It’s a tale of derring-do, pluck and grit that makes Biggles look positively timid. And the crying shame is that the 1934 “Macrobertson Trophy” air race is barely known beyond the yellowing pages of old Boy’s Own annuals. A situation that’s about to change, however, thanks to similarly plucky British pilot-watch brand, Bremont, whose latest limited-edition beauties pay vivid tribute.
Amid much fanfare at the time, the Trophy was won by the scarlet-red, British-built De Havilland DH-88 Comet, whose two stiff-upper-lipped pilots, Charles W.A. Scott and Tom Campbell Black flew the 11,300 miles from Suffolk to Melbourne in just under three, sleep-deprived days, winning £10,000 and paving the way for viable long-haul air travel.
Even by today’s standards, it’s extraordinary stuff. And a perfect fit for Bremont, whose previous limited editions have honoured the courageous endeavours of the Enigma codebreakers at Bletchley Park, as well as the original fly boys, the Wright Brothers.
The DH-88 Comet itself is now part of the 40-strong Shuttleworth Collection, based in Bedfordshire. Thanks to proceeds from the sale of Bremont’s 282 nostalgically styed steel (£7,995) and 82 rose-gold (£14,995, pictured) GMT chronographs, this charitable collection of priceless aviation history should continue to fly high (though not necessarily as far as Australia).