Following on from the great success and interest generated by the arrival of the very special and unique EP120 Limited Edition watch back in late 2008, Bremont are releasing the Limited Edition ‘Bremont P-51’, a chronograph chronometer built with original parts from the famous 1944 Mustang WWII aircraft P-51K-10 (serial number 44-12016), a Pacific war veteran also known as ‘Fragile but Agile’.
Original aluminium metal from the aircraft fuselage is integrated into both the dial and the movement of the timepiece; with the dial itself inspired by the clocks found in the P-51 aircraft. The 43mm hardened steel Trip-Tick® case, using Bremont’s B-EBE2000 technology, integrates the new rotating ‘Roto-Click®’ inner bezel that houses four ball-bearings inside the case. As with many of Bremont’s latest watch designs, the P-51 is assembled the company’s atelier in England rather than their workshop in Biel-Bienne in Switzerland, and houses a modified Swiss BE-54A automatic chronometer movement that also shows UTC time. The watch will be limited to only 251 pieces. The watch is to be unveiled at Basel 2011 and released in the autumn.
P-51K-10 (serial number 44-12016) rolled off the North American Aviation assembly line in Dallas, Texas, on 18 December 1944 and was then loaded on to a ship on the 15th January 1945 for an assignment in the Far East. It was to take part in the American campaign to retake the Philippine Islands from the Japanese. On arrival in the Pacific Theatre of Operations, the aircraft was assigned to the 342nd Fighter Squadron of the 348th Fighter Group, which then was stationed at the San Marcelino airbase, just north of Manila Bay. Lt. Bert Lee Jr. was assigned to fly the aircraft and was credited with two confirmed victories during the war, which accounts for the two Japanese flags painted below his name on the plane. One was a Japanese A6M “Zero” fighter near Manila and the other a twin-engine “Betty” bomber. A lot of Lt. Lee’s missions in the P-51 were ground support in what was then Indochina.
Lee and his Mustang both survived the war. Following its time in the US Air Force, ‘Fragile but Agile’ then spent time serving with both the Swedish and Israeli military before eventually being restored by pilot and collector Stephen Grey and The Fighter Collection based at Duxford in the UK. In 2009 the Mustang was acquired by another collector and good friend of Stephen’s – Dan Friedkin, based in Houston, Texas.
Movement – Modified calibre 13 1/4″ BE-54AE automatic chronometer. 25 jewels. Glucydur balance. Anachron balance spring. Nivaflex 1 mainspiring. 28,800bph. 42 hour power reserve. Hand-crafted aluminum rotor from 44-12016 skin.
Functions – Hour/minute/second, date at 4H, chronograph with seconds and 30 minutes, 24 hour UTC hand.
Case – Hardened stainless steel Bremont Trip Tick® construction with scratch resistant PVD treated case barrel. Case diameter 43.00 mm, lug width 22.00 mm, case thickness 16.00 mm.
Case Back – Stainless steel with integrated flat crystal, 5 stainless steel screws with polished heads.
Bezel – Internally rotating bezel operated by crown at 8H with Bremont Roto-Click® technology.
Dial – Metal dial with various ground colours with integrated aluminum sub-dial from 44-12016 skin. Coated nickel hands with bespoke SuperLumiNova®.
Crystal – Domed anti-reflective, scratch resistant sapphire crystal.
Water-resistant – 10 ATM, 100 metres.
Ratings – C.O.S.C chronometer tested.
Bracelet – Tanned embossed calf-skin leather strap with stainless steel solid deployment buckle and engraved security clasp.