Bremont Opens First U.S. Store In New York
Megan Hilty and and Philip Winchester helped celebrate the British watchmaker’s Madison Avenue opening.
The resurgent British watch industry — with luxury brand Bremont in the vanguard — planted a flag in New York on Tuesday night with the opening of the 13-year-old maker's first U.S. stand-alone store on Madison Avenue.
Known for its work with military squadrons to develop cutting-edge aviation watches, as well as partnerships ranging from Boeing to Jaguar, Bremont welcomed guests to its new Midtown Manhattan boutique, including actress-singer Megan Hilty and her husband, musician and actor Brian Gallagher, and Philip Winchester, who will appear this fall in NBC’s Las Vegas-set drama The Player. Giles and Nick English, brothers, aviators and co-founders of the British-based watchmaker, also welcomed Russell Coutts and Jimmy Spithill, yachtsmen who have been integral to a slew of America’s Cup victories in recent years. “They’re the gods of the sailing world — understated, utter professionals, and the best in the world at what they do,” Nick English told Pret-a-Reporter.
Coutts and Spithill accompanied the night’s other guest of honor, which took center stage in Bremont’s window: the America’s Cup, the oldest trophy in international sports, first awarded by Queen Victoria in 1851. In May Bremont signed on as the official timekeeping sponsor of both the 35thAmerica’s Cup, which kicks off in July in Portsmouth, England, and Oracle Team USA, the yacht racing syndicate that, as winners of the 34th America’s Cup, is set to defend its title. On Tuesday night Bremont also debuted a quartet of special-edition watches to commemorate the partnership: the ACI and ACII, in white and rose gold and inspired by elegant sailing yachts of the 1930s; and the sportier Oracle I and Oracle II, waterproof sailing watches crafted in stainless steel. “It’s a boyhood dream,” said Giles English. “Nick and I watched the America’s Cup as little kids, so to be approached and asked to make watches for such a historical competition, that’s just such a wow.”
Gallagher and Winchester talked up their love of Bremont timepieces, with their mix of classic styling and, like the America’s Cup, influences that range from racing to military aircraft. “I’m a watch guy — to me they symbolize hard work and determination,” Winchester said. “I also love that Bremont has its roots in England; I have an English mother and American father, and most of the jobs I’ve done have been in the U.K., so I bounce back and forth a lot. So to me, something that’s sourced and built in the U.K. is very cool.”
Hilty, meanwhile, is days away from being able to discuss her next Broadway project — a play rather than a musical, though that’s all she could divulge as of Tuesday evening. “They keep telling me they’re about to announce it; I’m bursting to talk about it,” she said. In the meantime, she and Gallagher have been making the concert rounds, including a recent two-week stint at Cafe Carlyle, while in early June Hilty also took part in the one-night-only concert, a benefit for The Actors Fund, of Bombshell, the Marilyn Monroe-themed show-within-a-show from Smash, the Steven Spielberg-produced musical drama that ran for two seasons on NBC.
While Smash was canceled in 2013, it’s clear that Hilty — who starred alongside Debra Messing, Katharine McPhee and 2015 Tony winner (for Something Rotten!) Christian Borle — maintains a genuine fondness for the show. Now that Bombshell is officially being developed for Broadway, how is Hilty feeling about such a meta moment? “I think it’s amazing,” she said. “When we did the concert, it was clear there were still so many fans of these amazing songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Everyone should have a chance to enjoy such a wonderful experience.”