Hot Take: The Bremont MBII King Charles III Limited Edition
Next Saturday, the 6th of May 2023, at 11:00 AM GMT, Operation Golden Orb will begin. This is the code name given to the ceremony in which King Charles III will be crowned alongside his wife Camilla, the Queen Consort. All politics and opinions on monarchy aside — of which, as a Spanish national, I have plenty — this is history in the making. And to mark this most British of occasions, Bremont has announced it will be producing a limited run of 50 MBII watches. This Bremont classic will feature a regal splash of purple on its seconds hand and a specially engraved case back. But that’s not all that the Henley-on-Thames brand has up its sleeve to commemorate the coronation.
The last time we wrote about a Bremont MB watch was to cover a special-edition model, the MBIII Rapha Special Edition. Available only to members of the Rapha Cycling Club, this titanium GMT model was a stunner. Today’s watch is a very different creature altogether that falls more in line with the MBII we know and love. However, several differences exist to set these 50 watches apart. So let’s take a quick look at this celebratory watch to mark next week’s special moment in British history.
The Bremont MBII King Charles III Limited Edition
I’ll save a more formal introduction to Bremont’s MB lineup for a future hands-on with one of the regular production models, but here’s what you need to know in a nutshell. The MB stands for Martin-Baker, according to Bremont, “[…] a British aviation company responsible for supplying 70% of the world’s Air Forces with fighter ejection seat technology.” The brands collaborated for the first time in 2007, resulting in the 2009 MBI. The watch was designed to withstand the same strict test process as the ejector seats, including an actual ejection from a jet fighter’s cockpit. The original MBI may only be purchased by pilots who have ejected from an aircraft using a Martin-Baker seat. Available to the public today, the MBII and MBIII (a GMT model) watches are a staple of Bremont’s catalog. The counterpoise of the seconds hand in these watches matches the pull tab of the ejector seats.
Going with the very-British MBII was a bold choice to mark the special occasion. Some might say that a dressier piece might have fit the bill better, but those who know Bremont and what the brand does best will be pleased to see this chunky sports watch make a notable comeback. But what’s different about the Bremont MBII King Charles III Limited Edition? Let’s start with the seconds hand. Bremont has picked a regal purple tone for it. The kingly color is not all that’s new here since the counterpoise is a more standard one (not the yellow and black pull-tab design). The 43mm Trip-Tick case features an uncoated knurled titanium barrel. Usually DLC-coated aluminum, the darker tone of titanium adds a nice touch. Finally, there’s the case back. A specially engraved King Charles III Coronation Emblem replaces the usual bronze-colored medallion.
There you have it, folks! A limited-edition Bremont to mark a remarkable moment in British history. The MBII King Charles III Limited Edition will be available on the Bremont website. The retail price will be £4,495 / €4,825, a slight markup for this special run of just 50 pieces. I’ll dive into the details of the standard MBII (still my preferred version of the watch) in an upcoming hands-on review. In it, you’ll be able to read everything about the strenuous testing process that these watches go through. In the meantime, for more information, you can check out the Bremont website.
To mark the occasion, Bremont has also created an enameled Bremont Challenge coin, which will be included as a gift with all watch purchases through May (while stocks last).
What do you think of the Bremont MBII King Charles III Limited Edition? Is it a watch worthy of a king? Or do you only have eyes for the original? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.