Bremont’s new Hawking Limited Edition Collection is “dedicated to the life of Professor Stephen Hawking, Britain’s greatest theoretical physicist, cosmologist and author of A Brief History of Time.” It must suck to be Britain’s second greatest theoretical physicist, cosmologist and author. Or a furniture collector . . .
“The more educational cosmological references to the life of Professor Hawking are on the flip side of the watch,” watchpro.com reports, “where the closed back is decorated with circles of wood taken from a family heirloom writing desk at which he contemplated the mysteries of the universe.”
You heard right. Bremont prised off pieces of the famous Professor’s oak desk – “one of his most treasured possessions” – cut the wood into tiny circles and slotted them into a watch. (According to Hawking’s chronology protection conjecture, Bremont couldn’t go back in time to get him to sign the watches.) But wait! There’s more!
The Hawking Collection watches are also adorned with one of Stephen Hawking’s more succinct equations, some celebratory engraving, an etching of stars (arranged as they would have appeared above the Oxford hospital on the day baby Stephen was born) and a bit of meteorite.
At the front of house, Bremont opted for a dial with a retrograde seconds indicator below Dr. Hawking’s name, a Lange-style big ass date window and the words “sunlight travel” (in case you forgot how humans marked the passage of time). I would’ve gone with a blank dial with a dot in the middle, but then I’m singularity minded.
The Hawking Limited Edition Collection consists of a series of 41mm steel ($9,995), white gold ($23,495) and rose gold ($22,495) timepieces. They’ve also cobbled together a more interesting diamond-encrusted ladies watch ($9,995).
The 34mm Quantum loses the retrograde mishegoss, puts a bigger slice of meteorite front and center, depends on a way cooler, more thematic “black hole” rotor, and makes do with a single sliver of Dr. Hawking’s desk.
This isn’t Bremont’s first cannibalistic rodeo. Previously, on Who Wants to Put Shit in a Watch . . .
Bremont produced the Codebreaker (including suitably unidentified “materials” and “artefacts” from the cryptographically-challenged Bletchley Park), the HMS Victory (including oak and copper from Lord Nelson’s battleship HMS Victory) and the Bremont Wright Flyer (including a piece of muslin from the wing of the Wright Brothers’ first airplane).
This isn’t just a Bremont thing. There’s an entire junkyard of watchmakers stuffing pieces of stuff into a watch, then selling it to people more interested in the stuff stuffed into the watch than the timekeeping stuff.
Fuoriserie Co sells watches incorporating recycled parts from an Aston Martin Rapide and a Ferrari 348 TB that were “beyond repair.” REC’s RJM-03 contains untreated aluminum cut directly from the PT879 MK IX Spitfire fighter. Defunct watchmaker Romain Jerome sold watches with pieces of the Titanic’s hull onboard. AK-47? Fonderie 47 went there. And so on.
This “wearing a piece of history” business is nothing new. Billions of people wear jewelry modeled after the torture device used to kill Jesus. So why not a wristwatch secretly sheltering circular pieces of a dead genius’ desk? But I wonder where this is going . . .
How long before some bright spark offers customers the chance to wear a watch holstering a sprinkling of a dead relative’s ashes? With the right processing, human remains might make a superb dial texture. Personally, I prefer a watch made of watch parts. I mean, I cherish my father’s IWC Porsche Design Titanium Chronograph, but I wouldn’t want him in it.
Bremont hawking Hawking puts the great man’s name out there, gives HoDinkee a subject suitable for at least 25 turgid paragraphs, keeps Bremont busy and funnels an unspecified amount of money to the Stephen Hawking Foundation.
As a timepiece, the Hawking quads (don’t forget the Quantum) live up to the brand’s high standards. But I wouldn’t shed a tear if this “you want a piece of me?” trend disappeared down a black hole – assuming it doesn’t reappear somewhere else.