An Insight To Brellum's 2023 Pilot GMT LE.2 Chronometer
 

An Insight To Brellum's 2023 Pilot GMT LE.2 Chronometer

7 min read
Richard Brown

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Richard Brown

Categories

Reviews

Take a journey with us to the golden age of aviation with the new Pilot GMT LE.2 Chronometer. But you cannot afford to be late for this flight as the watch goes on sale on 23 June 2023 and there are just 23 units available for £3090.

Brellum Pilot GMT Chronometer

Brellum Pilot GMT Chronometer - Credit Brellum

When some of us of a certain age first began to fly around the world it was a fundamentally different experience to the one we know today. To begin with there was no communication on any aircraft, other than expensive air-to-ground phones which cost $10 for the first minute in 2006.

There is no question that travel was a more visceral experience, when planes were gleaming silver tubes and you were completely disconnected from the ground. Knowing your next contact with the Earth would be as the door opened and the hot sticky winds of the tropics brushed in. There was palpable excitement as you realised you were in a different world and time zone.

If you were a seasoned traveller you probably had a mechanical watch with a second time zone indicated by a fourth GMT hand. You would listen dutifully as the crew gave you the exact local time on landing. Such watches were not gimmicks, they were genuinely useful in the analogue era.

Brellum Pilot GMT ChronometerBrellum Pilot GMT Chronometer - Credit Brellum

Aviation inspired watches which have a GMT complication will always have an enduring fascination for enthusiasts because one thing that demographic of customer has in common is that we do like to look back to the golden eras of certain subjects, such as Trans-Atlantic flight. From a commercial perspective this is good news as it generally means that high end aviation inspired GMT watches will always sell strongly.

One watch company which embraces this concept and channels it fully into their development ethos is Brellum.

We have published a few press releases in the past from Brellum but this is the first time we have actually looked in detail at a watch.  As expected, Brellum's latest creation, the Pilot LE.2 GMT Chronometer, is superb looking, like it has been lifted straight from the cockpit of a Boeing 377 Stratocrusier. The watch is a near perfect homage to aviation instrumentation and the attention to detail is second to none.

377 StratcruiserBoeing 377 Stratocrusier - Credit Wiki Common

First a little bit of history

Brellum is in the fourth generation of a family of watch makers. The family began watchmaking in 1910 and Sebastien takes pride in employing the same drive that his great grandfather showed when establishing the brand. The name is a hybrid of the Latin word Bellum which means war, signifying the struggle we all face in daily lives and an anagram of family names connected to the business.

The company logo is a Wyvern – a mythological beast which is part dragon and serpent, popular in European folklore. A precious stone known as the Carbuncle is encrusted into a Wyvern’s forehead and this stone is represented in the crown of every Brellum.

The 2023 Pilot GMT LE.2 Chronometer

Brellum Pilot GMT Chronometer
Brellum Pilot GMT Chronometer - Credit Brellum

Brellum watch designs are synonymous with cockpit instrumentation and the new Pilot GMT LE.2 is drawing inspiration from another important element of flying. That is the amazing colours of the sky which can only be seen from an aircraft. At a certain height the bright blue becomes inky with darkness and the dial of the new GMT has perfectly captured this hue. The more you look at this colour the more you start to realise you have really only ever seen it from the window of an aircraft; it's very clever.

As we have come to expect from Brellum the dial is complex yet highly legible delivering lots of information. Yet each element is clear to the glance. The detail within the dial has been crafted without compromise from the three sub dials which all look like cockpit artificial horizons to the powerful navigational double triangle at the 12 marker.

The dial at 9 o'clock very slightly slices into the 8 and 10 numeral indices and this cutaway effect has been perfectly achieved. An outer 24 hour ring gives full GMT and dual time capability and the hands which are deep filled with Super Luminova luminescence with a distinctly wing like shape. The two critical instrumentation hands, the seconds and GMT, are tipped with red to draw attention to them.

Brellum Pilot GMTBrellum Pilot GMT Chronometer - Credit Brellum

There is no question the watch is thoroughly contemporary, yet it somehow transcends to a more vintage era delivering is a truly unique aviation chronograph which is frankly far better looking than the current portfolio of certain Swiss brands who claimed to be the masters of aviation.

The dial texture is multi layered with the sub dials being minutely sunken and the luminescent numerals slightly raised. The central point of the watch with its four hands adds height and presence as only a GMT can.

Just when you think the Pilot GMT cannot get any more attractive turn the watch over and you're greeted with one of the best case back displays in the watch industry. The crystal back of the Brellum GMT is exceptional with deep engraving around the steel perimeter including depth rating and the watch unique serial number.

Heart of the machine

Inside the Pilot GMT beats Brellum’s BR754 GMT Automatic COSC Certified Chronometer moved which is benefits from a Valjoux 7754 as its base.

Brellum Pilot GMT ChronometerBrellum Pilot GMT Chronometer - Credit Brellum

The movement is a heavily decorated with Geneva stripes thermally blue screws and a bespoke Brellum gold rotor has been skeletonized to allow you to see as much of the beautiful movement as possible. A stylized aircraft motif is in the centre and the skeletonizing always reminds us of the front view of the cockpit glass of an old Boeing B29 Superfortress.

The BR-754 beats at 28,800 vph. It has 25 jewels and a 46 hour power reserve, Incabloc shock protection, Glucydur balance and a Nivarox alloy hairspring. As with the dial of the pilot GMT the movement has been conceived and decorated without compromise. This will be one of the watches in your collection where you will be so glad the manufacturer decided to fit a crystal display back.

The case itself is made from 316 stainless steel and has an unusual but wonderfully precise diameter of 41.80 millimetres. The Brellum will fit nicely under clothing with a total height of 15 mm which includes the box sapphire crystal to complement that vintage look.

Brellum Pilot GMT Chronometer

Brellum Pilot GMT Chronometer - Credit Brellum

Sebastien has always worked on the principle that you should be able to take your Brellum anywhere so despite the level of elaborate design the Pilot GMT LE.2 is still water resistant to 100 metres.

Only 23 of these special editions will be made and each one will come with a blue Nubuck pilot trap and stainless steel bracelet with tools for swapping over. Priced at £3090 ($3490, CHF 3150, €3590) and available from the 23rd of June 2023 we would expect the Brellum Pilot GMT LE.2 Chronometer to sell out extremely quickly because for this price we challenge you to find a better aviation inspired chronograph.

Soaring to new heights with Brellum

There are a lot of pilot chronographs on the market today ranging from those costing just a few hundred pounds from brands like Citizen to special edition models connected to a very famous fighter pilot school which max out at an eye watering £45,000.

During Watches and Wonders 2023 we passed comment on one of those watches and said it represented a distinct lack of imagination however we feel the complete opposite about the Brellum Pilot GMT.

To begin with the watch is a smart size, not ridiculously oversized like so many pilot chronographs. This means that to a very wide collection of buyers. The watch is as beautiful on the reverse as it is on the front. The attention to detail is second to none and the workmanship is so apparent, the pride in the manufacture so obvious, that Studying the LE.2 begs you to learn more this watch house.

Brellum Pilot GMT ChronometerBrellum Pilot GMT Chronometer - Credit Brellum

However, if you really want to get a feel for Brellum what we would recommend is not to look at the Pilot GMT in unison. It is only when you study the company's entire portfolio that you see there is a distinct DNA to Brellum watches and thankfully the Pilot GMT has fully absorbed that genetic link.

Take for example the Wyvern GMT. Whilst it is a fundamentally a different watch, you can see it's a Brellum thanks to a clever commonality of design. The company has worked hard to generate this DNA and we feel that the Pilot GMT is the culmination of that hard work. Everything they have learned from the development of their portfolio has coalesced in a near perfect aviation chronograph. If you are lucky enough to secure one of these watches, which will require quick action on the 23rd of June 2023, then you will definitely have a prized possession worth of the front and centre spot in your watch collection.

Check out the entire Brellum collection here and we look forward to getting hands on with another innovative model in the near future.

Brellum Pilot GMT Chronometer
Brellum Pilot GMT Chronometer - Credit Brellum

  • Case Material Stainless Steel 316L, DIN 1.4435,
  • Dimension Diameter 41.80mm, thickness: 11.70mm without crystals, 15.90mm total
  • Crystal Box sapphire crystal on top and back with anti-reflection coating (inside)
  • Dial Multi-level dial, Blue opalin, satined indices with Super-Luminova
  • Hands Satined with Super-Luminova material
  • Water resistance 100m, 10ATM, 100% tested
  • Case back Exhibition stainless steel case back, with sapphire crystal and anti-reflection coating inside, numbered from 01/23 to 23/23
  • Strap Delivered with: 1 x blue Nubuck Pilot strap with stainless steel deployment buckle and 1 x stainless steel bracelet and tools for sizing

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Richard Brown

About the Author: Richard Brown

I truly believe one of the best partners in exploration and adventure is a fine watch. Over 30 years of collecting, my fascination with the technical capabilities of both vintage and modern timepieces has never abated and it is a privilege to be able to share this passion through writing.

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