Swiss watchmaker Breitling–aka inventor of the modern chronograph–has been in the game since 1884, and shows no signs of slowing down. At their recent Summit 2018 event in London, the brand unleashed an array of horological slayers, which respectively cover the arenas of air, land, and sea. Presented before a rapturous crowd was a new Premier Collection, which combines elegant form and copious function to truly purposeful effect. Also featured were new collaborations with luxury automaker Bentley and sustainable outerwear brand Outerknown, as well as the Breitling Navitimer 1 B03 Rattrapante 45 Boutique Edition, a veritably special chronograph.
It was all the way back in the 1940s that Breitling manufactured its initial Premier Watch Collection, which made for an exemplary fashion statement and provided no shortage of luxurious escapism. Now the collection has returned, bringing with it a conscious emphasis on bold style, uncompromising prestige, prime functionality, and what brand CEO Georges Kern dubs “everyday elegance”. Consisting of five unique models, the watches were created specifically for use on land, despite Breitling’s current reputation as a producer of top-tier aviator and diver fare.
At the heart of the Premier Collection is the Premier B01 Chronograph 42. Touting a 42mm case of stainless steel, and either a dark blue or silver dial, the watch comes equipped with Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01 movement. Not only is the self-winding, chronometer-certified movement developed in-house by the brand, but it hosts an impressive power reserve of over 70 hours. Turn the watch over to gaze upon this highly acclaimed movement through the transparent case-back. Sealing the deal is your choice of either alligator or nubuck leather on the strap.
Joining the Premier B01 Chronograph 42 are four additional models, each of which delivers a truly purposeful aesthetic, and the best in modern mechanics. Included in the range are the Premier Chronograph 42, the Premier Automatic 40, and the Premier Automatic Day & Date 40. Among them, the Premier Automatic 40 is the one that takes the most design cues from its distinguished ancestors. It comes powered by Breitling Caliber 37 movement and is available with either an anthracite, blue, or silver dial.
Rounding out the Premier Collection in true style is the Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Bentley British Racing Green, which continues a 15-year partnership with the luxury automaker. From this indisputable eye-catcher, expect a British racing green dial, contrasting subdials, a Bentley inscription on the left side of the case, and the choice of a British racing green leather strap.
With the “ground” covered, let’s take things under the sea. For that, Breitling collaborated with sustainable clothing company Outerknown, co-founded by surf legend Kelly Slater himself. The result is the Superocean Héritage II Chronograph 44 Outerknown, a bold and powerful stunner that combines a black case and blue dial to perfection, and comes powered by Breitling Caliber 13 mechanical chronograph movement. Representing a brand first for Breitling, the watch includes a NATO strap made of ECONYL yarn, a repurposed material created from nylon waste, the same type of which is commonly found in fishing nets. Featured on the blue strap is a pattern inspired directly by Outerknown, who produced the material.
Don’t worry: Breitling didn’t forget about “air”. The brand does make legendary aviator watches, after all. This time around, they unleashed the Breitling Navitimer 1 B03 Rattrapante 45 Boutique Edition, a novel pilot’s watch that makes all kinds of bold statements, beginning with its robust 45mm case of stainless-steel. Also featured is a bidirectional rotating bezel, and a Stratos Gray dial with markers coated in Super-LumiNova, promising legibility in all lighting.
However, what truly distinguishes this horological beast from the pack is the inclusion of Breitling Manufacture Caliber B03, a proprietary split-second movement that was developed and produced in-house. Manifesting the movement’s potential is a split-second pusher in the 3 o’clock crown, which the owner can use to stop and restart the split-second hand as often as desired, and with striking alacrity. Consequently, he or she can measure split times, and furthermore compare numerous results. Throw in a host of sub-dials and complications and the watch simply brims with fortitude, utility, and visual distinction. In other words, it’s a Breitling.