Then the Swiss came along, and staked their own hefty claim on timekeeping. And in the past hundred or so years, not only have they given the world a vast number of posh watches, but for a mechanical timepiece to be taken seriously, it must be certified by the COSC - a Swiss organisation that tests each movement individually for several days, to make sure it stays accurate, even if thrown around or subjected to big temperature changes. A movement could be built anywhere in the world, to the highest standards and beyond, however, without that little bit of Swiss paper it might as well have come from a Christmas cracker. But it might not always be this way. Because, in the British countryside, brothers Nick and Giles English are working on bringing watchmaking - and certification - back home. All from their stylish purpose-built workshop near Henley-on-Thames.
They founded Bremont in 2002, but the story goes back much further. The brothers’ childhood was spent hanging around their father’s aircraft hangar, taking things apart and putting them back together again. Their father, Dr Euan English, an ex-RAF pilot with a PhD in aeronautical engineering enthused the two boys with a love of all things mechanical and a passion for flying. From a young age, the three would display at air shows all over the world, until one day, during training for an upcoming display, Nick and Euan got stuck in an inverted spin and crashed. Nick broke more than 30 bones in the accident that resulted in the death of his father, but the tragic event caused a spark of inspiration that would change the rest of their lives.