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With only eight days until King Charles III ascends to the throne during what is expected to be a coronation watched live by millions around the world, British-based brands are celebrating with a wealth of commemorative items to honor the moment England’s new monarch is crowned on Saturday, May 6. And it’s only fitting that a limited-edition timepiece is included among the offerings.
British watchmaking enjoys a history that dates back to the 17th century, the same era when Charles I and Charles II ruled a then not-so-United Kingdom. While Switzerland today is the epicenter of the watchmaking industry, Bremont is among the England-based firms that continue to highlight the beauty and handcraft of British timepieces. Their latest piece, the limited-edition MBII King Charles LE, makes its debut today, April 28, and tips its hat to the new king in a subtle and elegant way.
Bremont co-founders and brothers Giles and Nick English said they chose to modify their existing MBII model not only because it’s a style that lends itself well to customization, but also because the MB stands for Martin-Baker, a British aviation company that has partnered with Bremont since 2007 and represents the best of British engineering. Featuring an automatic movement handcrafted in Bremont’s headquarters at Henley-on-Thames, located 37 miles west of London, the MBII King Charles LE exudes an ultra-classic feel with its white metal dial and black numerals, housed in a 43mm stainless-steel case.
The hour and minute hands are fashioned in a watchmaking style known as “cathedral,” as their shapes evoke thoughts of the geometric details in the framing of stained-glass windows, which may be a nod to Westminster Abbey, the location of the May 6 coronation. But it’s undeniable that the seconds hand deftly honors the new king: it’s purple, the color associated with royalty for centuries (once the most difficult and costly fabric dye to make, purple became the preferred color to convey wealth as early as the 15th century B.C.). The closed steel caseback, meanwhile, is engraved with the official King Charles III Coronation Emblem.
Other details include a date window at the 3 o’clock position and a 38-hour power reserve, while the steel case is placed on a black leather strap offset with white stitching. Only 50 pieces will be made of the MBII King Charles LE, which retails for $4,995 USD and is available at bremont.com. During the month of May, Bremont is also offering a commemorative coin inspired by traditional military challenge coins and embossed with the Coronation Emblem, available with any Bremont purchase while supplies last.
Giles English noted that Bremont already enjoys an association with both the British military and the monarchy; for the latter, the company was commissioned by Jaguar to create bespoke car clocks for Queen Elizabeth II’s fleet of Jaguar automobiles. “As a business we’ve been hugely honored to be the sole luxury watch manufacturer for His Majesty’s Armed Forces since 2019 and have received various Royal commissions over the years,” English said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be celebrating the Coronation with this very limited version of our MBII.”
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