The Bremont Codebreaker
Moments ago, Bremont unveiled its latest special creation, the Codebreaker. This flyback chronograph GMT fake watch takes its styling cues from 1940s officer replica watches and incorporates components salvaged from Bletchley Park, the center of WWII code breaking in Britain. Here we have an in-depth look at the aptly-named Codebreaker, including details on the historical connections, technical specs, pricing, and even some early live photos.
Breaking Codes At Bletchley Park
To create the Codebreaker, Bremont has worked closely with the Bletchley Park Trust to gather original materials from the days of British code-cracking during World War II. Bletchley Park was the center of the British (and in many ways the Allied) decryption effort, uncovering the secrets held in messages created with German Enigma and Lorenz machines. Thousands of scientists worked with cutting edge machinery to keep the Allies abreast of the Axis's latest communications, fighting the all-important war of information within World War II. Artefacts recovered at Bletchley Park are incorporated into each Codebreaker fake watch and in return Bremont is donating a portion of the proceeds back to the Trust.
The Codebreaker, A Flyback Chronograph GMT
Before we get into the specific components of the fake watch that come from Bletchley Park, let's look at what the Codebreaker offers as a watch. The Codebreaker is a two-register flyback chronograph with a GMT hand and a date display. This is the first Bremont to feature a flyback, something diehard pilot fake watch fans have been anxiously awaiting. The two subregisters, which are a running seconds register and a 30-minute totalizer, reside in the lower portion of the dial with the date window tucked neatly between them. A bright red arrow hand points to a 24-hour scale that sits outside the railroad minutes track, inside of which are the Arabic hour numerals.
Right here we already have a fake watch worth getting excited about. But we've haven't even touched on the Bletchley Park connections yet. Various elements of the fake watch draw their inspiration from the codebreaking headquarters, while others are actually crafted of salvaged materials from Bletchley Park, not unlike the connection between the Bremont Victory and the HMS Victory itself.
Enigma Machine & Enigma Rotor
Looking at the dial, the only obvious nod to Bletchley you'll see is the tonal "1010101" pattern in the chronograph subregisters, hinting at early computing and code cracking. But it's turning the Codebreaker over and looking at the BE-83AR movement that reveals the real connections here. The movement's winding rotor, which itself bears what appears to be a coded message (spoiler: it's a meshing of "Bremont" and "Turing"), contains material from the rotor of an original Enigma machine, the most infamous German encryption device. It was at Bletchley Park that the Enigma was finally cracked, and this breakthrough is widely considered to have been one of the most important steps towards Allied victory.
A Closer Look At The Codebreaker's Caseback and BE-83AR Movement
Alan Turing's Bombe Machine
And the device that allowed the Engima's messages to be deciphered was the Bombe Machine. Invented by Alan Turing, one of the founding fathers of computer science, the Bombe made code-breaking quick enough that the messages were still meaningful when they were decoded. The center of the Codebreaker's rotor was designed to mimick the shape of the Bombe machine's drums, which you can see above.
Punchcard Serial Number
Moving to the sides of the Codebreaker's 43mm case, we find two more hidden code connections. Each Codebreaker bears a unique serial number, and this serial number is laid out using clippings from punch cards used at Bletchley Park. Early computers did not use keyboards for input, but instead required the punching of paper cards that would be fed into the machine to run a particular program. Using the remaining numbers from five of these cards, a little piece of early computer and code history is in each Codebreaker's caseband.
Hut 6, Bletchley Park's Nervecenter
Finally, the Codebreaker's crown contains wood from a building called Hut 6. It was in Hut 6 that the data was actually processed to crack each day's Enigma code - the encryption settings changed daily and required new keys each time. It's fair to say that Hut 6 was the nerve center of Bletchley Park. Pine from Hut 6's floorboards was harvested and set into each Codebreaker's crown.
The Crown With Pine From Hut 6
The Codebreaker combines some of the things we love most about Bremont's watches, with a historical tie-in that you can't help but love. There is the flyback GMT movement (again, a Bremont first), the tougher-than-nails construction, attention to the smallest details, the pure pilot styling, and the significant, but not at all over-the-top bits of history embedded directly into each Codebreaker. This is one of those concepts that could start to feel gimmicky very quickly, but here it feels quintessentially Bremont.
The BE-83AR Movement, A Heavily Modified Valjoux 7750
The BE-83AR movement that powers the Codebreaker is a brand new caliber, and the first flyback in Bremont's arsenal. While the team at Bremont started with a Valjoux 7750, you can tell just by looking at the dial that this movement has been heavily modified to suit Bremont's purposes. The subregisters have been lowered, and both flyback functions and the GMT hand were added to this already modified structure. It's not in-house, but it is far from being a standard ebauche movement.
The Codebreaker On The Wrist
As you might expect by this point, the Codebreaker is a limited edition. Bremont will be making 240 pieces in steel and 50 in 18k rose gold, priced at $18,500 and $33,995 respectively. Orders are being taken now through your regular Bremont dealers and delivery is expected late 2013.
Enjoy the gallery below and please visit Bremont: Codebreaker for further information.
Special thanks to Piers Berry for the exclusive live photos and wristshots.Bremont First Cap The Big Bang Referee 2018 World Cup Russia? Connected fake watch Debut