Brothers In Arms
It is refreshing to see a watch brand such as Bremont coming up with such a challenge known as “Bremont The English Tour” last September. The award-winning British watchmaker who began synonymously with the world of flying and whose timepieces have been worn by adventurers such as Ewan McGregor, Bear Grylls and that aviator screen legend by the name of Tom Cruise (who sports a Bremont ATL1-C from time to time) has turned its attention toward an adventure more of a “Grand Touring” kind.
Bremont’s co-founders and brothers Nick and Giles English thought it might be fun to travel along the east coast of the United States this summer starting from New York and heading towards their final destination in Houston. But rather than resort to their usual passion for flying their vintage planes, they did so this time by trekking the southeastern part of North America via driving vintage cars that were shipped from the U.K.; a 1970 4.2 litre Jaguar E-Type Series II and a 1973 2.4 litre Porsche 911T. While most owners of these types of cars reserved them for the odd drive to fetch coffee from down the road, Nick and Giles made all the efforts to prepare them (with the assistance from Jaguar Classic and Tuthill Porsche who prepped the cars back in England prior to transporting them over to New York) in the hope that they would last the journey that stretches well over 3,000 miles (not exactly popping to the nearest Starbucks on a Sunday).
These classics also were not something that they hastily purchased just for the occasion either, as Nick explained about his E-Type, “This is something our father (Dr. Euan English) restored all those years ago. When he bought this I remember it was a complete wreck and the love he had for just getting it right.” He went on to add, “So this car has been in the family for over 30 years which is really quite special. I’ll be holding the British flag with this good old trusty bit of kit here.” As for Giles, the Porsche has been under his ownership for over two decades, “it’s not pristine, it’s very rough and ready but I love it to bits and it means a lot to me. To have something that I’ve owned for so long and to take it on this journey through the U.S. is quite something”, he said.
On the 12th September, the siblings (after a few worrying last-minute adjustments on Nick’s Jaguar just hours before the off) finally brought their cars to officially launch the tour in front of Bremont’s own boutique on Madison Avenue. Donning their Steve McQueen-esque folding Persol 714s and clad in the latest gear from Belstaff, the English boys strapped on their belongings in their specially-made Globetrotter luggage for the adventure and headed south. Along the mostly picturesque routes and the countless back roads that they took, there was a (too) close encounter with a bear in Virginia, slightly foul weather and a stop-over in Charlotte in North Carolina. As it is the home of stock car racing after all, the tour included a lap at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Both the 911 and the E-Type briefly went to NASCAR for a while as Nick and Giles tackled the oval track’s notorious 24-degree banking. From there they carried on to Charleston in South Carolina, before turning west towards Atlanta, Huntsville, Memphis and then crossing the Texas border to Dallas.
Over three-thousand miles and ten days later, Bremont English Tour came to an end in Houston (though without a clutch mishap on Nick’s Jag just before the finish). One could imagine that it was an amazing life experience for the English brothers, not only for taking on such an endeavour but also for the many people who they met en route, including their U.S. retailers and those at the military air bases (which is a familiar territory for both as they are pilots) that they visited. Nick and Giles truly carried the Bremont name well into the motoring spirit of Grand Touring.
All Photos & Videos courtesy of Bremont