BREMONT LAUNCHES SPECIAL EDITION MWII FLYING TIGER IN COLLABORATION WITH MW MICHAEL WONG
8 years on from the first Bremont x MW Michael Wong collaboration, 2019 sees the release of the MWII Flying Tiger. Designed in collaboration with Michael, the renowned actor and aviator, the Bremont MWII Flying Tiger pays tribute to the first American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force in 1941-1942, nicknamed the Flying Tigers.
Based on the design of the U-2 range which was originally developed for and inspired by a select number of elite military squadrons, the new timepiece has significant aviation pedigree. The MWII Flying Tiger incorporates the brand’s trademark vintage ‘51’ lume, originally found on the Limited Edition P-51, together with heat treated steel blued hands. The MW Michael Wong logo features at 9 o’clock with the Flying Tigers logo in the centre of the dial. The white stylised five-petal Hong Kong orchid tree (Bauhinia blakeana) flower, symbolic of the HK flag, sits on the end of the bottom crown with a star at the end of the top crown. The watch itself takes design cues from a military project commissioned by the RAF’s 100 Squadron, the first squadron formed for night bombing back in 1917, to celebrate their centenary and complement their Hawk T1 Jet aircraft. Turning the watch over reveals an exhibition case back showing the beautiful automatic movement through tinted black smoked glass. The MWII Flying Tiger is a special edition of 500 and comes with 3 different barrel colour options: black, blue and bronze.
The AVG Flying Tigers was composed of pilots from the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC), Navy (USN), and Marine Corps (USMC), recruited under President Franklin Roosevelt’s authority before Pearl Harbour. The aircraft were to fly with Chinese colours but be under American control. The group consisted of three fighter squadrons of around 30 aircraft each. The Flying Tigers trained in Burma before the American entry into World War II to defend China against Japanese forces. The group of volunteers were officially members of the Chinese Air Force. While it accepted some civilian volunteers for its headquarters and ground crew, the AVG recruited most of its staff from the U.S. military.
The group demonstrated innovative tactical victories when the news in the U.S. was filled with little more than stories of defeat at the hands of the Japanese forces and achieved such notable success during the lowest period of the war for both the U.S. and the Allied Forces as to give hope to America that it might eventually defeat Japan. AVG pilots earned official credit and received combat bonuses for destroying 296 enemy aircraft, while losing only 14 pilots in combat. On 4 July 1942 the AVG was disbanded and replaced by the 23rd Fighter Group of the United States Army Air Forces, which was later absorbed into the U.S. Fourteenth Air Force with General Chennault as commander.
Michael Wong, “In my early flying career, I was able to start the first ever volunteer flying programme for kids in Hong Kong. I feel a great affinity with the Flying Tigers story, as they were volunteers, so keeping the AVG legacy alive is something I’m proud to support. Equally, having worked with Bremont before I’m excited to be furthering our story together and be introducing another great pilot’s watch.
I was originally introduced to Bremont by a good friend who kindly gave me a Martin Baker MBII which I was absolutely thrilled with as a keen watch enthusiast. As an aviator as well, the story and design of this watch immediately caught my attention and I became a fan of the brand on the spot! Shortly after I was introduced to Giles, and of course we hit it off with our shared passion for aviation. I had recently started on the development of the MW Brand and I wasted no opportunity in pitching the idea of a collaboration, both Giles and Nick accepted and thus was born the Bremont x MW Heli Chrono. As a result, Giles and Nick spent a bit of time in Hong Kong subsequently and on all occasions we flew together in helicopters, creating memorable aviation experiences. I always look forward to seeing them both, they never fail to fill the environment with passion and excitement for many of us aviators here in Asia. I will be forever grateful to them, and Bremont, for breathing life into the MW Brand.”