He would either “amount to nothing or turn out to be unusually capable”. That’s what Professor Stephen Hawking’s friends bet a bag of sweets on at the age of just 12 years old. Little did they know the latter would be the biggest understatement of the century. Theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking devoted his entire life to studying black holes, the laws of physics, gravitational forces, and the history of the universe – but most of all, time. Henley-on-Thames watchmaker Bremont commemorates the life of one of the world’s most influential legends of cosmology with a limited edition series of watches named the Bremont Hawking. Stainless steel, as well as 18k white gold and 18k rose gold versions have been released today, and also the brand’s first limited edition lady’s iteration. The Bremont Hawking features a grand date, a retrograde second hand, a chronometer-certified movement, special etching on the caseback and pieces of a meteorite to symbolize the cosmos.
The work of a legendary physicist
Stephen Hawking’s theories on cosmology achieved huge commercial success throughout his life but also changed the history of popular science by explaining quantum mechanics and relativity. His work helped advance our understanding of black holes with his “Hawking Radiation” theory, suggesting that a black hole emit heat and slowly contracts. And whilst his passing leaves a somewhat intellectual vacuum in the minds of fellow scientists, teachers and scholars – the icon lives on in this poignant tribute to his ground-breaking work.
A piece of real history
Bremont is known for weaving slivers of historical artefacts into its special edition watches. The P-51 and EP120 limited edition watches incorporated pieces of famous WWII fighter aircraft. Fragments of copper and oak timber were blended into the Bremont Victory in 2012, followed by the 240-piece limited edition Bremont Codebreaker, which included segments of punch cards and wood taken from Bletchley Park’s Hut 6.
Similarly, the Bremont Hawking incorporates a sample of wood taken from a vintage desk drawer that Hawking inherited from his grandmother. It had been gifted to her as a retirement present, marking her role in founding Yorkshire’s Boroughbridge girl’s school. It became the desk that Hawking would sit at to recall fond childhood memories and to compose some of his theories on. In addition to this, the serial number of the watch is printed on original copies of the 1979 seminal research paper that Hawking co-wrote. “The ‘nuts’ and ‘bolts’ of Gravity” outlined his theory of the thermal properties of black holes.
The Bremont Hawking Limited Edition Collection
Bremont brothers, Giles and Nick have worked closely with the Hawking family, to pay homage to Professor Stephen Hawking’s knowledge of time, the universe and beyond. The stainless steel and black dial variation is limited to 388 pieces worldwide, the 18ct rose gold with black dial – 88 pieces, and the 18ct white gold with blue dial – 88 pieces. The limited number refers to the year 1988 in which Hawking published his “Brief History of Time” science book.
The 41mm Bremont Hawking Limited Edition watch features luminous-coated hour and minute hands that taper to a fine point, while the hour markers are rectangular baton-shaped. A retrograde second hand is located at 6 o’clock balanced by the large double-date window display at 12 o’clock. Inside the case of the Bremont Hawking is the new chronometer-certified BE-33AE which provides a 42-hour power reserve. The self-winding calibre is concealed behind a unique hand-finished caseback that depicts the positioning of the stars in the sky above Oxford on 8th January 1942 – the day of Hawking’s birth. At the centre of the design is a piece of meteorite symbolising the cosmos.
For the first time, Bremont has also chosen to release a limited-to-88-pieces lady’s 34mm steel variation. It features a full meteorite dial, diamond dot indexes, diamond-set bezel, a matte polished steel bracelet and a transparent caseback that exposes a ‘black-hole’-inspired automatic rotor with hand-finished swirling.
The Bremont Hawking Limited Edition collection launches today. More details on the rose gold, white gold, steel and lady’s version can be found here, at www.bremont.com.