Just ahead of the Guinness Six Nations Rugby match that kicks off this weekend, Bremont releases its RFU 150, a commemorative piece to mark the 150th anniversary of the Rugby Football Union (RFU). Decked out in blue to match the colour of England Rugby’s alternate team kit, the RFU 150 offers 24-hour GMT functionality and comes in a robust 43mm steel case with an impressive 500-metre water-resistance. A nice perk for rugby fans is the ceramic bezel with red and white indicators to indicate the approach of half/full-time and extra-time.
The English brothers
Nick and Giles English, two aviators with a passion for flying historic aircraft, set up Bremont Chronometers in 2002 in Henley-on-Thames. Determined to inject new life into British watchmaking and undertake as much of the manufacturing and assembly process in situ, the brothers earned their watchmaking wings with a range of pilot’s watches and bespoke watches for elite military squadrons. All things British are celebrated at Bremont ranging from athletes, army men and sportspeople to partnerships with companies like Martin-Baker ejector seats and events like the Henley Royal Regatta and the Isle of Man TT race.
Rugby was originally played in public schools in the first half of the 19th century and got its name from Rugby School in Warwickshire. Upon graduation, students from public schools took the game with them to universities. To regulate the sport and set down the rules, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) was formed on 26 January 1871. Uniting 21 founder clubs, two sub-committees were formed: the first was composed of three Old Rugbeians who were in charge of writing the Laws of the Game, the second committee had to choose a team to play against Scotland. In March 1871, England played its first international match against Scotland. In 1907, the RFU committee needed a home base and 10 acres of grounds were bought near Twickenham. The first match played at Twickenham was between Harlequins and Richmond in 1909, and the first international was between England and Wales in 1910. Since its acquisition, the stadium at Twickenham has been the permanent home of the England national team and is the largest dedicated rugby stadium in the world.
Last year, Bremont forged ties with England Rugby and Twickenham Stadium, two venerable British institutions in the history of rugby. To celebrate the 2020 partnership, Bremont produced the Rose watch and delivered branded match clocks for the stadium. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Rugby Football Union (RFU). To commemorate the anniversary, Bremont has released the RFU 150 chronograph with a 24-hour GMT hand and a blue ceramic bezel designed for rugby fans with red markings to signal the approach of half/full-time and white for extra-time.
Beefy case, blue dial
As mentioned, the 43mm stainless steel case of the RFU 150 GMT is exceptionally resilient and similar in build to the brand’s Supermarine 500 dive watch introduced in 2009. The automatic helium escape valve, crown protector and screw-down caseback are all traits of the dive watch designed to ensure the 500m water-resistance. The case is thick and robust and features a unidirectional rotating bezel, another feature associated with dive watches. Picked out in blue, the bezel can also be used to keep track of the playing time of a rugby match. Red markings between 35 and 40 minutes on the bezel indicate the approach of half and full-time, while the five white increments between 40 and 45 minutes can be used for extra-time periods.
Moving in from the bezel is the silver 24-hour track corresponding to the arrow-shaped GMT hand with its red profile. The name Twickenham is also stamped on this track. The navy blue dial, like the bezel, replicates the colour of England Rugby’s alternate kit. The team’s home kit is white while their alternate kit is blue with red details on the collar and the Heritage Rose on the chest. The indices are applied to the blue dial with Arabic numerals at 12, 6 and 9 o’clock leaving the position at 3 o’clock available for the date window. The indices and hands are all treated with Super-LumiNova.
Beneath the screw-in steel caseback with its engraved Heritage Rose is the BE-93-2AV automatic chronometer movement (rated to ISO 3159 standard). Made in Switzerland, the movement is based on an ETA/Sellita architecture (2893-2), beats at a frequency of 28,800vph and has a power reserve of 42 hours. Bremont’s patented anti-shock mount protects the movement to avoid any shocks.
Availability & Price
Completing the watch’s sturdy looks is a 22mm integrated steel bracelet with a folding clasp. The Bremont RFU 150 is limited to 150 pieces, retails for GBP 3,995 and can be ordered on the brand’s website. More information at Bremont.