Editor’s Note: Allen here. I’ve worn a 40mm Bremont S301 for many years now, and it is not only my favorite Bremont but one of my favorite watches of all time. A Sub-killer, I’ve called it. When Davide Cerrato took over for Bremont he said that one of his challenges was finding a watch that would jump to mind when one heard the word “Bremont.” Arguably, he was right that by the early 2020s no single watch jumped to mind. I immediately thought “put the 40mm divers at the center of the brand.” I’ve argued that the 40mm models are already early classics of the 21st century. If this release tells us anything about the bigger picture for Bremont, perhaps it is that Davide’s ability to anchor a brand with iconic models is coming into play. I hope so, as I’d love to watch Bremont capitalize on the classic lines of these 40mm divers.
- Case Diameter 40mm, lug to lug 49mm, height 13mm, lug width 20mm
- Stainless steel Trip-Tick case (Blue Dial and LE) Stainless Steel DLC Treated Bremont Trip-Tick case (Jet)
- Water Resistance – 300m
- Blue Dial – Green/Blue 24hr Bezel
- Grey Dial – Grey 24hr Bezel LE
- Black Dial – Black 24hr Bezel Jet
- Modified Calibre 11 1/2’’’ BE-932AV 50hr Power reserve with GMT function and date
- Blue Dial £3,250.00 on leather/rubber £3,650.00 on stainless steel
- Grey Dial LE £3,450.00 on leather/rubber £3,850.00 on stainless steel
- Black Dial Jet £3,700.00 on leather/rubber £3,350.00 on stainless steel
The First From CEO Davide Cerrato
Earlier this year Davide Cerrato Stepped in to helm Bremont as CEO. He headed Tudor and introduced the game charging Black Bay line, and he also transformed Montblanc into a brand collectors and vintage enthusiasts were excited about again. How Cerrato will make his mark at Bremont is yet to be seen. But his first outing as the designer-oriented CEO was to revamp the Supermarine S302, Bremont’s GMT dive watch.
The 40mm S302 was an important watch in the Bremont line-up, a watch that offered fans of smaller watches an opportunity to try a Bremont, and the S302 quickly became a go-to for a certain hip enthusiast who knew their Subs from their Seawolfs and so on. We still have the 40mm three-piece Trip-Tick case, coming in with a height of 13mm and a compact 49mm from lug to lug. The orange tipped GMT hand stays, as does the date at 3:00. From there, things diverge.
The new bezel is Cerrato’s main contribution. Gone is the 60-minute dive bezel and in its place a 24hr unidirectional bezel. This choice takes a dive watch with a GMT function and transforms it into a GMT travel watch with 300m of water resistance. It would be impossible not to note that this configuration of the S302 is now very much an alternative (perhaps for some a tribute) to the Rolex GMT Master II. But the 24-hour bezel is so common among so many brands by now that it feels generic – and thus up for grabs, so to speak. And so our eye tends to go to what makes a Bremont a Bremont: the unique three-piece case, the colorways, brand logos, straps and so on. It seems Cerrato has a nice command of Bremont’s distinctive design language already, as these watches feel both very fresh and still very much of the brand.
The GMT function is a ‘Caller’ (as coined by Hodinkee’s James Stacey) as opposed to a ‘Flyer’ GMT. That is, the S302 does not have an independent settable hour hand, as does the Rolex and Tudor GMTs. It does offer individual control of the GMT, giving you the chance to set the GMT hand so you can track a 2nd time zone. It’s not always the most favored GMT functionality, and with the unidirectional bezel, the convenience of setting the S302 is a bit limited. I’d likely have preferred a bi-directional bezel here, as there is no need to secure the bezel for diving purposes now that the timing scale is gone.
Inside the case sits a Calibre 11 1/2’’’ BE-932AV, a modified ETA 2893. Bremont has adjusted the movement for COSC chronometer regulation and in the time I’ve spent with the watch it has been spot on. One can argue that at the price the S302 should have an in-house movement and a ‘Flyer’ GMT at that. The ‘Flyer’ part I do see the point, at this level you’d expect to see that. In-house is another story, ETA make some of the most reliable and accurate movements in the world before they are modified. So I’d challenge you to find a better movement in a watch at this price level. Different, sure; better, likely not.
New are the dial and bezel color variations. There is a model with a blue dial with blue/green bezel (the model I road tested), which is somewhat joyful and even a bit preppy. There is a limited edition, the Supermarine Ocean, named and dedicated to marine biologist Ocean Ramsey with gray dial and bezel which gives a “ghosted” Sub vibe, especially with the cream lume adding an old Tritium look. And third there is a black DLC coated case with a black dial and bezel and the same cream lume as the LE. Cerrato has removed the red tip from the second hand and the coloured ring on the crown.
Looking Closely at the S302
The Supermarine S302 is cased in a very well propositioned 40mm Trip-tick package. It wears really well, being large enough to have some level of wrist presence, without the discomfort of oversized watches. You can wear the S302 day in and day out. It’s just super easy wearing.
The case is lightly brushed (stainless steel model in-hand), giving a utilitarian feel. It really is finished to a very high level – impressive. The Trip-Tick case has its signature Bremont black DLC mid case. The caseback, thankfully closed, sports a very fetching and well executed image of a Supermarine seaplane, which without the pontoons became the Spitfire that helped topple the Nazis.
The crown is large and easy and comfortable to use, screwing and unscrewing as one would expect at this price point. Fully out the crown moves all hands and date as well as hacking. In its first out position one direction advances the GMT hand and the other the date. The bezel – blue/green in the case of the loaner I had – is unidirectional and aluminum. This is wise, because ceramic is – with the exception of Rolex’s GMT Master bezel – usually cut into two pieces with a seam in order to generate two colors. Aluminum is the way to go to avoid that seam, and no one wants a splits 6 or 9 with a physical seam running through it. Smart choice. The printing, typeface and color of the bezel are great for a watch at this price. It’s quite beautifully executed.
The dial is finely grained and the printing is very sharp. It is not the brightest lume I have come across, but it was still glowing well when I got up on a dark and rainy London at 5:30am. Being a GMT there is a date window, here at 3:00. Nicely sized and in the blue dial version the date wheel matches the dial with the numerals printed in white. The GMT hand is nothing we have not seen before, but it is a good example. On the rehaut Bremont has given us a 60-minute scale, looks great (the 60 in red) but it does not serve much purpose.
The blue and LE versions come in three strap options: vintage style leather, rubber and a stainless steel bracelet. The black DLC rubber and leather only. The model I am testing came on the vintage style leather, which is a great strap. Personally I would probably move it onto a canvas or NATO strap. That’s where I think it would be most at home. I always feel Bremont cases work better on straps than brackets and the S302 is no exception.
Ceratto has not only taken command of the Bremont design language, but he appears to speak it with a convincing British accent. The S302 is a well built, well designed, all purpose outdoor adventure watch. There is something very British about that, being both premium and rugged. Think Range Rover or Barbour, and you get the idea.
The blue dial I spent time with is very nice on the wrist and whilst it is colorful it is not loud and already feels classic. I am very interested to see where Cerrato goes next. Maybe a simple and beautifully executed field watch? Seeing what he has done with the S302 I am hoping he leans into the classic British outdoor tradition of Land Rover, Belstaff and Harris Tweed. Why not? I’m proud to be British and proud that brands like Bremont are helping put our small but nicely growing watch industry on the map.