Review: Bremont Mustang P-51
A few years ago, at a WWII airshow event, I had the opportunity to sit inside a vintage fighter plane. I was struck by two thoughts: firstly, and probably most obviously, how cool the cockpit looked, with its altimeters, gauges and levers. Secondly, how vulnerable its pilots must have felt when in the line of the enemy’s fire. Add into the mix the roar of the engines, the smell of the fuel and the aircraft’s deep, rumbling vibrations, and it would have made for one thrilling, and terrifying, flight—and would have taken a brave soul to fly it.
That’s really one of the key principles at the heart of Bremont’s watches; the pioneering spirit that pushed aviators to ever more death-defying feats of flight during the 20th century. Founders Nick and Giles English grew up with flying in their blood, and the influence is clear throughout their collection. The Mustang-P51 watch take the brand’s connection to flight just that little bit further; it actually uses pieces of the fighter plane it was named after in the watch’s construction. Best of all, it does so without the timepiece being even remotely gimmick-y.
It was a smart move by Bremont to choose the Mustang P-51 as its inspiration. Not only was the plane one of the most celebrated dog fighters to be used during WWII (and beyond), but it was also a good-looking plane, and this is carries over into the watch. The P-51 stays faithful to its airborne namesake with a timelessly vintage design, and a handsome dial that bears more than a passing resemblance to the plane’s onboard clocks.
The indices and hands are coated with SuperLumiNova to make them as legible as you’d expect from a pilot’s watch, and a neat little rotor sits next to 9 o’clock as a nod to the watch’s heritage. The large subdial that sits below 12 o’clock is crafted from the aluminium of the fuselage of one specific P-51, called the P-51K-10, and you’ll also find parts of the fuselage in the construction of the movement.
Speaking of which, the exhibition caseback gives you a spectacular view of the automatic chronometer BE-54AE calibre, with a rotor that doubles up as an accurate-looking replica of the plane’s propeller. It features the words ‘Fragile but agile’ on the ‘blades’, the nickname for the P-51K-10 that donated parts its parts for use in the watch. The three piece Trip-Tick case that encloses the movement is a sturdy 43mm in diameter, and is crafted from solid stainless steel, while an internal rotating bezel makes use of Bremont’s Roto-Click system, and is set by the crown at 8 o'clock.
Limited to only 251 pieces, the P-51 is not only a tribute to the sublime engineering of the Mustang P-51, and other such planes like it, that helped win the war. It also recognises the bravery of the pilots, who took to the skies in WWII, with the full knowledge that there was a good chance they’d never come back again.
Watch Spec | Bremont P-51
Case: Stainless steel Dimensions: 43mm Crystal: Synthetic sapphire Movement: BE-54AE, automatic Frequency: 28,800 vph Power Reserve: 42 hours Strap: Leather Functions: Time, chronograph, date | Shop Now