Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

Davide Cerrato, CEO of Bremont, on his Plans for the Future of the British Watchmaker

Shaping the future of Britain's prime watchmaker.

| By Xavier Markl | 5 min read |

Bremont, Britain’s largest manufacturer of luxury watches, recently announced that it has appointed Davide Cerrato as CEO and a member of the Board. During Dubai Watch Week 2023, we had time to sit down with this industry veteran and understand his message to clients, how the company’s new growth plan will work… and more.

Xavier Markl, MONOCHROME – Davide, what brought you to Bremont? How did this new story start?

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Davide Cerrato, CEO of Bremont – I firmly believe things do not happen by chance. In a way, I have always admired British things; I have always been told I dress like an Englishman… well, half-Brit, half-Italian. Let’s say a Brit from the South…

Bremont was looking for a new CEO following an injection of capital, someone experienced from the watchmaking industry. I have been active in the segment where Bremont operates for years, at Tudor and Montblanc, in particular. This is a segment I really love: it is super competitive, value-driven and client-oriented. Furthermore, I have also specialized in conducting turnarounds, which require a particular set of skills and a 360-degree understanding of the business. In a way, all of my experiences were converging towards Bremont. 

We have had a superb connection from the beginning with Giles and Nick, the Bremont brothers, but also with the President of the Board and the investors, Bill Ackman, who is a really inspirational person and the incredible people at Hellcat. 

All the ingredients were there: the brand is amazing, and the challenge is interesting.

That was one of our questions. Being a veteran of the industry, you obviously knew Bremont… but what have you discovered?

Well, I did not know as much about Bremont as you might think. The brand is well known, of course, but the brand’s communication strategy has not been continuous. 

Still, in a way, I found what I was expecting: a lot of authenticity. Giles and Nick put all of their passion into Bremont, along with many incredibly passionate and dedicated people. You also have very different backgrounds since Bremont is based in the UK and not in Switzerland. There are people from different industries with different practices. I immediately saw a huge potential for improvement.

What are you trying to inject into the brand?

Because the brand had grown in a very organic way, there were many different stories, collaborations and partnerships. I counted over 65 from Williams to Jaguar… It is very clever on one side, but there are too many stories running simultaneously. We need more focus. 

“Adventure and Exploration” is the topic. We just launched our new campaign “Take it further”. It is a fantastic aggregation of what Bremont stands for. Bremont is British, and “Adventure and Exploration” are very British themes. With it, we can talk about Britishness differently while being universal and future-proof. We have these ties with militaries, with thousands of people testing our watches on the field daily. I want to make Bremont the king of tool watches that are tested every day. We have this strong “product testing culture”, the epitome being the Martin Baker fighter ejection seat technology.

This sports watch identity of the brand allows us to simplify, too. There were too many stories, lines, sub-lines and, in the end, no iconic watch. People need to associate the brand with a product. So, we are simplifying the collection.

There will be four categories: Adventure, Water, Land and Air. Water is simple; we have a collection called Supermarine that needs streamlining and a stronger identity. We’re taking a first step now with Supermarine and will follow up with a stronger one in February. Land will be a completely new line to be unveiled at Watches and Wonders. It is really strong, inspired by British military watches. Finally, Air will be the focus for next year, from July 2024.

So, all together, a single positioning for the brand with clear product lines. Then, we’ll work on the pricing, lowering the entry price of the range and moving into more affordable price positionings. And at the same time, we’ll develop new, super interesting complications for our existing clients.

Bremont Isle of Man TT Limited Edition Chronograph

Last but not least, we are very strong in the UK, but we are working on relaunching the brand in the US and here, in the Middle East, where we have announced our partnership with Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons to develop Bremont in the region.

What about Bremont’s production facilities?

Discovering the manufacturing premises put a huge smile on my face. All the clients visiting the manufacture are astonished. The premises are superb. This is where you understand what the brand stands for today.

So, what do you make in-house?

We do all the assembly here; we make movement parts, some of our cases, and we decorate parts… Naturally, we have several partners for specific parts. We want to grow from 10,000 to 30,000 or 35,000 pieces. This is the goal. We make some of our movements but work with Sellita for others. 

The latest GMT is an “office GMT”. Do you plan on developing a “Traveller” GMT? Is that a possibility with your own movements?

Not with this one, but we are thinking about that and planning to expand the number of complications and functions we offer. Starting in Watches and Wonders, we’ll present a new complication and our movement strategy.

Bremont Supermarine S302 GMT Diver Second Generation 2023 update

Back to these recent product launches, can you tell us about the new Supermarines?

These are the first steps of reframing the Supermarine GMT Diver 300m. We have added a 24-hour bezel because the GMT and non-GMT had the same bezels before, and I wanted to highlight the functionality. And then, many details have been redesigned. For example, the font for the 24-hour is new and more technical. The Supermarine font has been changed and is now orange. The London signature will now appear on all dials. We use different colours. I really believe we need to introduce more colours, more fun and originality. We have worked on the bracelets and straps. The rubber is tapered and slimmer, and the leather straps are new, too.

It is a first step, but the second step, in February 2024, will reveal the Supermarine as a genuine tool watch. And of course, we are working on lowering the prices.

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6 responses

  1. Ok, so no revamp, but a marketing adjustment and fine-line design fixes.

  2. It’ll be interesting to see if he really lowers the outrageously high pricing that accompanies bremont and what he means by “lowering” so it isn’t merely a marketing gimmick, in other words, window dressing, rather than a real amount of reduction, whatever that may be. And if quality will be impacted negatively in an attempt to draw customers in with a lower price point for an entry level product. So much of the watch industry has positioned itself with marketing hype that it becomes perilous just trying to navigate through their hyperbolic propaganda.

  3. The ORIS Big Crown ProPilot Day/Date is still the best looking watch and the best value around.

  4. Lowering prices is something you NEVER hear from brands these days, Ill be watching

  5. As a Brit and watch enthusiast I would have said the Bremont still has that whiff of being one of ‘least authentic’ brands around, despite their recent (and better ) efforts. It’s still got that ‘watches for Nice But Dim’ redolence: watches for toffs who think JLC might be a boys band…. Slim the range, intensify value, invest in dial quality, improve the bracelets, get yourself an icon or ‘central pillar’ product. Then we’d buy…

  6. Bremont’s biggest problems being addressed. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. Tick
    Communication (stop pretending to be more than you are) tick tick
    Pricing… Get rid of the outrageous pricing and trying to justify it. Tick tick tick

    Then you’ll have a good product at a fair price.


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