A quality watch has many characteristics that make it unique. With the U-2/51-JET, Bremonthasdone something particularly unique in my eyes by seamlessly melding several styles into one timepiece. The Bremont U-2/51-JET is a pilot watch that can trace its lineage to the original U-2 model that was developed for the 9th Reconnaissance Wing (USAF) and tested at altitudes up to 100,000 feet and temperatures as low as -50 degrees Celsius.
Bremont literally decided to take a darker, stealthier approach with this new model, drawing inspiration from a military project involving the RAF’s 100 Squadron. Bremont Co-Founder Nick English stated, “Our military projects continue to be an amazing test bed for new design features and the work we did for the Hawk T1 Fighter Squadron is a prime example of this. The jet black that is synonymous with them was a key focus to translate into the watch design; to that end we developed a new type of anodization which helped us achieve a much deeper black on the aluminum barrel. If you compare this to the U-2 DLC for instance you can really see the difference. The color contrast between the jet black, vintage lume and blue hands makes for arguably our stealthiest watch to date.”
The 43mm case is made of DLC Trip-Tick® coated stainless steel featuring their Jet black barrel. Water resistant to 100m, construction is immaculate. To me, the barrel adds an elevated-sport look to the watch that has an otherwise dressy-casual appearance on the dial. Lug width is 22mm and features a beautiful black leather strap with Bremont logo engraved on the clasp.
A domed Sapphire crystal with double anti-reflective coating covers the flat-black metal dial. Dial markers are coated in Super-LumiNova. This is an important feature that I’ve be letdown by with so many high-end watches. Bremont nailed it with a powerful and beautiful lume on the dial and hands. The date window is located at the 3 o’clock position and accents the simple, clean dial very well.
Hour, minute, and second hands are constructed of blue steel and are powered by a modified caliber 11 1/2’’’ BE-36AE automatic chronometer movement. The C.O.S.C chronometer certified and tested movement also features 25 jewels, Glucydur balance, Anachron balance spring, Nivaflex 1 mainspring, 28,800 bph, 38-hour power reserve, and a Bremont molded and skeletised decorated rotor. Date window and hands are controlled by the top crown (2H position). The bottom crown at the 4H position controls the patented Bremont bidirectional inner Roto-Click® bezel. Clicks are seamless and have what may be the best action I’ve experienced in a watch. The caseback features a stainless steel DLC finish with a smoked, black-tinted Sapphire crystal that displays the skeletised rotor. This feature gives the watch a rugged, mysterious aspect that is incredible to handle and view. Six steel DLC screws secure the caseback which only add to the rugged look.
Looking back at my observations on the watch, I am very happy with what Bremont produced in terms of quality and style. They seem to have achieved a dressy-casual look with the dial, a sporty look with their case and barrel, and a rugged look with their caseback. I don’t know how intentional this melding was, but all together the result is a massive success in my eyes for the Bremont team with their U-2/51-JET.
*All photos courtesy of the author