Bremont is taking flight. A collector of the British watchmaking company is putting his faith behind the brand with a serious new investment. Billionaire hedge fund manager, Bill Ackman—along with Bremont’s existing investor, private equity firm Hellcat LP—just put $59 million into the company with intentions to expand its footprint.
“Nick and I are thrilled that Bill has moved from collector to investor, joining our long-standing shareholder, Hellcat, as partners in Bremont,” said brothers and Bremont founders Nick and Giles English, in a statement on Monday. “This new capital will enable us to invest in marketing, distribution, and talent. This is not just a boost for Bremont, but also for Britain. The British watch industry is the birthplace of some of the most important timekeeping innovations, including the perpetual calendar, and we are delighted to continue our country’s history of manufacturing and innovation through the global growth of Bremont.”
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The charismatic English brothers have already been widely known for their marketing skills. Having grown up restoring and flying WWII-era planes with their father, the duo capitalized on their knowledge of aviation, as pilots themselves, along with their interest in watches by launching interesting initiatives such as creating timepieces for over 400 military units around the globe and the exclusive provider of watches to the British Ministry of Defense. A recent preview for the press of its new Supernova watches was held aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth, a British aircraft carrier and fleet flagship of the Royal Navy, while it was briefly stationed in New York City’s Hudson River, highlighting the brothers’ high-level connections in the UK They’ve even collaborated on watches with Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones and Nick English made a cameo in Kingsman: The Secret Service, the film franchise focused on British secret service agents for which Bremont made watches to appear on the big screen.
In terms of production, however, Bremont has already been in expansion mode. Just 18 months ago, it opened its new 35,000-square-foot manufacture, called The Wing, in Henley. The new facility also marked a historical moment for the UK, becoming the first business in over 50 years to manufacture mechanical movements on a large scale within the country. According to the company, the opening of The Wing along with several new global boutique openings has driven a record annual revenue growth of 28 percent in Bremont’s recent financial year.
The company is known for making sports watches—with an aviation bent, of course—ranging in price from $3,445 up to $24,995 for special limited editions. But given that, in the statement above, the English brothers highlighted the perpetual calendar as an important part of British history, one wonders if they might be planning some high complications in the future. What is definitely in the plans is to further expand in the US, including new boutiques. There will also be a focus on “wholesale expansion, enhanced JV partnerships and greater brand visibility,” according to the company.
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