Not everyone can say that they have spent the afternoon soaring the British skies in a vintage aeroplane, but yesterday I got to say just that. And even more extraordinarily, I got to fly beside Nick English, the co-founder of Bremont Watches.
Nick English and his brother Giles are the genius minds behind Bremont and they produce some of the most impressive and aesthetically stunning timepieces in the British market. But their adventure began when ambition rose from tragedy. In 1995, Nick and his father Euan were up in the sky practicing formation for an air show when they found themselves spiralling out of control and crashing into the ground. Sadly Euan English was killed and Nick, only 23 years old at the time, broke over 30 bones and was at risk of losing his life too. Six months later Nick was back in the air and with a new vigour for life and aviation, the brothers decided to build their family’s love for engineering into something amazing.
Many people often wonder where the name ‘Bremont’ comes from since most watch brands are named after their founders, but it appears the English brothers are quite different. During the 1990s, Nick and Giles were flying across the clear skies of France when they were forced to carry out an emergency landing. They unexpectedly found themselves taken in by a charitable farmer who allowed them to stay in his home and keep their broken down aircraft in his barn. The farmer’s generosity was not forgotten and his name was Antoine Bremont.
The down to earth nature of the brand remained evident in Nick English when I met him at White Waltham Airfield in Maidenhead. After sharing a watch-filled chat and drink, he wandered off down the airfield to set up the plane. The aircraft, Nick described, was a 1950s design that had once been used to drop off supplies in France. I got to sit in the co-pilot seat beside Nick and after a few effortless button presses and lever pulls later, we set off into the sky.
The view above Maidenhead and the surrounding area was stunning and Nick was able to identify the residents of all the grand homes beneath us including the place where George Clooney recently got married and the famous windmill from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. But my favourite moment of the whole flight was when Nick let go of all the controls and proceeded to take a selfie of us all in the air.
It turns out Nick English is just as cool as the watches he produces, and after meeting him I find myself more excited than ever to write about all of Bremont’s newest releases.