Ronnie Wood confidently strolled through the room, took his place in front of a large marine clock and pulled the Union Jack-decorated veil off it with unbridled enthusiasm.
If you didn’t already know, you might have seriously wondered what a Rolling Stones guitarist and a clock by Bremont, a young British aviation-inspired watch brand, have in common.
The answer is art.
Bremont exploded onto the watch scene with pilot-styled wristwatches smacking of rugged technology that are hard to beat for their quality and detailed design elements. This English brand – founded and run by brothers Nick and Giles English – quickly became the darling of its home country.
Bremont gained in horological competence when master watchmaker Peter Roberts became its technical director. The unassuming Roberts, who instructed both young Stephen Forsey and Peter Speake-Marin during their formative days at London’s Hackney Watch School, is an acclaimed English watchmaker with 45 years’ experience in the field. He has formerly worked at IWC, Garrard, and Rolex.
While Roberts has meanwhile chosen to go his own way (notably by making his own Grand Complication 5 wristwatch), the large clock remains as a tribute to English watchmaking and the investment of the English brothers: one of the first things Roberts did for Bremont was to design the B-1 Marine Clock.
In fact, Roberts wouldn’t hesitate to tell you that it was conceived the old-fashioned way with pencil and paper at his kitchen table. The entire manufacture and production of this unique piece of clockmaking is accomplished in the UK – which is no mean feat.
Boasting 30 days of power reserve, the clock displays three time zones: local time, home time and Greenwich Mean Time, trip time in days and hours (sort of a stopwatch function that goes up to 90 days), date, and power reserve.
Ronnie Wood: artist
The collaboration with Wood, a celebrated painter outside the realm of his duties as guitarist for the Rolling Stones, was a very natural one. Wood explained that it was he who searched out a horological collaboration and very naturally came across Bremont as a British marque of note.
Creative people who are good at their jobs often have several inventive outlets, and so it comes that the 69-year-old guitarist has made quite a name for himself as a painter.
Wood’s subjects often include the Rolling Stones, but he does not restrict himself to musical themes; Wood paints whatever moves him, be it abstract or actual. In fact, three years ago he told the Daily Mail, “When I get inspired, I get almost possessed and I just have to paint.”
Nick and Giles suggested the brand’s B-1 Marine Clock as a canvas for Wood’s work, and together they will create a total of 15 unique pieces at a very leisurely pace.
The first, introduced in November 2012, features a wild white horse – a water symbol in many cultures and mythologies. Then again, the horse could also symbolize the star of the 1971 Stones anthem “Wild Horses,” though Wood had not yet joined the band at that time. Either way, in my opinion it is one unique and exclusive piece of horology.
“Wild Horses” was purchased by a collector who actually chooses to leave it on display at Bremont’s Mayfair boutique, a comfortable, homey, and popular meeting place for watch enthusiasts.
Second Ronnie Wood B-1 Marine Clock was worth the wait
On the occasion of Bremont’s inaugural Townhouse event, which took the place of the brand’s normal showing at Baselworld in 2017, Wood and the English brothers unveiled the second clock featuring one of his hand-painted dials.
This new edition of what many have come to call “the Ronnie clock” features a colorful abstract design reflecting something of a different period of Wood’s life, as he explained on the evening. This edition is actually entitled, “I Feel Like Painting.”
The oil painting visible on the large dial is a representation of his love of art.
“We were always planning a series of clocks,” Wood explains. “But I went away to do four gigs and ended up touring for four years. It’s reinvigorating being able to spend some time focusing on my painting again, and needless to say a perfect thing to do in my 70th year [of life]!”
Each edition of the B-1 Marine Clock painted by Wood will vary in price.
The standard edition B-1 Marine Clock without the addition of Wood’s painting can go upward in price with the level of customization. Once a clock has been painted by Wood, the price is determined by Bremont and Wood together.
For more information, please visit www.bremont.com/collection/b-1-marine-clock.
Quick Facts B-1 Marine Clock with Ronnie Wood dial
Case: 300 mm diameter, 16 kg weight, stainless steel
Movement: manufacture movement with classic English design by Peter Roberts, wound by crank, 40-day power reserve
Functions: hours minutes; date, second time zone, trip time in days and hours (a 90-day stopwatch function), power reserve indication
Dial: each dial is uniquely painted by Ronnie Wood, artist and Rolling Stone
Limitation: 15 pieces total, to be completed as Wood desires, each with a unique dial
Price: individually determined and not disclosed