‘Keeping it in the family’. It’s a business saying; a term that sings of teamwork, loyalty and the passing of brands and values across generations. It’s also a phrase that describes Breitling’s new Premier Heritage Collection, unveiled at this month’s Watches & Wonders, perfectly.
Why? Because the Swiss watchmaker’s latest collection pays homage to Breitling’s ‘Founders Squad’: the trio of men, spanning three generations, whose innovations were behind the modern chronographs that tick to this day. It’s particularly nice to see Breitling pay tribute to its past — because, despite being regarded as one of the slickest watch brands around today, the name has a rich history worth celebrating.
The Premier collection was first launched by Willy Breitling in 1943; born out of pure functionality (it helped pilots make their calculations at 30,000 feet). The new six-strong Premier Heritage Collection (consisting of models including The Chronograph, The Duograph and The Datora) pays homage to this dazzling history, adds some aesthetic style cues and continues to wind the brand even further into the future.
All the models in the collection merge style and durability into one sleek package. Each watch is COSC-certified, boasts a water resistance of up to 100 metres and hits the vintage styling nail on the head. Thanks to Arabic numerals, retro-inspired hands and alligator straps (complete with tone-on-tone stitching) these are fitting, fashionable windows onto Breitling’s fascinating past.
The Premier B09 Chronograph features the colour of the moment
Each watch in the Premier Heritage collection also has its own unique character. And, following the recent trend for green dials, the Chronograph will surely appeal to green-fingered timekeepers everywhere with its shimmering pistachio face — as well as its stainless steel case. Another model sees a silver dial encased in 18K red gold, offering up a more versatile, timeless aesthetic. See both below.
And, like the 1940s models from which it takes inspiration, this new Chronograph is manually wound; this time powered by the formidable Breitling Manufacture Caliber B09. It’s perfect, then, for sporting gentlemen who prioritise meticulous timekeeping above all else (wouldn’t Gaston Breitling be proud?) and who want a subtle statement watch that will work as well on the weekend as it will in the office.
Premier B09 Chronograph 40
The Duograph merges understated elegance with powerhouse timekeeping
If you’re looking for understated elegance in a watch, call off the search. The Premier B15 Duograph’s dials appears in either a soothing blue, encased in stainless steel, or a versatile black, encased in 18K red gold. And it’s these colour palettes, combined with the alligator straps, that help to encapsulate the suave, vintage look for which the brand is so famous.
But it’s the Duograph’s ‘rattrapante’ function that’s really got us excited. First seen in Breitling’s Navitimer Rattrapunte a few years ago, this elaborate function takes the form of two superimposed chronograph hands — and allows the wearer to measure two elapsed times simultaneously. It’s a particularly special selling point of the already-impressive mechanical hand-wound Breitling Manufacture Caliber B15.
Premier B15 Duograph 42
The Datora is the vintage-tinged calendar watch we've been waiting for
Calendar watches; you either love them or you hate them. Some enthusiasts love to carry their packed lives on their wrists, charting every second, minute, hour and day on their watch’s face. Others prefer a simply, clean dial with an uncomplicated display. But, whichever camp you’re in, Breitling’s new Premier B25 Datora will surely impress at every turn with its historically informed design.
And, like its 1940s ancestor, the Datora values visibility and efficiency as its highest priorities. Its day, date and moon-face displays are sharply focused on the dial, and the case — clocking in at 42mm — contains the Manufacture Caliber B25. There’s the option of a copper-coloured face framed by stainless steel or a silver dial framed by 18K red gold, both seen above. And we just can’t decide between the two…
Premier B25 Datora 42
Introducing the Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon 42 Bentley Limited Edition
In 2002, Bentley Motors commissioned Breitling to create an on-board clock for its Continental GT. In the two decades since, the partnership has shifted gears to become stronger than ever: and this 25-piece limited edition watch pays tribute to both the British automotive brand and Willy Breitling. An ardent Bentley driver, Willy patented the chronograph — with two independent pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock — in 1934.
This reinterpretation features rectangular chronograph pushers and a transparent sapphire caseback, revealing a movement complete with 22K gold oscillating weight. Its 18K red gold case and distinctive alligator strap bring the vintage style; but it’s the special chronograph tourbillon caliber and cage that really sets this model apart. Finish it off with a British racing green dial — and this watch may be the perfect combination of modern trends and historical style.
Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon 42 Bentley Limited Edition
Have we whetted your appetite for all things watches? Well, these are 10 of the most exciting releases and reveals from Watches & Wonders…
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