It’s a chilly November night and a box has just arrived on my doorstep. As I unpack the contents on the dinner table, I’m pleased to see Bremont has sent over two ladies’ watches. My wife takes a suspicious glance at the table and asks if I’m going to actually wear them. Well, this time around, I want to do something different, through someone else’s eyes. I ask Ana to wear each one of the watches and share her thoughts via Telegram voice notes throughout the day. She doesn’t usually wear a watch, so I think this will be a nice experiment, for a change.
Let’s talk a little about Bremont first. Founded in 2002, this British company specializes in tool watches. A distinct toughness permeates their whole collection, reaching all the way to their ladies’ watches in rather subtle ways which I’ll discuss later. For now, both Ana and I are impressed with the construction of the cases and their clear-cut personalities.
The very next morning, Ana tries on the Maya and the experiment officially begins. In the back of my mind, I secretly wish she doesn’t come out of it obsessed with watches, as a single enthusiast is more than enough for a household.
Bremont Maya Specs:
- Case diameter: 37 mm
- Case material: Stainless steel with rose gold bezel and crown
- Lug to lug: 43 mm
- Thickness: 13 mm
- Lug width: 20 mm
- Crystal: sapphire
- Movement: Modified Calibre 11 1/2’’’ BE-36AE.D
- Water resistance: 100 m
My wife likes to leave the best for last, whether it be deciding what the last bite on her plate will be, or picking between a couple of British timepieces. Her eye is drawn to the Lady K Jade straight away, so she reaches for the Maya to get accustomed to the weight on her wrist first. Predictably, it wears huge on her tiny wrist, but to be fair, most of the bulk comes from the bracelet. It doesn’t taper, and at 20 mm wide, it betrays the charm that the mother of pearl dial exudes.
Speaking of the dial, let’s talk about it next. Perhaps the most striking feature of the Maya, its iridescent finish discreetly plays with the light and shows an amazing array of colors at different angles. Inspired by the Mayan cenotes in the Yucatán peninsula, Bremont successfully captured their essence by allowing the dial to sit deep in the case, creating the illusion of height and distance expected from a real life cenote.
The attractive numerals resemble tiny islands scattered throughout the water. They contrast fiercely with the mother of pearl finish and provide great legibility. A date window peeks out from 3 o’clock, looking right at home due to the missing 12, 3, 6 and 9 numerals. The sword-shaped hour hand is impossible to miss, and the minute hand completes the picture with efficiency and good taste. For its part, the lollipop seconds hand adds a little fun with a tiny splash of red. However, I think a rose gold accent would work better here, as there are already too many colors on the dial due to its iridescent nature.
Moving on to the case, we arrive at probably the most controversial element of the watch. Trust me, many an hour was spent talking about the perceived relationship between gender, functionality, and design. On one hand, it’s refreshing to see a ladies’ watch capable of withstanding the most adverse of conditions. On the other hand–we asked ourselves–is it really necessary to create a new watch altogether for this demographic? Wouldn’t it suffice to take one of the preexisting models and shrink it just a little bit? I’m getting a little ahead of myself here, since Ana had stronger opinions on the topic when she finally donned the Lady K Jade, and I wish to elaborate further over there. For now, let’s focus on the fact that this case is built like a tank, using the Trip-Tick design ever present in the rest of the collection to great effect. Viewed from the side, it is unmistakably Bremont, which is a great thing to say in a sea of endless watches and brands. The crown and bezel match the hands perfectly and elevate the watch from a mere tool to a somewhat formal timepiece.
The smart-looking calibre BE-36AE.D peeks out from the open case back. It features a rather short 38-hour power reserve. However, it makes up for it with an attractive design, a signed rotor, and a high 4Hz frequency, which translates to a smooth seconds hand rotation across the small dial.
As the day comes to an end, Ana reluctantly admits that she is relieved to take the Maya off her wrist. We both conclude that, at least for a slender wrist like hers, a leather strap would work much better to counter the bulk of the case. To be fair, though, she isn’t used to wearing a watch at all, so there’s that. We both love the rose gold palette of the watch. The iridescent finish is intriguing, though we wonder if a lighter shade in the dial would be easier to pair with any clothing style.
Lady K Jade Specs:
- Case diameter: 34 mm
- Case material: Stainless steel with diamonds on the bezel
- Lug to lug: 41 mm
- Thickness: 10 mm
- Lug width: 16 mm
- Crystal: sapphire
- Movement: Modified Calibre 11 1/2’’’ BE-92AV
- Water resistance: 100 m
The next morning, Ana tries on the Lady K Jade. Since we opened the box, we’ve been transfixed by the green shade of the dial, and now that it’s on her wrist, we think it looks even better. This is much more my wife’s style and it shows. Her left arm moves more freely, and she doesn’t have to worry about banging the watch everywhere. One thing is abundantly clear from the start, though: she isn’t crazy about the diamonds on the bezel. In fact, she doubles down on the topic we discussed the day before, and makes me wonder if the size alone should indicate that this is a ladies’ watch, no flashy jewelry required. Be that as it may, we strongly commend Bremont’s ethics, since these are conflict-free diamonds.
The dial displays its beautiful shade of green on a sunburst matte finish, which wonderfully harmonizes with the diamonds. The leaf-shaped hands are extremely in good taste, and the slim seconds hand smoothly traverses the dial at a 4Hz frequency. This being a tool watch first and foremost, there’s a date window, which at 6 o’clock does not detract from the symmetry of the dial.
As with the Maya before, we again struggle to reconcile our views on form vs function. The Trip-Tick case design features a dark finish on the barrel of the Lady K, which I’m not sure matches the elegance of the dial and bezel. It’s almost as if a tough small watch was envisioned first, and then a very handsome, delicate face was splattered on top. To be fair, I think this is a problem that arises in photoshoots exclusively, as the sides of the watch are not prominently on display in everyday wear. Also, this case design ensures that the innards of the watch are protected at all times, as expected from a proper tool watch.
The bracelet is supple and features an elegant taper. This particular watch is also offered with a matching calf leather, which greatly enhances the visual impact of the dial. I think both options work perfectly well.
The open case back features the BE-92AV movement. This marvelous little caliber boasts a 42-hour power reserve and is beautifully decorated. It is always a treat to see a movement peering through an exhibition case back, more so in a tool watch.
As the day comes to a close, I take both watches to their scheduled photoshoot and hope that Ana isn’t getting any ideas.
We have enjoyed our time with both watches, and to be honest, it’s been a blast having the intended demographic try the watches for a considerable period. The perennial question remains, though: are things supposed to be gendered? Is it possible to create smaller ladies’ watches that are exactly equal as their male counterparts? I think it ultimately depends on each person’s beliefs. For now, I’m really glad there are options out there that don’t skimp on build quality and versatility. Let’s see where the market takes us next.
For more information visit the official Bremont website here.