Bremont announces launch of HMS Victory watch at Basel 2012
12 March 2012 | By Kate Donovan
Bremont Watch Company took the opening evening of BaselWorld 2012 as its opportunity to reveal its work with the National Museum of the Royal Navy to create a limited edition watch that will feature original parts of the HMS Victory.
Each mechanical retrograde watch will be made with original parts of the HMS Victory – the only remaining 18th Century ship anywhere in the world – built into it. The HMS Victory remains the oldest serving warship still to be in commission and still has her own Captain, offices and crew and flies the flag of the Second Sea Lord, Commander in Chief Naval Home Command.
Launched in 1765, the ship is most famous as Lord Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. In 1922 she was moved to a dry dock at Portsmouth and preserved as a museum ship. She continues to be flagship of the Second Sea Lord and is the oldest naval ship still in commission.
The ship sustained considerable damage after the battle of Trafalgar and had a major re-fit in 1814 and 1888 and then in 1903 following an accident where she was almost sunk on her mooring as a result of being struck by another boat. In 1910 the Society for Nautical Research was set up and in 1922 she was placed into dry dock where she currently stands.
Many years of exposure have taken their toll on HMS Victory and in 2010 a major refit was commissioned to preserve her for future generations. To commemorate Nelson and the HMS Victory, Bremont is producing a watch that will include parts of oak timber and copper from the original ship. Part of the proceeds of each watch will go towards the refurbishment and preservation of the ship.
Bremont co-founder Giles English said: “Nelson went to my school and as a boy he always fascinated me, I remember clearly the first time I visited HMS Victory. Over the last few years both Nick and myself have been working with the Royal Navy Fleet air arm Heritage and that’s when we heard about the restoration of HMS Victory. With no hesitation we approached the Navy and discussed the possibility of creating a watch using original parts from the ship. Not only did we want to make the watch unique but we also want it to be a horological masterpiece.”
Giles Gould from the National Museum Royal Navy, commented: “We take any relationship such as this very seriously and we have to be very confident that both HMS Victory and Nelson will be honoured correctly. We have never released original wood or copper that is as old as this and we think what Bremont is building is an amazing tribute.”
The watch will be launched on HMS Victory on the July 12, 2012.