Bremont Supermarine S302 GMT Review

By: Michael Penate

Five years ago if you’d told me I’d be reviewing a Bremont Supermarine on TBWS, I’d probably tell you to go kick rocks. Not only was the price range so outside of what we’d ever imagine having in for review, the brand was such a mystery and the earlier designs didn’t personally do much for me.

With the exception of that killer Terra Nova, it wasn’t until 2017—with the release of the S300 and S301—that I started paying attention. That move to a 40mm case opened up a ton of possibilities for Bremont, one being the Bremont Supermarine S302 GMT dive watch.

Common Questions About Bremont

Is Bremont A Luxury Brand?

Bremont falls well within what we’d consider the boutique luxury realm, with high-quality manufacturing that’s ambitiously reinvigorating the British watchmaking space.

Is The Bremont S302 a True GMT?

With a movement based on the ETA2893, the S302 features a jumping 24-hour hand—not a jumping local hour hand. For reasons we can’t explain, this leads many to label watches like the S302 “caller GMTs.” Nevertheless, the S302 can easily and conveniently handle dual timezone tracking.

Are Bremont Swiss made?

Bremont watches feature Swiss-made movements but the brand’s Henley-on-Thames facility, “The Wing,” is the source of all in-house manufacturing, CNC machining, finishing, assembly, testing, modifications, and more.

Is Bremont A Military Company?

Bremont is a partner of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and has become the sole luxury watch producer authorized to use the Heraldic Badges of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. Bremont’s Military and Special Projects Division also partners with military branches and teams throughout the world to deliver customized, small-batch special order watches.

I’ve spent so much of my watch-collecting years lusting over aviation-focused GMT and dual-time watches. I purchased, sold, and repurchased several. But as I continued on my journey, I noticed that many of these sacrifice the practicality you get out of a good ol’ dive watch. Much of this involves the absence of a dive bezel but factors like water resistance and overall styling are important too.

As a result, I hypothesized that the absolute best case scenario would be a sporty watch with GMT functionality for a second timezone and an outer rotating elapsed time bezel. While it’s a combination that’s admittedly tough to find, Bremont seems to have really stepped up with the Supermarine S302. And I think it’s leading the pack in its price range.

40mm Trip Tick Case

For so long the words “Trip-Tick case” meant absolutely nothing to me. I suspect anyone who hasn’t spent a lot of time with a Bremont would probably feel the same way. But after wearing the Bremont Supermarine S302 long-term, I finally see what all the fuss is about.

The three-piece stainless steel case (case bezel, case middle and case back) construction looks like nothing else out there right now—certainly not in the smaller boutique brand space. For Bremont, their idea was to create something unique outside the world of catalog cases with an aerospace feel and lugs that “appear to melt over the case bezel.” 

One of the nicest finishing touches is the set of small polished strips that line the surface of the lugs as they twist toward the case back. This is also about as fancy-looking as the case construction gets, aside from the copper accent on the screw-down crown that allows for 300m of water-resistance.

Plus, the specs are spot-on and this actually feels like a well-proportioned 40mm watch with a thickness of 12.5mm and 49mm lug-to-lug measurement. The bezel has a clean, matte ceramic insert and crisp action. The white and tan-colored markings probably would’ve bugged me a few years back but together with the dial, the execution is strong and stylish.

Unique and Symmetrical Dial

A while ago I would’ve told you that a select few of Omega’s Planet Ocean GMTs presented the best marriage between dive and GMT functionality, especially on the dial side. But the S302’s matte black dial really takes this semi-complicated layout to clean and legible level.

Here you have a continuation of tan markers, a 24-hour scale along the chapter ring, a fair application of lume, and a massive orange arrow GMT hand with Explorer II vibes. In some ways, the dial makes it feel as if I have a mini Bremont Terra Nova on-wrist, with appointments that are better suited for casual travel instead of polar exploration.

Additionally, there is symmetry in the dial text with the Bremont wordmark and propeller printed on the top half and ‘Supermarine 300m – 980ft’ on the bottom. It’s just a really clean way of doing things and I’d like to thank Spencer Klein and his YouTube videos for my newfound obsession with dial text symmetry. The date window at 3 o’clock is crisp with a matching wheel. If I could change one thing here, I’d probably make the numerals printed along the GMT scale bolded, just to help with quick legibility. 

Leather On A Dive Watch?

Included with this Bremont S302 is an incredibly well-done tan leather strap. It is stiff right out of the box and as a press sample, I have no intention of breaking it in to see how it wears (I was even afraid to photograph it). But overall, I’m sure it’ll wear great if you put in the work and like the look of leather on a dive watch.

Lucky for me, the 20mm lug width made finding a replacement easy and I usually wore the S302 on a Tornek Rayville Nytex™ Type I-M2 general purpose strap or a UK-made Phoenix NATO strap. Both matched the watch so well, I’d almost have no interest in trying something else if this Bremont were actually mine.

In addition to the leather strap, Bremont also sells the S302 on one of their own NATO-style straps or a matching stainless steel bracelet. Honestly I’d just purchase the cheapest configuration from Bremont (S302 on the NATO) and pair my own straps with the watch.

Chronometer-Rated and Modified ETA 2893-2

Now this is the point where I think most folks would probably start to critique the Bremont S302. Kaz and I recently recorded an episode where we ran through a few of the most popular opinions surrounding in-house movements vs. “generic” movements. Overall, the topic is deeply contentious and I’ll be honest in saying that I care less and less about the in-house movement thing as I keep growing as a collector.

Now, the Bremont S302’s BE-93-2AV is a chronometer-rated and modified ETA 2893-2. Power reserve is fine, at 38 hours, and this specific ETA-based movement features an independently jumping 24-hour hand (more widely known as a caller GMT).

Immediately I think back to the time I owned the Tudor Black Bay GMT, with its in-house movement, jumping local hour hand, and a 72-hour power reserve. While fancy, it brought me a load of stress once it started to malfunction—the infamous BBGMT date window defect. At least with the BE-93-2AV, I know that I can most likely have it serviced by any competent watchmaker without fearing a costly repair bill.

And while it is true that there are several ETA-based GMT watches priced well below the Bremont, I’d argue that someone going for the Bremont probably wouldn’t mind paying more for things like the Trip-Tick case and even the name recognition at this point. 

Final Verdict

So would I recommend the Bremont Supermarine S302 as an ultimate value, GMT diver? Absolutely not. I understand that it’s pricing (starting at $4,195) makes it a tough pill to swallow when you have so much competition out there at around half the price. But from the outside looking in, I don’t think Bremont is one of those brands deeply focused on bang-for buck, and that’s okay.

I see this watch as more of a highly-engineered luxury product with interesting construction from a brand that’s reinvigorating the British watchmaking space. Truly special if you ask me, and if you’re into that sort of thing.

Plus, if you’re willing to pay a bit more for the Bremont special sauce, enjoy the GMT+Dive combo, and find yourself disappointed with the competition, the S302 is tough to beat. I find this true especially when it comes to looks—this Bremont just feels “so me” when I compare it to something like the Tudor Black Bay GMT I used to own. Overall I’m grateful to have spent so much time with this watch and now all I have to endure is the painful process of giving it back to Bremont.

Bremont

7 thoughts on “Bremont Supermarine S302 GMT Review”

  1. Good review, Mike.
    I do like the looks and the dive bezel/GMT combo is great indeed. Plus, the case is indeed quite something I got to experience.
    The brand origin story and for me somewhat inexplicable growth makes the brand fuzzy and not for me though.

    Reply
  2. Good review – but I don’t understand why you wouldn’t recommend it after such positive comments. Is that a typo?

    Reply
    • Hey Mike, I should clarify. My point was that I wouldn’t recommend it as an “ultimate value, GMT diver.” I’d argue you’d find a little more value for money in watches like the Zodiac Aerospace GMT series and even 12-hour bezel-equipped divers like the MKII Paradive. But if one is intrigued by the Bremont story, manufacturing, case construction, etc. – with a bit more cash to spare – I’d say go for it.

      Reply
  3. Thanks for the review. What other watches have the dual time capability but with the dive bevel (ie the 60 minute outer bevel with the 24 hour GMT inset)?

    Reply
  4. Great review. I don’t know why more brands aren’t producing GMT/Diver watches. It’s my favorite combination and this Supermarine is (thus far) the best dial I’ve come to like.

    Reply

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