Bremont is a relatively young company in the watchmaking world, but they’ve already established themselves as leaders in the field, especially when it comes to aviation watches. A thoroughly British company, Bremont timepieces reflect the company’s reverence for historical aircraft and all things mechanical.
Slim cases with unique construction
One of the standout features of both these watches is the “trip-tick” case construction. Where most watch cases comprise two pieces (a bezel with integrated lugs and a screw-on caseback), Bremont’s unique trip-tick design incorporates three pieces: the bezel, the caseback, and a separate middle barrel. This allows Bremont to create watch cases that are visually distinct from the mass of two-piece cases, particularly when viewed in profile.
Bremont has been known to leverage this three-piece construction to create special-edition watches, with middle barrel pieces crafted from precious metals. For the AIRCO line, the trip-tick case simply contributes to the aeronautical feel of the watch. With the addition of the middle piece, the lugs are able to slide over the bezel case in a way that recalls the leading edge of an aircraft wing.
The watch size is another notable feature. Bremont’s typical aviation watch ranges from 43 to 45 mm in diameter, with a thickness of up to 16 mm (like the previously reviewed Bremont ALT1-C). But among pilot watches, the Mach 1 and Mach 2 are relatively small–just 40 mm across and 12.5 mm deep.
Both the Mach 1 and Mach 2 are presented in stainless steel, but the Mach 1 has a more subdued matte appearance while the Mach 2 shines with a polished finish. Both feature domed windows crafted of anti-reflective, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. Each has a screw-down crown and exhibition caseback with the same sapphire crystal as the dial window. Water resistance on each is 10 ATM or about 100 m.
Same range, different looks
The Mach 1 and Mach 2 may share a design philosophy, but each has a distinct execution. You’ll likely form a preference for one or the other. Let’s dive into the details.
Mach 1: a workaday watch
The Mach 1 has a semi-gloss black face with applied Arabic numerals. The minute and hour hands are pencil-shaped and coated with Super-LumiNova paint. The minute hand has a red accent that complements the minute markers around the sloped chapter ring, as well as the red, arrow-shaped second hand. The recessed date window appears at the three o’ clock position.
The band on the Mach 1 is brown calfskin leather, which gives the watch a vintage look. As the Mach 1 exhibits the more casual, everyday appearance of the two AIRCO pieces, you could get away with switching out this strap for something with a more workaday feel—perhaps a black or tan canvas strap.
Mach 2: a refined timepiece
If the Mach 1 is an everyday kind of watch, paying homage to the simple military-issue watches of the 1940s, the Mach 2 is closer to a dress watch—simpler, yet more refined.
The dial color on the Mach 2 is “anthracite.” If you’re not familiar with that variety of hard coal, think slate grey with a matte finish. The hour markers are polished nickel Arabic numerals with curly serifs. The feuille minute and hour hands are made of the same polished nickel and have a Super-LumiNova coating. The sweeping second hand is a simple stick type. The chapter ring is a little different from the Mach 1, eliminating the numerals altogether and adding slightly raised rectangular markers at five-minute intervals. You’ll find the date window on this model at the six o’ clock position.
The Mach 2 strap is black leather, but it also looks great with a stainless steel H-link bracelet.
There’s some debate over how meaningful COSC certification is, but if you consider it a make-or-break feature, you’ll be glad to know both the Mach 1 and Mach 2 use the same COSC-certified movement. It’s an ETA-constructed caliber with special Bremont modifications. The end product is the BE-92A automatic movement, which boasts a 38-hour power reserve, 21 jewels, and 28,800 vibrations per hour.
Bremont is by no means a newcomer to the world of aviation watches, but the AIRCO range puts a new spin on their already award-winning tradition of watchmaking. The Mach 1 and Mach 2 are like siblings—similar enough that you can see they belong to the same family, yet different enough to be distinguished at a glance. Although both are finely crafted with a vintage aeronautical look, the Mach 1 is the more casual of the two, while the Mach 2 can pass for a dress watch. The price point (nearly $4000 USD) may be intimidating, but for those willing to invest, the persnickety British engineering evident in every aspect of the AIRCO range is sure to please.
To have a closer look at Bremont’s entire range check out their official website here.