Brennia Kottefaru is one of the Maldives newest luxury 5 star islands. Described in the National Geographic Traveller ‘Luxury Collection 2022’ as “…the ultimate luxury island escape where guests’ every wish and whim is catered to.” Located on the island of Kottefaru within the Raa Atoll, with powdery white sand beaches, this was going to be the setting of my Honeymoon. As icing on the cake, Bremont had kindly provided me with a couple of dive watches to take with me and spend some time with in this idyllic setting.
With the relatively recent release of the Supermarine S302 adding a second time zone, and the latest S300 VIGO and KAIMU paying tribute to the white sand beaches of northern Spain and the black sands of the world renown Hawaiian volcanic black sand beach, I wanted to take a little time with the original Supermarine S300 White and the Supermarine S301 – which to me are some of the most versatile and wearable watches in Bremont’s’ collection. Not to mention the fact that the S300 white was worn by Nims (Nirmal Purja) as he broke more than 7 speed world records as he climbed the 14 mountains above 8,000m (known as the death zone). If you’ve not seen it I would highly encourage you to watch the documentary ’14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible’ on Netflix on his remarkable achievement.
In addition, I also took along my Bremont MBII which I’ve had for a number of years which made a handy trio to spend the week with, and explore their similarities and differences in one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Our trip would start in the UK and have us travel some 5372 miles on two planes and a seaplane to a remote island in the middle of the Indian ocean for a week of rest, relaxation, and refinement. To be honest – both my wife and I love to travel and so after more than 2 years of not being able to, as a couple of big kids we absolutely loved the journey there with the seaplane as the icing on the cake.
Upon arrival as it was later in the day we were taken to our Villa where we dumped our bags and headed straight for dinner. One of the first things that struck me (being particularly used to the seasons in the UK) was just how quickly it went dark. Once the sun had gone down, it was pretty much pitch black and a little after 7 in the evening – this was clearly quite a contrast from UK summer weather that we had just left where it’s currently light until some time past 10 at night.
The following day it was time to start relaxing and exploring and with that came my daily choice of what to wear and which watch to spend some time with. It was only then did we realise that we had in fact almost got the entire island to ourselves, as at this point we were only the third couple on the whole island and we had at our disposal some 200 staff looking after us!
So lets start with a few details. Both the S300 and the S301 have a 40mm wide and 13mm high Trip-Tick three piece case, with a DLC treated black barrel, and a laser engraved ceramic unidirectional bezel with Super-LumiNova®. Each has a signed crown with a colour ring that accentuates the colour of the watch. This is a tasteful attention to detail that is more noticeable on the S301 as the muted gold ring echoes the tones across the dial, bezel and NATO strap perfectly. However on the S300 White, the coloured ring on the crown appears observably black – which pairs with the black barrel rather than the blue bezel.
The S300 (across all the variants) have roman indices at the 12, 6 & 9, and batons at the remaining hour indicators all in Super-LuniNova whereas the S301 has a unique hour marker at 12, batons at 6 and 9 and round pips for the remaining hour indicators. While the S301 has matte dial with all text written directly on the dial, the S300 White has a stepped dial adding a subtle level of depth to the view with the centre of the dial presenting a guilloche finishing. Another nice attention to detail is the matching of the date wheel colour to that of the dial. On the S300 white the date wheel is white and on the S301 its black. Likewise there are also differences with the bezels. Whereas the S300 white has a highly polished blue ceramic bezel, the S301 has a matte finished bezel.
Powering the watch is Bremont’s BE-92AE – this is ostensibly a modified ETA 2892 with Bremont’s decorated rotor, a Glucydur balance and Anachron balance spring, with Nivaflex 1 mainspring delivering a 38 hour minimum power reserve. Nothing earth shattering about the movement, but solid, reliable, tried and tested all the same. Both are ISO3159 certified (the ISO certification that COSC uses). Both naturally have hacking and hand winding and are regulated to -4 +6 seconds per day in line with their ISO3159 certification.
Over the course of a week both my wife and I enjoyed the opportunity to wear each watch and spend time with it as we sunbathed, swam, snorkelled and dined in one of the most amazing parts of the world. Whereas my MBII was clearly a larger watch than my wife was comfortable wearing, the very accessible size of the S300 and S301 at 40mm made them a fantastically versatile pair to be worn by either of us. Both of us noted the great versatility of both watches.
While my wife has a tendency to be drawn to a classically white dial watch, I found myself drawn more to the S301’s muted tones. Perhaps this was in part due to the environment that I was spending so much time in where the bronze & brown felt ever so appropriate for sandy beaches, panama hats and khaki attire. Before departing to the Maldives, my initial perception was that the white dial of the S300 would be a dressier and more flexible watch however over the course of the week, I found myself continuously favouring the more understated appearance of the S301.
While daytime activities varied throughout the week from swimming and snorkelling to sunbathing and resting, the evening activities were more focused on the rather incredible supply of sumptuous food and drink that Brennia had to offer. With an assortment of world class chefs at our disposal, our every whim was catered for – including tailoring everything for us as my wife is gluten free – which they did to perfection.
There were certainly times throughout the week where I felt I was enjoying the luxuries of a bond lifestyle – the weather, the views, the food and drink, an easy smile and an expensive watch on my wrist – here the Bremont S301 was right at home with a rugged yet charming appeal.
There are a lot of watches that occupy the same price range as the S300 and 301, but after having spent a week with them what really stands out and sets them apart is the attention to detail. There is nothing ‘simple’ in terms of the watch design and execution. From the design of the three piece Trip-Tick case and the hardening process that it undergoes, to the coloured ring in the crown, the coloured inlay in the matte ceramic bezel, the stepped guilloche dial and the beautifully engraved case back with the Supermarine Seaplane. The whole watch has had no expense spared and what’s noticeable is that these elements all work together really well to deliver a design that is singularly unlike anything else at this price point. Bremont are often the subject of criticism due to a lack of inhouse movement however it would be extremely short sighted to equate a sense of value merely on the movement itself, and its easy to see that Bremont have invested substantially on design and materials to produce a stunning watch that is simply ‘set apart’ in terms of design and execution.
So how do these two compare to my White MBII…? well for starters they are arguably more wearable – the 40mm case dimension certainly makes wearing the Supermarine much more accessible for smaller wrists and therefore more appealing to women (who typically have smaller wrists than men). In addition, for any underwater activities, the presence of a screw down crown really does provide a sense of reassurance. I am acutely aware that my MBII is in fact tested to 100m and had I not had these two divers with me, I might have ventured into the water with it – but as I had a couple of great dive watches with me, I clearly had no need to test the MBII in that way.
However what is abundantly clear is that the same overall sense of build quality, attention to detail, legibility and performance that I am used to with my MBII is very much present on these two at a significantly more affordable price point.
One of the much more interesting aspects of Bremont as a brand is their use of their brand ambassadors – who help them test their products in the real world – in part the source of the brands tag line “Tested Beyond Endurance” (rather than merely modelling on the cover of a magazine wearing the watch for aesthetics). Not only did Nims wear the S300 for his record breaking (or should I say record smashing) climb, but the S300 is also on the wrist of Bremont Ambassador Kristin Harila who is following in Nim’s footsteps to not only become the fastest woman to climb all 14 peaks, but also to beat Nims record! – You can read more about her Bremont 14 peaks challenge here
If you’re in the market for a 40mm dive watch and are considering the myriad of watches that occupy this price point, it would be wise advice to go and check out your options in person before committing your hard earned funds merely based on pictures and other peoples opinions (including my own) and, in this light, I would encourage you to go and take a look for yourself at the Bremont S300 and S301.