Jewellery & Watch News
THE BREMONT H-4 HERCULES
At a time of austerity, one American defied convention to build the largest aircraft in the world. The Bremont H-4 Hercules Limited Edition chronometer salutes this iconic flying boat of the 1940s. Famously known as the ‘Spruce Goose’, the vast silver ship is as legendary as its inventor Howard Hughes. Bremont Co-Founder Nick English says, “Giles and I have been fascinated by the story of the H-4 Hercules since childhood. The sheer ambition of building an aircraft on that scale using wood is remarkable. The Hercules is a true engineering triumph that pushed the boundaries of aeronautical design. It paved the way for the large aircraft we use today, and did it with style, panache and just a dash of Hollywood.”
The H-4 Hercules and, to a degree, Howard Hughes’ genius was defined by one minute. One minute of flight on 2nd November 1947. In that time Howard Hughes’ vision for the greatest aircraft ever built was vindicated. It’s fitting therefore that the aircraft is being commemorated by a timepiece of this stature. Limited to just 300 stainless steel, 75 rose gold and 75 platinum pieces, the Bremont H-4 Hercules is a sublime fusion of micro-engineering, watch design and aviation history.
The 25 jewel Bremont BWC/02 movement is based on the original proprietary automatic BWC/01 calibre built in partnership with movement house, La Joux Perret, and is housed in a beautifully finished 43mm case. The new slate grey coloured BWC/02 movement has GMT functionality, along with hours, minutes, a smaller non-hacking seconds hand at 9 o’clock and the date at 6 o’clock.
Remarkably, the movement of the Bremont H-4 Hercules has an automatic winding rotor incorporating some original birchwood veneer that took to the air on that famous flight in 1947. The tungsten rotor features this veneer from Howard Hughes’ H-4 Hercules, as four propeller blades. The wood (which was made available only through essential preservation work on the H-4) was carefully shipped to the UK from the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville Oregon, USA, where it was painstakingly cut to size by the renowned bespoke furniture makers Silverlining. Furthermore, original aileron fabric from the aircraft’s control surfaces can be found sewn into the Englishmade bridle leather watch packaging.
Four years after Hughes’ death in 1976, rumours circulated that the airplane was going to be disassembled so that pieces could be given to museums around the country. There were public protests, and the United States House of Representatives voted to declare the ‘Spruce Goose’ a national treasure. The aircraft is not only an engineering feat of huge magnitude, it’s also an aesthetically beautiful machine.
Bremont Co-Founder Giles English comments, “Hughes’ obsession with detail and striving for perfection is evident everywhere in this aircraft. The H-4 wasn’t so much built as crafted, its flawless silver surface, devoid of rivets and bumps synonymous with 1940’s aviation, shows that this aircraft was a masterpiece of design and manufacture.
The Hughes H-4 is arguably one of the most important aircraft ever to have flown, in terms of its innovations in construction and control systems - a huge contribution to aviation development and history. Up until 2019 it was the largest aircraft in terms of wingspan ever to have flown. It is still the biggest flying boat ever to fly and will likely remain so forever. It proved such an inspiration that we felt compelled to design a watch based on its iconic design with a percentage of proceeds also going to the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum for preserving the aircraft.”
Specifications: Bremont H-4 Hercules Limited Edition Watches
- Case Size: 43mm
- Case Material: Stainless steel, Rose Gold or Platinum
- Crown: Screw down
- Glass: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment
- Case Back: Exhibition, sapphire crystal
- Water Resistance: 100 metres
- Movement: Bremont BWC/02 automatic
- Functions: Hour, minutes, non-hacking small seconds, 24 hour GMT, date
- Power Reserve: 50 hours
- Jewels: 25
- Frequency: 28,800vph
- Dial: Matt black or dark brown metal dial with polished applied indexes, polished nickel or rose gold hands with Super-LumiNova
- Strap: Vintage leather or brown alligator leather strap with pin buckle to compliment case material
- Limited Edition: 300 pieces (Steel), 75 pieces (Rose Gold), 75 pieces (Platinum)
- RRP: £9,495 (Steel), £17,995 (Rose Gold), £24,995 (Platinum)