremont Hawking Limited Edition, featuring a retrograde seconds hand and grand date, contains four wooden discs inlaid into the back of the watch taken from the desk at which Hawking contemplated the mysteries of the universe, one of his most treasured possessions.
This exquisite chronometer also contains some meteorite to symbolise the cosmos which can be seen at the centre of the striking hand-finished closed case back, as well as an etching of stars from the night sky in Oxford, on 8th January 1942, the date that Hawking was born.
The watch’s serial number is printed on paper from original copies of a 1979 seminal research paper commonly referred to as “The ‘nuts’ and ‘bolts’ of gravity”, co-written with one of Hawking’s longest serving collaborators, Professor Gary Gibbons, that sought to understand the thermal properties of black holes.
Housed within is the unique BE-33AE movement, with 42-hour power reserve. Only 388 stainless steel and black dial, 88 rose gold with black dial and 88 white gold and blue dial pieces will be made; the numbers referencing the year in which Hawking’s “Brief History of Time” was published.
Professor Hawking’s son, Tim Hawking, said: “The wood sample in the timepiece originates from an oak, William & Mary slope-front bureau desk drawer thought to date back to the early 18th century. My father’s paternal grandmother received it as a gift on her retirement as Headmistress from a school she had founded for girls in Boroughbridge, Yorkshire.
“It was given to my father in 1975 on his return to the UK after his year’s visiting fellowship to Caltech, Pasadena, and would remain with him until his death in 2018.
“My father’s work was primarily theoretical. Nevertheless, he was a person who placed great value on precision craftsmanship and the interplay of design and technology. This antique desk was a most treasured possession, representing both his grandmother’s pioneering commitment to education, and a portal back to happy childhood memories. The Hawking family are delighted that its legacy may live on further now in the Hawking Bremont timepieces.”
Bremont is also introducing a limited run of women’s watches as part of the collection. Limited to 88 pieces, the timepiece will be available in stainless steel with a matte polished bracelet. Unlike the men’s edition, it features a dial entirely made from meteorite and is beautifully paired with polished nickel hands. Turning the watch over reveals its open case back through which an exquisite and intricately hand-finished ‘black-hole’ automatic rotor can be seen. Designed to Bremont’s exacting specifications, the rotor is inspired by the swirling of a black hole, a nod to the black hole theory so prevalent in Hawking’s scientific theories; it also incorporates a veneer of the oak from Hawking’s desk. The case measures 34mm in diameter with diamonds inset into the bezel as well as the index markers on the dial. This is the first time Bremont has ever used diamonds within any of its collections. The mechanical movement used is the beautifully decorated, BE-92AV chronometer rated calibre with a 42-hour power reserve.
Bremont Co-Founder Giles English added: “The Hawking Collection is a slight divergence from some of the historic limited editions we’ve become known for at Bremont. Other than celebrating a true British legend, the story has added personal significance for myself and Nick with our father having been very aware of Stephen Hawking after they’d been to St Albans School together, a couple of years apart, and followed the same path to Cambridge University. As with each of Bremont’s historic limited editions there is also a philanthropic dimension. It’s been a real honour working closely with the Hawking family on this project who founded the ‘Stephen Hawking Foundation’ which facilitates cosmological research as well as support for those who live with Motor Neurone Disease; part of the proceeds from these watches will be going directly to the charity.”