The synergy between cars and watches, precision instruments and excellence, is one that BRM Watches truly understands and brings to the forefront in its timepieces. In a never-ending quest to offer the absolute best, BRM is all about perfection and passion.
While Bernard Richards Manufacture had been in business since 1986—with Bernard Richards working for other watch brands, the BRM brand started just 11 years ago in 2003. Bernard Richards, car and motorcycle lover, wanted to bring his passion for motorsports to the forefront in a watch collection. Practicing an art passed down to him by his family, Richards understands watchmaking, but comes at it from a precision standpoint. Thus, Richards assembled a watchmaking team for the BRM brand. It took two years to bring his first watch from conception to fruition, and from there he surpassed even his own expectations.
The first models were impressive automatic chronographs that were inspired by the racing world. The line was so uniquely different, with multiple components made according to nano-technology standards, that BRM fast became a global success. Following a creed of technical perfection, BRM today creates complex parts for complicated precision instruments that not only spark the adrenaline of race car fans, but also of watch lovers.
Ten years ago, in 2004, the brand made its foray into the US market, thanks to BRM Americas’ partner and President Frederic Gasser. Gasser, who had previously been in a different industry, moved from France to America in pursuit of success. He met with Richards and liked the watches. He thought he could start a USA distributorship. “I remember being in Dallas and getting a call from someone who wanted to see the watch, so I borrowed a car and drove to meet him. I followed the directions he had given me, and found myself in the parking lot of a jail. He drove up; I got in his car and showed him the watches, and made my first sale. It was a $7,500 watch and he was a criminal lawyer,” recalls Gasser, who took the sale as a good omen. He soon met more people, including a man at a party who liked the BRM watch on his wrist. That man was a vice president of Neiman Marcus, which became his first retail account.
(See also: The BRM SP-44 Super Legere Timepiece)
“We have come a long way in the past years,” says Gasser. “Not just in terms of distribution, but also in terms of product.” In fact, in 2008, BRM released its first tourbillon watch—an amazing feat. Then it unveiled a bi-rotor watch and even a tri-rotor watch. A couple of years ago, in keeping with the automotive industry, BRM wowed the world with the lightest automatic chronograph, the MK, created from a material used for lateral windshields in race cars. “The brand started with a passion for motor sports and it continues to reinforce that passion. What sets us apart,” says Gasser “is the attention we pay to every detail as we build our machines.”
BRM is not about quantity. It is about quality. The cases—with approximately 18 different parts—are made from long bars of top-grade titanium; the lugs are created separately and screwed into place thereby allowing for use of multiple materials and colors. More than 20 tracings are necessary for the watch dials and the strap buckle consists of 12 parts. All of the assembly is done in-house by hand under the vigilant eye of Bernard Richards. As such, BRM creates an exclusive number of watches per year, approximately 2,000 annually, and each watch retails for between $3,000 and $60,000 (with the exception of the tourbillon that sells for about $136,000).
For more information, please call (214) 231-0144 or go to www.brm-manufacture.com.
(Article written by Roberta Naas, featured in the April 2014 duPont REGISTRY issue.)