Bremont is making considerable investment in its UK watch making and manufacturing and in 2014 launched a new facility to produce case and movement components. Building on a significant in-house watch making knowledge, together with experience from the F1 industry, the facility capitalises on local transferable skills in the CNC and machining space.
We sat down with manufacturing manager Malcolm Kent, to get to know a little more about the man behind the machine...
What does your role at Bremont involve?
Hi, I'm Malcolm and I'm the Manufacturing Manager based at Bremont's Parts Manufacturing Facility. My role is to oversee the manufacturing of the many parts used to build our watches, including bezels, case middles and case backs. My role also involves overseeing the production output of the machines, which are operated by our highly skilled engineers and technicians, who between them, have a wealth of experience in the industry.
What does a typical day at Bremont look like for you?
Working for a growing company like Bremont, no day is ever the same but I'd say that in a typical day I'll be ensuring that the machines are running at optimum efficiency and delivering the quality of output required. As with any manufacturing, there are always ways in which processes and techniques can be refined and improved, so I'll be looking at ways of doing this too. Some of our watches feature specialist finishing techniques such as DLC (diamond-like carbon coating) and hand polishing, which have to be monitored closely for quality.
What manufacturing experience do you bring to Bremont?
I've spent 23 years working in the manufacturing industry. 10 of those years were spent working in the Aerospace industry and the other 13 years spent in the motorsport industry, including F1. Whilst working within those industries I focused primarily on machine operation, programming and the machining of highly complex parts. I was lucky enough to be working with some of the biggest names in the motorsport industry. I'm delighted to bring some of this knowledge and experience to Bremont and assist in bringing the watchmaking industry back to British shores.
How does manufacturing watch parts differ to manufacturing parts for racing cars?
Both industries are very similar in the fact that the parts being machined are incredibly precise and the tolerances between parts are very tight. In Motorsport, the parts are based more around the principles of performance in order to make the car as quick as possible. Parts can change from track to track, depending on the performance specifications of the particular car. With watch parts, it's all about longevity and endurance, which means that the parts need to be machined very consistently and to a very strict specification.
Which Bremont do you wear and why?
I wear the Bremont ALT1-ZT/51, it's a great day-to-day watch. Also, knowing that the case parts have been manufactured right here is quite satisfying!