In The Flesh: Bremont Regatta Oracle Team USA

Bremont has made leaps and bounds over the last year in terms of design, quality control, minute details, and overall production. As soon as you put on the Regatta Oracle Team USA, you see and feel that quality, both mechanically and aesthetically. All of the pieces in Bremont’s America’s Cup line are stunning and still quite functional, and the new limited edition Regatta ORACLE Team USA pieces represent the top of the line.

Fit and finish is what we’ve come to expect from Bremont. There is contrasting brushed and polished accents on the case, pushers, and even the buckle that all make this stand out as more than a basic tool watch. The subdials have a slightly different texture than the rest of the dial and steel surrounds on the raised super-luminova markers give the dial added dimension. Adding an excellent splash of color are the hour counter and central seconds chronograph hands, red triangle at 12, and of course the very well executed regatta timer. Speaking of the latter, it functions quite simply but is very effective. Once activated, it displays a 5 minute countdown to prepare for the race start as well as a 15 minute timer below the countdown display. Even if you’re not racing in a regatta, the function of the regatta timer is still very useful.

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Of course there is also a date window at 6 for the calendar impaired, like myself. All this is displayed under a slightly domed anti-reflective sapphire crystal. My one complaint would be that the 15 minute counter can be difficult to read, almost impossible from certain angles or when the hands are positioned over it as seen in the picture above. Moving over to the crown we see an example of both form and function. It’s manipulated easily and securely thanks to the spiraled knurling that also looks great in contrast with the polished signature propeller logo against the black background. Operating the pushers results in solid and crisp feedback and they can easily be operated with gloved hands. The same goes for the bezel. It is bi-directional and solidly clicks into place with the outside providing plenty of grip. It is not rough or chunky looking and oversized, which in my opinion is a common mistake too often seen on modern divers.

The case is a shining example of Bremont’s craftsmanship that attracts so many of their customers. As with many of their tool watches, the case is quite thick. Additionally at 43mm wide, it’s on the larger end of what I prefer to wear. Generally, 42mm is my max, but the Regatta OTUSA’s light weight and and case design means it doesn’t wear as large as the dimensions would suggest. It is very comfortable on the wrist despite the thickness, with the short, curved lugs helping it sit low on the wrist. I imagine if the case were steel and this was on a bracelet, it would be too heavy for my taste. Fortunately the titanium construction and case design allow this to wear very well without appearing or feeling too cumbersome.

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Bremont’s own “Temple Island” rubber strap was a little stiff at first but quickly broke in and added to the comfort and wearability. Although rubber, it looks almost like a leather strap and allows the watch to be dressed up so you can jump in the pool when the black tie function gets crazy without even changing the strap.

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In terms of movements, Bremont has really stepped up their game over that last year which really shows with this model. The COSC certified movement is gorgeous and I found myself staring at the back of he watch almost as much as the front. It features Bremont’s custom automatic movement and showcases the America’s Cup decorated rotor. While not technically a dive watch, it features a diving bezel – albeit bi-directional, a screw down crown, and 100 meter water resistance, which is more than adequate for the vast majority of us. This is a very capable watch for any number of scenarios.

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As with many of their limited editions, a physical piece of the watch’s namesake and heritage is integrated into the watch. In this case, a portion of the carbon fiber racing foil from the 2013 winning OTUSA America’s Cup 72 class yacht is integrated into the crown. There are only 235 of these being produced. If the sales of Bremont’s other limited editions are any indictor, these are likely to sell out quickly. Many times when I review a watch I still alternate between others I may have on hand. Sometimes to compare size, weight, and feel and sometimes it’s because my interest wanes. That certainly wasn’t the case with the Regatta Oracle Team USA. As soon as I took it out of the box, I wore it constantly throughout this review without taking it off. I thoroughly enjoyed wearing the watch during the time I had it, it’s a shame I had to give it back.

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Neil is one of the founding members of Wound for Life. A military officer who loves traveling, adventure, motorcycles and watches. To keep up with the latest from Neil, you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram (@neilwood13). If you'd like to get in touch with Neil, email him at neil@woundforlife.com.

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