Rewind back to 2009, and Bremont’s co-founders Nick and Giles English created their first ever diving watch, the 43mm Supermarine 500. Practical, robust and distinctive, but still very much in keeping with the brand’s aviation heritage. The Supermarine namesake was chosen as a tribute to the iconic British aircraft manufacturer responsible for the Supermarine S6B Schneider Trophy Seaplane and the Supermarine Spitfire, both of which the brothers have a deep affection for. Fast forward to today, and what we have before us is a very capable diver’s watch with an incredible depth rating, a gorgeous aesthetic and very sound mechanics. Let’s delve into the depths with the Supermarine S501.
Similar to that of the Jaguar MKII, the Supermarine S501 features a stainless-steel Trip-Tick case with a scratch resistant DLC treated case barrel. The 43mm wide, 16mm deep case might sound a little hefty, but in all honesty (and I speak with complete transparency here), it was supremely comfortable and actually very light. Very easy to wear and it virtually went with any of my chosen outfits. The sapphire uni-directional bezel features a Super-LumiNova coating over the faux-patina numerals, ensuring legibility in low-light environments, be that on land or beneath the wavs. The off-centre crown placement is very cool, as is the sweeping crown guard. I think that the Supermarine S501’s impressive wearability factor could stem from the placement of that crown. All of this combines to make the Supermarine S501 a true diver’s watch, and with a 501m depth rating in such a durable case build, the S501 would have to be one of the market’s best-valued diver’s pieces.
The dial is as beautiful as anything. The faux-patina hour markets and lume-filled hands are wonderful. The different textures on the dial keep things very engaging. And the red-tipped seconds hand and Supermarine inscription at 6 o’clock provide enough contrast to break up the dial’s darkness. The ornate hands are a welcomed addition, as is the touch of faux-patina ribboning the crown. As far as wearable diver’s watches go, the Supermarine S501 is really up there with the likes of a Submariner or a Seamaster. Truly special.
The Supermarine S501 is powered by the Bremont BE-36AE, an automatic chronometer certified calibre which is based on the ETA 2836-2. Interestingly enough, and if I’m mistaken please feel free to let me know, but I do believe the Supermarine S501 is one of the only 501m-plus water-resistant timepieces to feature a sapphire crystal exhibition caseback. From an engineering perspective, this is truly exceptional. Bremont didn’t need to push the limits any more than they already had with the Supermarine S501, but they did, and by doing so they really hammered home the idea that watches produced outside of Switzerland are well worthy of our attention and certainly do deserve our respect. The movement isn’t as well finished as that of the Jaguar MKII, but it’s still a very adequate mechanism, and it’s one that will definitely stand the test of time.
The Supermarine S501 in its entirety is a fantastic watch, no two ways about it. Dress it up or down and you’re still going to be thrilled by its presence on your wrist. I was a big fan of the Supermarine S501 when I first saw I, and I still am today. The Supermarine collection is one of my favourites within the Bremont atelier, and the S501 is like its crowning jewel. An immense depth rating. Beautiful design architecture. An exposed movement. And a look that is well versed in the demands of the typical modern-day watch enthusiast. The Bremont Supermarine S501 has a retail price of $5,950 and is available now.