The British Wristwatch Fit for 'The Kingsman's' Stylish Spies
Nick English loved filming his cameo in the upcoming spy thriller Kingsman: The Secret Service, but he harbors no desire to quit his day job anytime soon. “It’s a lot of waiting around, isn’t it?” he says of the process. “It was tremendous fun, but I don’t know how actors do that all the time.”
English is the co-founder (with his brother Giles) of British watchmaker Bremont, which designed three watches seen in the film, set for release Feb. 13. The brand was already on the radar of director Matthew Vaughn when he and his wife, supermodel Claudia Schiffer, checked out Bremont’s shop in London’s tony Mayfair district in the summer of 2013. “He’s a watch guy who really knows his stuff,” English said after a screening of the film Thursday night at New York’s Tribeca Grand Hotel. “He definitely wanted a British watch brand as part of the Kingsman look, and we also work quite a bit with the military, which made us a great fit. We were thrilled.”
Founded in 2002, Bremont is among a select group of U.K.-based companies that have sparked a newfound appreciation for British watchmaking; today the brand is found in the watch collections of Orlando Bloom, Tom Cruise, Ryan Seacreast and Hugh Bonneville. To accompany the crisp, Savile Row look Vaughn wanted for the film, English developed three special-edition Kingsman watches based on Bremont’s World Timer, a global chronograph geared for pilots and world travelers. Taron Egerton’s Eggsy features prominently among the Kingsman trainees who wear a black chronograph on a NATO strap, while Mark Strong’s Merlin, the trainer of the elite spy league, wears a stainless-steel version. Full-fledged agents, such as those portrayed by stars Colin Firth and Michael Caine, wear the more polished version in 18-karat rose gold.
Each is currently offered as part of a 60-piece Kingsman capsule collection available at MrPorter.com and inspired by the film. (The watches, $7,360 to $24,430, expand to additional retailers Feb. 9.) The collection is rich with British tradition. Vaughn and costume designer Arianne Phillips collaborated with ultra-classic labels for the bespoke items the Kingsman agents wear onscreen — and for the collection offered on the site, which includes shirts from Turnbull & Asser and shoes from George Cleverley.
In his brief appearance near the film’s beginning, English said he enjoyed living the Kingsman life, however briefly. “Matthew called me up one day and said, ‘Want to be in the movie?’ ” he remembers. “Next thing you know, my hair was cut and I was in a beautiful suit sitting next to Michael Caine and Colin Firth. There are certainly worse ways to spend your day.”