Ejected from a plane...
When fired from an ejector seat, a fighter pilot experiences acceleration of up to 30g, albeit for the briefest of periods. As does his or her wrist, assuming it’s not still attached to the finger jammed into the ejector mechanism as the rest of the pilot’s body pings merrily into the void.
So the watch upon that wrist must also be able to withstand the force of the ejection - because, let’s be honest, there’s nothing worse than having no idea what time it is as you’re catapulting through open sky, 20,000 feet above sea level, praying your emergency parachute will activate as you watch the remains of your bird plunging fierily towards the ground beneath.
Enter watchmaker Bremont, and Martin-Baker, the British aviation company that supplies 70 per cent of the world’s air forces with fighter-jet ejector seats. The two companies hooked up in 2007 with the aim of creating a watch that would survive not only the forces of an ejection, but also the same extreme tests that Martin-Baker seats must undergo to ensure decades of reliable service on the front line.
“We have to put the seat through one of the most comprehensive qualification programmes for a product,” says Martin-Baker vice president Andrew Martin. “Every possible scenario you could come up with.”