The new Breitling Premier Collection is a handsome, mid-century delight

The latest offering from Switzerland's most dynamic watch brand is a unique take on Breitling's design DNA

“We want to fish in a bigger pond” Georges Kern said yesterday at the first ever Breitling Summit, a purposeful glint in his eye and a watch sparkling on each wrist.

In that case, the brand’s new Premier collection is a spectacularly beautiful fishing rod. A bright addition to Breitling’s ‘Land’ offering (one of four distinct verticals unveiled by Kern earlier in the year), it neatly captures all the CEO has achieved at the brand in just 12 short months — namely accelerating product development while carefully distilling the brand’s unique DNA.

What’s in the new collection?

The new Breitling Premier Collection is a handsome, mid-century delight
1940s Breitling Premier vintage advertisement

The Premier originally launched back in 1943, when it catered for the refined, jazz-inflected lifestyle of Europe’s beau monde. This new incarnation modernises the brief while still recalling the mid-century elegance of its forebears. There are four core references, spread out between time only, day-date and chronograph formats: namely the B01 Chronograph 42, the Chronograph 42, Automatic 40, and the Automatic Day-Date 40.

What are the highlights?

The new Breitling Premier Collection is a handsome, mid-century delight
Premier B01 Chronograph 42 with silver dial and black alligator leather strap

I was particularly taken by the Premier B01 Chronograph 42. A handsome, elegant chrono with a striking panda dial, it wears well on the wrist at 42mm — a canny update on the dimensions of its 1940s predecessors. The transparent caseback is a lovely touch, too. But it’s the black tachymeter scale running around the dial that really sets things off, harking back, as ever, to Breitling’s aeronautical roots.

What does the future hold?

The new Breitling Premier Collection is a handsome, mid-century delight

Breitling Premier Automatic Day & Date 40

£3600

On brown alligator leather strap

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The new Breitling Premier Collection is a handsome, mid-century delight

Breitling Premier Automatic 40

£3600

On black alligator leather strap

Buy Now
The new Breitling Premier Collection is a handsome, mid-century delight

Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42

£6600

On black alligator leather strap

Buy Now

Taken together, the collection is a neat reminder of Breitling’s impressive strides under Kern. At the Breitling Summit — a bold new format for the brand — the CEO spoke of the confident, clear path that the brand hopes to forge in the modern market.

With an updated visual identity, contemporary ‘loft’-style stores around the world and a charismatic CEO at the helm (it’s rare for an international watch press conference to hold so many laughs or encores), it’s an exciting time for a true heritage brand.

The new Breitling Premier Collection is a handsome, mid-century delight

The Premier Collection has also found the perfect new home in the capital. After six months of work, a brand-new concept store has been opened in Westfield London, to showcase the Premier and Navitimer 8 novelties alongside the wider range and some exclusive limited editions.

The space brings to life Georges Kern’s vision for Breitling — a classical, heritage brand marked by sophisticated modern style. Neon lights play with polished concrete for an industrial-chic feel, while the revived vintage Breitling logo sings out in a sweep of bright gold.

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