Introducing The Bremont H-4 Hercules Limited-Edition Chronometer
Often cited as reclusive billionaire and aviation pioneer Howard Hughes’ grand folly, the H-4 Hercules military aircraft (dubbed the “Spruce Goose” despite its birchwood construction) was a far-sighted solution to an obstacle the US had found itself facing in supplying aid to war-torn Europe – U-boats in the North Atlantic. Sadly, commissioned too late to make a contribution, it flew once – in 1947 – after which the largest aircraft by dimension ever built was maintained until Hughes’ death, then mothballed in Long Beach, California, in 1980.
An aero enthusiast bought it in 1991, took it apart and reassembled it at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in Oregon, where it resides today, intact in all its glory apart from a small hole in its fuselage to allow access to awestruck aviation nuts. The small incision gave up enough of the Spruce Goose’s history-making materials to allow Bremont to produce a further limited edition in its famed aeronautical tributes (last year, it marked the 50th anniversary of Concorde’s debut flight in similar fashion).
“If you’re an aviation bod, which we are, it’s in the top handful of aeroplanes,” explains Bremont cofounder Nick English of the brand’s decision to honour an aircraft with an otherwise ignominious history. It’s all about its size: “You cannot quite fathom the scale. [At the museum] there’s a DC3 sitting beside it and it looks tiny. It takes a drone 30 seconds to fly from wing tip to wing tip. And it’s all made from birch.”
In addition to birch, the Bremont H-4 Hercules Limited-Edition Chronometer includes cloth from the fuselage, while scraps of the beach balls that filled each wing in case of ditching (despite it being a seaplane) are used in the packaging.
Three hundred models in black stainless steel will be available, with 75 each of rose-gold and platinum versions. However, in this instance, the choice of metals is beside the point: fly with your Bremont Hercules H-4 and you’ll be responsible for returning to the skies a true icon of aviation.
From $12,300 at bremont.com