Last Thursday, we witnessed the very first Breitling Summit 2020 Webcast where the Swiss manufacturer announced a stunning range of Breitling watch releases. For us, the star of the show was the Breitling Chronomat B01 42 collection which features an all new and improved design inspired by one of the brand’s most legendary Chronomat models released in 1984.
For as long as we can remember, the Breitling Chronomat has held a significant place in the brand’s history. It was first released in the 1940’s and was one of the first in the world to boast a slide-rule bezel. Nevertheless, for most watch aficionados, the most notable Chronomat was one released in 1984 during a time when extra-thin quartz watches were the order of the day. In 1983, Breitling released the Frecce Tricolori chronograph, a mechanical timepiece designed in collaboration with the Italian aerial squadron of the same name. Its versatility was evident as its tachymeter scale caught the interest of Formula 1 teams anda its reversable rider tabs made it the perfect watch for regattas. Then for the 100th anniversary of Breitling in 1984, Ernest Schneider decided to create a new icon which he saw in the face of the Chronomat Frecce Tricolori.
Rather than following the herd and designing another quartz watch, Schneider took the courageous path and went against the increasing dominance of thin quartz watches with the release of an all-new Bretiling Chronomat. The 1984 watch became a huge success and was a key influence in bringing mechanical watches on trend again. This time, the name Chronomat expressed something entirely different, with the combination of words “chronograph” and “automatic” making up its name. The new collection of Breitling Chronomat B01 42 watches for 2020 pay tribute to their predecessor with a reinstated vintage Rouleaux bracelet, interchangeable rider tabs on the bezel and the staple Breitling B01 in-house mechanical movement.
Although not an entirely faithful re-edition, the Breitling Chronomat B01 42 has managed to balance the perfect amount of vintage aesthetic with modern improvements. The 42mm stainless steel case looks almost exact to the original with integrated lugs, robust shoulders, and a bevelled rounded crown. The pushers and crown protection have been modernised slightly for better integration and to improve the water resistant rating to 200 metres.The Rouleaux bracelet is one of our favourite additions to the design, fully transforming the piece from just another modern sports watch to a vintage-inspired piece. The rifle-shell style links are bound together by polished inner links that blend seamlessly through the case and lugs. You’d be forgiven for mistaking the bracelet as integrated, but the Breitling Chronomat B01 42 is also available on a choice of rubber straps.
Another signature element is the addition of the interchangeable rider tabs on the unidirectional ratcheted bezel. Available in stainless steel, 18 carat gold or two toned with rose gold tabs, the bezel of the Breitling Chronomat B01 42 watch showcases interchangeable rider tabs at positions 15 and 45. This means that the wearer can choose whether they want to use the timepiece to count up or count down. The choice of bezel material is also reflected in the case design also available in stainless steel or 18 carat rose gold.
Housed within the case is the indispensable Breitling B01 in-house automatic mechanical movement. The 47 jewelled COSC certified calibre provides classic central hands for hours, minutes and seconds, a date window at 6H and three subsidiary dials for continuous seconds, 12 hour counter and 30 minutes counter. The movement also promises a frequency of 28,800 vph and a power reserve of 70 hours. The functions are displayed on an array of dial colours including anthracite, blue, copper, black, silver or British Racing Green dials (the latter being a Bentley edition).
The first pieces of the 2020 Breitling Chronomat B01 42 watch collection are expected to be available at the end of April with more pieces coming out late May. For the impatient of us, you can pre-order any of these models in advance on the Jura Watches website. Be one of the first to take delivery of the new Breitling Chronomat B01 42 watches at Jura Watches today with interest free finance and free delivery available.
Specifications: Breitling Chronomat B01 42 Watches
- New L-evolution Collection – Innovative movements for exceptional watches
Excellence is a tenacious habit. Blancpain is pursuing its successive introductions of innovative high-end movements with the new Calibres 13R5 and 66R9, derived from the 13R0, along with Calibre 5025, all now powering a set of exceptional watches. Such an unshakeable faith in the future deserved a new stellar collection, evocatively named L-evolution. Blancpain L-evolution 8 Jours Watch
The Blancpain philosophy could be aptly summed up in of Artistotle’s famous maxims: “ excellence is an art won by training and habituation ; it is therefore not an act, but a habit ”. After the two remarkable Calibres 13R0, 1315 and 225, two new movements are now enriching this exclusive series : Calibre 13R5 with date and power reserve; and Calibre 66R9 featuring a complete calendar with moon-phase display.
These innovative movements, which are writing a new chapter in Blancpain’s rich watchmaking history, naturally needed to find a showcase worthy of their stature. Therefore, as the founding act of a reinvented future that begins today, the Manufacture in Le Brassus has chosen to create a new line of exceptional models, the L-evolution Collection. The Automatique 8 Jours, Moon Phase 8 Jours, Tourbillon GMT and Alarm GMT watches are thus taking up their appointed place within this new fine watchmaking sanctuary.
A poem in the writing
Blancpain is thus pursuing its well-established “ Tradition of Innovation ”. More than a mere habit, this is an abiding characteristic of the Manufacture in Le Brassus. Like the first four lines of a poem in the writing, the new models form the classic new L-evolution Collection. Comprising sporty, contemporary and perfectly streamlined cases with a revamped design and an imposing 43.5 mm diameter, this new collection is resolutely geared towards the future. While already encompassing four models available in 2009, its future undoubtedly holds in store a number of other beautiful and fascinating surprises.
Blancpain L-evolution Moon Phase 8 Jours – The celestial legend of Calibre 66R9
Wearing a piece of the sky on your wrist is undoubtedly the most poetic expression of the passage of time. With its exclusive new Calibre 66R9, Blancpain once again pays homage to a complication that has become inseparably linked to the brand by incorporating it within its new L-evolution Moon Phase 8 Jours model. A proprietary movement and a lyrical complication thus combine to reveal the expertise of the Blancpain movement construction engineers and master-watchmakers.
The moon phase is to Blancpain what a snowdrop is to winter : a messenger of rebirth. It was thanks to this complication that the brand succeeded in capturing the hearts of connoisseurs of fine mechanisms. Thus granted renewed credibility by the Manufacture in Le Brassus, the moon phase made a significant contribution to the revival of mechanical horology in the 1980s. Blancpain brought this complication back to the forefront in 1983 by launching the legendary moon-phase Calibre 6395, which was to lead to the renaissance of the entire mechanical watch industry.
Strengthened by this token of undeniable legitimacy, Blancpain took a further step towards perfecting one of its favourite complications in 2003, with the launch of its Calibre 6763 endowed with an extraordinary 100-hour power reserve. Calibre 66R9, which is being unveiled in 2009, represents another milestone. The Manufacture in Le Brassus is presenting a brand-new movement driving moon-phase, complete calendar and power-reserve indications. Derived from the exclusive mechanical hand-wound Calibre 13R0, the new Calibre 66R9 further consolidates Blancpain’s standing within the select circle of authentic watch “ Manufactures ”.
An original date correction system
Calibre 66R9 stems from a longstanding quest for perfection and for essentials. Equipped with three barrels, this movement is endowed with an impressive 8-day power reserve. Nonetheless, the most significant efforts have been devoted to the heart of the movement : the balance and spring assembly. In order to optimise the regularity of rate of the oscillating organ, Blancpain has opted for a flat balance-spring – ensuring perfect isochronism – and a titanium balance. While extremely hard to machine, titanium features several decisive advantages : first of all, it is far less sensitive to changes in temperature than traditional alloys, meaning it does not dilate when subjected to heat; secondly, it is far lighter and thus less energy-consuming; and finally, it is amagnetic.
Another technical challenge brilliantly taken up by the Blancpain movement construction engineers and watchmakers relates to the calendar adjustment. The date, day, month and moon phases on the Calibre 66R9 may indeed now be corrected at any time of day or night – including around midnight – an operation that would normally be liable to damage the mechanism if performed near the date-change time. Thanks to meticulous research and exhaustive testing on this development that took almost three years to perfect, the Blancpain watchmakers and movement construction engineers have succeeded in developing an original protective system guaranteeing the exceptional reliability of Calibre 66R9. The balance adjustment system has also been entirely revised : most mechanical calibres are equipped with a mobile organ known as an “index”, which serves to vary the active length of the balance-spring and thus the speed of oscillation of the balance. While some brands opt for the more decorative “ swan’s neck ” adjustment system, Blancpain has replaced this traditional mechanism with micrometric adjustment screws placed directly on the rim or “felly” of the balance. When the screws are tightened from inside, the active diameter of the balance is reduced, thereby increasing the speed of oscillations – and vice versa. Equipped with square heads to facilitate handling, the screws thus enable extremely fine adjustments, and each quarter-turn corresponds to a 30-second modification per day.
This engine, which is a natural source of pride for all those who have contributed to its development, combines these daring technologies with extremely meticulous traditional finishes : a finely circular-grained mainplate, bevelled and polished movement parts, a “ côtes paraboliques ” motif and bevelled bridges. This stunning array of details contributes to creating a rare degree of perfection that an informed connoisseur will revel in discovering through a transparent case-back that also reveals the high-density gold oscillating weight ensuring perfect winding.
The dial itself reflects the well-structured and avant-garde nature of the movement within. Three distinct levels, from the mainplate adorned with Côtes de Genève through to the oversized Roman numerals at 3 and 9 o’clock, provide a three-dimensional vision of the face of this watch. This impression is accentuated by broad apertures with delicately bevelled cut-outs affording glimpses of the power-reserve, day of the week, month and power-reserve discs.
Available with a steel or red gold case radiating a compact, sporty-looking design, the Blancpain Moon Phase 8 Jours model joins the prestigious new L-evolution collection testifying to Blancpain’s incorrigibly dynamic approach to its art.
- Blancpain Super Trofeo Chronograph – The high-powered alliance between two legends
Blancpain and Lamborghini have joined forces in creating an exceptional automobile championship. Played out over six events per year, the Super Trofeo stars a field of the newest Lamborghini Gallardos. To celebrate these superlative races, the Manufacture in Le Brassus is presenting a Super Trofeo flyback chronograph, a resolutely sporting watch with a production run limited to 300.
Encounters between two myths are bound to engender exceptional events. The alliance between the world’s oldest watch brand and one of the most iconic car manufacturers has resulted in the creation of an exceptional automobile championship. The Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo is not only the fi rst Lamborghini racing series, but also to become – right from the start of the first race in May – the world’s fastest and most demanding single-make championship. Gleaming Lamborghini Gallard LP560-4 cars – the latest version of this legendary model – are to face off on six equally fabled race tracks during the year 2009. Each of these speed machines bears the colours of the watch manufacturer, while the car driven by Blancpain’s President and CEO, Marc A. Hayek, is entirely dedicated to the brand.
For Marc A. Hayek and Stephan Winkelmann, respectively at the head of Blancpain and Lamborghini, this partnership in a joint championship enables them to fulfil the dreams of many devotees of exceptional mechanical engineering. When Lamborghini decided to join the race to push the boundaries of speed, its decision to work with Blancpain – a watch brand renowned for its pioneering sprit and mechanical expertise – was a natural choice for this high-octane union.
The first single-make racing series in Lamborghini’s history, the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo 2009 features six European events scheduled from May through October, at Adria (Italy), Norisring (Germany), Spa Francorchamps (Belgium), Silverstone (United Kingdom), as well Catalunya (Spain) and Paul Ricard (France).
Boasting exceptional performances fuelled by 570 HP and 540 N/m torque enabling it to reach top speeds of over 300 km/h, the latest racing version of the Gallardo line from Lamborghini is a truly exceptional car. Its mettlesome character and its taut, sophisticated lines have inspired the Blancpain designers and master-watchmakers in creating the latest gem from the Manufacture in Le Brassus: the Super Trofeo Chronograph endowed with a flyback function. Like the powerful engine of the Gallardo, this new Blancpain chronograph displays state-of-the-art design and all the attributes of cutting-edge technology.
The case specifi cally designed for this prestigious line is inspired by the sleek profi le of the Lamborghini Gallardo. Crafted in steel coated with a DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) treatment – blacker than ruthenium and more resistant than PVD – the 43.5 mm-diameter case that is waterresistant to 100 metres features alternating satin-brushed and polished surfaces. Highly sought after for its hardness and its anti-allergenic nature, as well as its intense colour, DLC treatment combines the properties of diamantine carbon (hardness, insulation, chemical resistance) with those of graphite (black colour, elasticity). Based on state-of-the-art technologies, DLC is a treatment applied in thin layers (sometimes less than 2 μm) by a “ vacuum deposit ” process. Moreover, DLC boasts an extremely low friction coefficient and remarkable chemical inertia, two qualities that ensure excellent resistance to wear, corrosion and friction, as well as a flexible kind of hardness.
Black is black
At this heart of this new sophisticated and performance-oriented case, the Blancpain Super Trofeo Chronograph, lies its throbbing “ engine ”, Calibre F185. To reinforce its dynamic nature, the movement of the Blancpain Super Trofeo has been coated by NAC – a state-of-theart electroplating treatment that blackens the movement bridges and main plate. The mechanical self-winding Calibre F185 is endowed with a 40-hour power reserve and comprises 308 parts. This movement powers a range of functions including hour, minute, small seconds and date display at 6 o’clock, as well as the chronograph indications with a central sweep seconds hand, 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and 12-hour counter at 9 o’clock. For instant-measurement enthusiasts, the Calibre F185 also drives a “ flyback ” function. The unmistakable black dial is distinguished by two red and white 9 and 12 o’clock numerals stylised to evoke the numbers painted on the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 racing cars. Another exclusive feature of this exceptional model is its gold oscillating weight engraved with the inscription “ Super Trofeo 2009 ”.
A sports model through and through, the Blancpain Super Trofeo Chronograph is teamed with a strap in alcantara – like the seats in the Lamborghini Gallardo – secured by a steel folding clasp. Available in a limited edition of 300 with its individual number engraved on the case-back – the Blancpain Super Trofeo Chronograph comes in a presentation box inspired by the taut, opulent lines of the ultra-dynamic Gallardo.
The latest addition to the blancpain l-evolution flyback chronograph collection features a flyback split-seconds chronograph mechanism and a large date. This watch, combining carbone fibre and cutting-edge technology, reflects Blancpain’s strong commitment in GT racing.
Having decided to adopt such an extreme attitude, Blancpain naturally chose carbon fibre in creating this timepiece. Its lightness and sturdiness, combined with its aesthetic appeal, provide a wealth of development options. This high-tech material was used to create certain watch components: the carbon fibre bezel, caseback and dial represent significant technical feats, reflecting Blancpain’s characteristic innovative strength. To accentuate this sporting personality, the large date display features a digital font; red accents punctuate the black background; the 8 o’clock pusher echoes the shape of a fuel-cap; and the 9 o’clock counter that of an insignia.
At the heart of this new model beats Calibre 69F9 with its 409 parts including 44 jewels, ensuring a 40-hour power reserve. It is equipped with a column wheel that guarantees precise pusher control, as well as a vertical coupling-clutch that avoids any unwanted jerking of the hand when the chronograph is activated. This movement combines a flyback split-second chronograph mechanism with a large twin-aperture date display. The split-second chronograph function is a major horological complication that enables readings of “split” or intermediate times thanks to a so-called split-second (rattrapante or “catch-up” in French) hand that is superimposed on the chronograph sweep seconds hand. When the split-second function is activated via the pusher at 8 o’clock, the hand stops to enable reading of a split time, while the sweep seconds hand continues running. A second press on the pusher enables the split-second hand to “catch up with” the sweep seconds hand. The flyback function, enabling reset and instant restart of the chronograph, is activated by pressing the pusher at 4 o’clock.
The sapphire crystal reveals fascinating glimpses of this movement with its unique decoration. Numerous stages were involved in achieving this result. The parts have been coated with a beadblasted two-tone material (5N red gold-plated or rhodiumed depending on the finish); while the straight graining on the NAC bridges features the anthracite appearance characteristic of this treatment.
The overstitched strap in black alcantara features carbon inserts reminiscent of the latest breakthrough developments in the field of racing cars, while the carbon folding clasp adds an ultimate touch of refined detailing. blancpain l-evolution flyback chronograph
Blancpain stunned the world when it presented the world’s thinnest self-winding chronograph and the smallest minute repeater of its time, when it re-launched in 1987 under the leadership of JC Biver.
n 1991, Blancpain presented the most complicated wristwatch in the world at the time: the 1735 Grande Complication. This exceptional timepiece featured a one-minute tourbillon, a perpetual calendar with moon phase, a co-axial split seconds chronograph and a minute repeater. Only 30 pieces wre made between 1991 and 2009.
Capitalizing on the brand’s rich heritage and the technical mastery, in 2006 Blancpain launched a special timepiece with just the perpetual calendar as a complication.
It is this extremely rare Blancpain Le Brassus Quantième Perpétuel GMT Reference 4277-3446-55bda limited to 150 pieces only.
There are a few watches that bridge the gap between vintage and modern. Old school aesthetic, with modern reliability. This magnificent timepiece does just that.
It is crafted in a 42mm platinum case which is fairly slim at just 13.3mm in thickness, with a doubled-stepped bezel. It offers a 100m water resistance, which is quite impressive for a perpetual calendar.
What stands out at first instance is the beautiful Havana dial, which acts as a backdrop for the neatly laid out functions on the dial.
The perpetual calendar is easy to read with the months and leap year indicator within a sub-dial at 12 o’clock, date at 3 o’clock, moonphase indicator at 6 o’clock and the days of the week at 9 o’clock. The GMT / 24HR ring encircles the sub-dials, just under the roman hour markers in white gold, and all functions marked in white, on a rich brown sunburst backdrop. The patented correctors for the functions are hidden under the lugs. All of the hands are crafted in white gold, adding to the richness of this beauty.
Seen through the case-back is the F. Piguet / Manufacture Blancpain calibre featuring 2 mainsprings offering a 100hr power reserve and a hand-engraved winding mass. The finish on the movement is impeccable with mirrored anglage on every edge.
Offered on a brown alligator leather strap which is soft, yet sturdy to hold the watch firmly on the wrist while offering great wearer comfort. It comes with a platinum deployant clasp.
Blancpain was founded in 1735, in Villeret by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain, and is considered to be the oldest watch brand in the world.
The brand was continuously in operation and within the Blancpain family for almost 200 years, until in 1932 when the 7th generation heir Frédéric-Emile Blancpain passed away and the business was bought by two of his closest staff members, who continued the operations through both World Wars.
The legendary ‘Fifty Fathoms’ was launched in 1953, making it the world’s first modern diving watch with three patents including the innovative double sealed crown system, the caseback seal system and the unidirectional bezel with a blocking mechanism which would prevent accidental rotation of the bezel.
In terms of aesthetics, Fifty Fathoms is one of the most iconic timepieces today.
In 1961 Blancpain merged into the largest Swiss watch group of the time, the Société Suisse pour l’Industrie Horlogère (SSIH), joining Omega, Tissot and Lemania, and was producing over 220,000 watches annually by 1971.
The brand was put into hibernation during the quartz crisis and in 1983, it was bought by the legendary Jean-Claude Biver.
In the late 80’s, it made a solid comeback by launching back-to-back complications include a triple calendar with moon phases, a perpetual calendar, a minute repeater, a split-seconds chronograph and a tourbillon.
The resurrection was so strong that the SSIH (now Swatch Group) bought back the brand and has had it under its portfolio ever since.
You know us at Monochrome-Watches, we love complicated watches and Haute-Horlogerie. We love exotic displays, we crave for independent watchmakers and their audacious creations, we could barely cry in front of a grande complication. With the watch we’re going to test today, we found something that can easily fulfill our needs: a one-minute carrousel (a sort of tourbillon) and a minute repeater together with a superbly finished skeletonized dial and an automatic winding. Here is the Blancpain Carrousel Minute Repeater Le Brassus, one of the most complicated timepieces of the manufacture.Forget about the massive 45mm x 15.3mm case. We’re not talking about a daily beater like a Rolex Datejust here. We’re into passion and demonstration of advanced watchmaking skills. Wearability and legibility are not the important facts here. We’re not requesting such a watch to be practical. It’s heavy and massive. Whatever, it is not made to be hidden under a cuff. And the size is not a result of a showy design, but comes from the movement itself and the need of space for the chimes. The hands do not clearly pop out. Yes, true, but who cares. You’re not going to dive with it and need it to have contrasting super-luminova. What we have here is pure dream and pleasure.Visually, the Blancpain Carrousel Minute Repeater is indeed not the smallest or the most discreet watch we’ve experienced before. The case is large and heavy but still wearable. It is made of 18k red gold. However, the alloy used by Blancpain remains (hopefully) quite soft in its colour. It comes with a 2-step bezel, a classical design, typically Blancpain (a similar design can be found on the Villeret Chronographe Pulsomètre). The lugs are short and curved enough to balance the watch on the wrist. The dial is partially opened in the middle and comes with a white enamel chapter ring, with applied gold indexes for the hours. This central aperture offers a superb view on the mechanical elements: all the levers and gears that actuates the minute repeater and the hands are visible.All the elements are finished by hand with straight or concentric graining, beveled angles or mirror polishing. The main plate, made of the same metal than the case, comes with a fine perlage. Alongside the finish, 3 elements are especially noticeable. First, the gears with their specific design (close to a car’s wheel), a typical Blancpain feature that is also part of the Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback. Then, the multiple levers on the top of the dial. You can see them moving when actuating the minute repeater and feel the mechanic working. Finally, the carrousel that is located at 6, always very pleasant to look at.From the sapphire caseback of the Blancpain Carrousel Minute Repeater we can also see some very interesting features. The visual aspect is quite special and unique, with these deep engravings (no Geneva Stripes or graining here) and the bridges and rotor made in red gold. Then come the finishings, with the same level of details than the dial: hand chamfered bridges or polished screw heads and slots. The movement is built around two main components: a special tourbillon and a minute repeater.
The minute repeater is using two hammers (visible on the back side, made of steel and engraved as the rest of the movement) and 2 cathedral chimes, longer than normal chimes, to produce a clearer and louder sound. In a normal minute repeater, the gongs cover around 1.5 times the perimeter of the movement. When they exceed that length, they are called “cathedral gongs” and create two sets of chimes. It means that the work of the watchmaker, in order to adjust them to the desired tone, is way more difficult.The regulating organ is what Blancpain likes to call a “one-minute flying carrousel.” Like the tourbillon, the carrousel counteracts and neutralises the effects of gravity, as it rotates on itself in one minute. With a tourbillon, the carriage is linked to the barrel via a single gear train. The carrousel is connected to the barrel by two gear trains: the first delivers the energy required for the operation of the escapement, while the second controls the carriage rotation speed. Thus, it requires more components. The movement is composed of 444 parts and boasts 65 hours of power reserve. Last feature: the movement is secured as the gongs cannot be activated when the crown is pulled.The Blancpain Carrousel Minute Repeater is part of these extremely complicated and expensive collections that we can find in several catalogs. It may be seen as marketing, in order to promote the most classical and profitable collections, such as the sports watches or usual dress timepieces, by demonstrating the knowledge of a manufacture. In a sense, it is true, but every industry linked to luxury goods is doing the same (concept cars from BMW certainly help to sell the 30k 3-series). Putting aside these material considerations, we won’t blame a brand such as Blancpain for doing this type of watches. It may be priced north to 300,000 Eur and limited to 30 pieces, it’s an object of pleasure and passion. And we love it. Blancpain Le Brassus Watches
Breitling Avenger is a strong line within their current collection. The new(ish) Super Avenger Chronograph 48 Night Mission was one which caught our eye when it was introduced. Here is our hands on review, with some wallpaper sized Watchscapes.The Avenger and Super Avenger line are self-winding mechanical watches available in both time only (like the Avenger Automatic 45 Seawolf) and chronographs with 300m depth rating. The Avenger and Super Avenger share almost all physical and technical features, the only difference is the size. The Avenger is smaller with a case diameter of 45mm and thickness of 17.4m, while the Super Avenger is larger at 48mm case diameter, and a thickness of 18.6mm.Breitling Super Avenger Chronograph 48 Night Mission The Super Avenger Chronograph 48 Night Mission is a bold, robust and shock resistant watch which has a strong wrist presence, not only due to the large case dimensions, but also the imposing design. As a true Breitling Avenger, it is designed to be used wearing gloves, featuring a rugged bezel and its special grip-pattern on the crown & chronograph pushers.
The case, dial and hands
The Night Mission interpretation of the Super Avenger Chronograph 48 is a large 48mm DLC coated titanium case, a blue dial and a blue military strap that fits either a DLC coated stainless steel pin buckle or deployant clasp. Despite the case’s rather massive dimensions, it wears smaller, and wraps around the average male wrist with comfort and ease. The soundbyte from Georges Kern, CEO of Breitling comes to mind, paraphrased – “I don’t have a large wrist. And if I am not able to wear the watch comfortably, it does not get approved.”The dial is a beautiful dark, almost navy blue, and is marked with Arabic numerals with thick SuperLuminova. The design of the arabic numerals are similar to the stenciled numbers used on the decks of aircraft carriers.The design of the hands are also with the purpose to optimize legibility. The hands are large and coated with superluminova. The sub-dial layout of the chronograph is typical of a Valjoux 7750 sourced movement, and indeed the Breitling Caliber B13 is a variant of the Valjoux with the day of the week wheel removed.Though the sapphire crystal features anti-reflective coating on both sides, or rather because the front is multi-coated, a strong blue reflection of the (white) flash of our strobe is caught on the photographs. This is because the anti-reflective coatings are designed only to block certain wavelengths of light.
The case back is closed, and engraved with the Breitling Avenger logo and verbiage, including the stated Chronometer Certification (COSC). The entire case, crown, pushers and screw down back is in black DLC Titanium.As mentioned, the movement is the Breitling Caliber B13, which is a derivative of the robust and well tested Valjoux 7750. This is a workhorse movement, with many watches using it reliably. The movement has a standard power reserve of 42 hours and beats at 28,800 bph. The rotor winds only in one direction, and allows the rotor to move freely in the other direction, earning it the nickname “wobbler” as the rotor can be felt as one wears it and move one’s wrist.
We did not open the case back to examine the movement finishing, but at this price point, we are not expecting it to be magnificently decorated, but to sport a rugged mechanically sound engineering type finish.Competitive Landscape
In this price class, the Breitling Super Avenger Chronograph 48 Night Mission (retail price is S$7,890) lives in a rather crowded landscape. Even if we filter out non-military or aviation designs, the field remains quite well populated. The Breitling Avenger Chronograph 45 Night Vision (S$7.890, same price) is almost exactly the same, except for the case size of 45mm. One curiosity we found is that neither the Avenger or Super Avenger series use the in-house developed Breitling B01 movement, depending on the Valjoux 7750 instead.Trying out the wrist shot in black and white for some attitude. Truth be told, the sapphire glass had a bright blue reflection due to the anti-reflective coating, that made the photograph unusable in colour. The promo shot of the pilot serves as the colour wrist shot.Concluding Thoughts
In conclusion, the Breitling Super Avenger Chronograph 48 Night Mission has a raison d’être it occupies a niche for those who require very special properties – a large, robust, legible chronograph which is lightweight but very strong, and with a diving water resistance rating.
On a pilot’s wrist, it certainly looks the part. Image source: Breitling official.
The watch is very beautiful, and fits the rugged environment which it is intended for. The black DLC titanium case is light, and surprisingly comfortable on the average sized wrist. The blue dial is magnificent in its own right, and the huge markings with bright lume is very attractive. The ease of use due to the design of the bezel and crown/pushers is a big plus, as is the water resistance rating. And we think the asking price of just a shade below S$8k is quite reasonable.
Breitling Super Avenger Chronograph 48 Night Mission Specifications
Swiss watch company Breitling recently held one of its still-new Breitling Summit event concepts here in Los Angeles. One of the new references launched was this duo of GMT watches, the Breitling Avenger Automatic GMT 45 (reference A32395101C1A1 or A32395101C1X1 / A32395101C1X2) and the related Avenger Automatic GMT 45 Night Mission (reference V32395101B1X1 / V32395101B1X2).
First, a tangent about the brand’s activities. I’ve said multiple times recently that the brand has been one of the best performing luxury watch companies over the last 18 months, due to the re-energized Georges Kern and the ability for him to execute his ideas. If anything, Kern’s short time at Breitling (about two years) demonstrates the power of what you can do if a company’s financial arm allows for a CEO to spend and invest in the future, no matter the current state of global investor confidence. The good news for Breitling is that their efforts are paying off, even today.
Weeks away from the release of the first film he produced (in French), Georges Kern sits at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills with guests from around the Americas who have come to see him, his friends, and his new creations. I’ve personally never seen Mr. Kern more at ease and seemingly hopeful about the future.
One cause for Mr. Kern’s positive sentiments is that business is growing for Breitling — and in important places like the United States and China. The United States has always been a strong market for Breilting. (It is often said to be the third-largest Swiss luxury watchmaker in the United States, after Rolex and Omega, respectively.) Kern is a globalist and understands that, while local tastes and preferences differ, Breitling needs to be a global brand in every sense of the word. From a product perspective, Kern was also lucky, not only in his ability to streamline the brand’s notoriously confusing model families but also to sit on an archive of designs and styles that happen to be particularly fashionable these days.
Well-made, good-looking watches aren’t enough — and with Kern’s understanding of Hollywood appeal comes his understanding of marketing. That, blended with his more than two decades of experience in the watch industry, has allowed for him to be among the very few leading watch brand CEOs who have the courage to try new things in a global economic recession, when spirits are down and luxury seekers (who continue to exist in droves) are chasing different pleasures than the generation before them.
For instances, the next person who dons one of these Avenger Automatic GMT 45 watches might be a drone racing champion. Breitling is, indeed, adding the world of drone-flying sports into its legacy of aviation. The logic is sound, and on top of that, drone racing also appeals to new-generation computer and video gamers seeking sports and heroes relevant to them.
From a timepiece perspective, these new GMT watches are a smart release from Breitling and unlike anything I can think of in the current collection. What other time and GMT Breitling watches (without a chronograph complication) come to mind? I know they have produced GMT watches before, but I don’t think Breitling has really ever had a modern GMT hit (and I am not counting the World Time since that is a different style of watch altogether).
As GMT watches, these are good looking timepieces, and the red GMT hands on both the blue-dialed standard steel version and the military-style Night Mission are extremely easy to read and not easily confused with the hour or minute hand. The 24-hour scale, on the other hand, is a bit tiny and will require good eyes. This does mean that the uni-directional rotating bezel can still be used for a 60-minute timer — which, honestly, is rare for GMT watches of this pedigree. Also, there is the case size to contend with, which will make the Avenger Automatic GMT 45 watches too large for a lot of wrists. It is entirely likely that Breitling will make more versions in smaller cases in the future.
Georges Kern also mentioned that part of his new strategy moving forward will be to release fewer watches at a time. The Breitling Summit saw the debut of just 14 SKUs. In the past, the brand produced such a healthy variety of versions for each model that consumers got choice paralysis. They did so because different tastes around the world would prompt them to produce slightly different styles. Today, brands are a lot more aware of what sells and doesn’t, while also being mindful of not saturating the consumer or news markets with too much information at a time. That is my explanation of why Breitling seems to tease a new Avenger GMT watch concept with two models that feel like a slew of others might be hiding right behind the scenes. I personally like that the brands wants people to focus on just a few styles and color treatments at a time.
For 2019, Breitling retired the Colt collection and has merged it in with Avenger. The watches always looked too similar, and the new Avenger collection actually has a whole new construction but still has that iconic look and feel of a modern Breitling. The cases are 45mm-wide and have real heft to them, thanks to the wide lugs. Given the width, they feel thin at just 12.3mm-thick, and the cases are water resistant to 30 meters with an AR-coated sapphire crystal over the dial.
Inside the watches, Breitling uses a sourced Swiss movement (base ETA 2893, I believe), which they call their Caliber 32 movement. It operates at 4Hz with about 42 hours of power reserve and also features the date, in addition to the time and 24-hour GMT hand for a second time zone display. Breitling has each of the movements COSC-Chronometer certified.
The Breitling Avenger Automatic GMT 45 comes in steel with a combo polished and brushed case design. It debuts exclusively with a blue dial and index-style hour markers with a case that is available either on a matching blue textile (leather-lined) strap or a handsome three-link steel bracelet (my choice). Things get a lot more interesting with the Avenger Automatic GMT 45 Night Mission with its black and khaki tan themes.
The Breitling Avenger GMT 45 Night Mission is a handsome little devil in a black DLC-coated titanium case paired with a “sand” leather strap. The dial uses a mix of indexes and stencil-style hour markers, which has always made for a good look. I suppose one can criticize Breitling for being too cautious about design innovation at this stage in the brand’s operations — and you might be right. That said, Breilting today is doing a great job of boiling down the core Breitling aesthetics into very fashionable styles (even if they aren’t too original within the brand). Give it a few years and I think we will see more innovation when it comes to design from Mr. Kern. For the time being, I think he is still in the process of trying to distill the core essence of Breitling across the various brand pillars (Aviation 8, Navitimer, Premier, SuperOcean, etc…).
Breitling now has two interesting GMT model contenders, but the competition in this area is fierce. I think these two Avenger Automatic GMT 45 watches are a hit but will take a bit of time for people to really appreciate. At that point, Breitling will likely have fleshed out the collection a bit more and experimented with how Breitling can do a GMT watch with a flair no one but they can achieve. Price for the Breitling Avenger Automatic GMT 45
At Baselworld 2016, I got to play with the first watch using Breitling’s so-called “Breitlight” case material, which is the Breitling Avenger Hurricane replica . This is a deceptively cool watch even though it clearly isn’t for everyone. With that said, I really like it when brands like Breitling produce intentionally niche watches like this that work really well for particular purposes. What makes the Breitling Avenger Hurricane weird? Well, in addition to displaying the time in a 24- versus 12-hour layout, the case happens to be really big at 50mm wide and produced from a form of carbon polymer.
Carbon composites of various types have become increasingly popular in luxury sport watches. Carbon fiber is perhaps the most well-known of these materials, but it isn’t the only way carbon is treated in luxury watches. Unlike more established watch materials such as metal, we are still new to understanding how to compare various carbon polymer materials with one another. Moreover, we still need to gain a lot of expertise and information to know whose cases are better than others, why, and if materials such as “Breitlight” are indeed a proprietary blend, or a slick name a brand like Breitling applies to this type of material.
There are a lot of open questions about carbon composite materials that I, frankly, don’t have all the answers to – such as whether they are actually luxury materials, and how they hold up over time. What I do know is that it isn’t possible to properly mill and machine all carbon polymer materials, so usually only the most high-quality ones can be used for watch case materials. With that said, we don’t always know how difficult these materials are to find, their construction costs, and what types of performance and durability benefits they offer for watches.
It is, however, a very good thing that watch brands are experimenting with interesting case materials such as carbon polymers. Use of these materials is less about solving existing problems in watches (save for perhaps weight reduction) and more about being creative and keeping traditional timepieces relevant. A good example of that is how nicely the traditional look of this military-style Breitling case (that we have, of course, seen in metal) translates into being rendered in a carbon polymer. That in and of itself is interesting and noteworthy.
Brands like Breitling are finding these materials from other industries such as car, plane, and boat construction. The materials are quite useful, actually, being several times lighter than steel, very tough, resistant to things like temperature or magnetism, and shock absorbent. With that said, you still can’t really polish a carbon polymer case, so we are currently left with mostly matte finishes that show off the native textures that these materials bring to the table. Further, much of the “art” involved in showing the right carbon materials for watch cases is specifically in choosing those which have the right shades of colors and aesthetic textures, etc.
Breitling didn’t need to make the Breitling Avenger Hurricane 50mm wide, but I think they did so in order to demonstrate how light a watch can be at this size, in the Breitlight material. If successful, future Breitling watches with Breitlight cases will be smaller. Super large watches are wearable if they are light-enough, but you do need the “wrist charisma” to pull them off visually.
In matte tones with a very utilitarian dial, the Breitling Avenger Hurricane very much feels like a tool watch – and that is a good thing. Yes, a refined luxurious tool watch from Breitling, but it has been a while since I’ve worn a watch from the brand that so felt like a dedicated instrument – even if it is very niche in its appeal.
Inside the Breitling Avenger Hurricane watch is Breitling’s in-house-made caliber B12 movement which offers the time in 24-hour format as well as the date and a 12-hour chronograph. Such 24-hour dials are rare in the watch industry, and most of them actually come from Breitling anyways. This requires you to read the dial differently, but for those people (military or civilian) that prefer to read the time in this way, the usefulness is clear. The automatic movement operates at 4Hz (28,800bph) and has about 2.5 days of power reserve, if memory serves me correctly.
The expansive dial allows for a relatively uncluttered look (all things taken into consideration) and very much like the military stencil-style font for the hour indicators and the matte hands that just super emphasize good legibility. Breitling combines the black and white tones with a sort of orange-yellow accent color.
With 100 meters of water resistance and a well-made AR-coated sapphire crystal, the durability you expect from a Breitling is all there, but now in a lighter case from a still exotic material that is quickly being adopted (and played with) by a number of typically conservative brands like Breitling. On the rubber and textile strap you can get a snug and comfortable fit, which makes the Breitling Avenger Hurricane all that more wearable for those who wish to brave it on their wrist. With that said, have no doubt about the fact that this is a huge timepiece. In a niche way, the Breitling Avenger Hurricane is a definite success and a pleasant surprise in a concept that could just have easily failed as succeed. Price for the Breitling Avenger Hurricane
Breitling hits the nail on the head with this amazing nautical watch. Do you dare to explore it?
As the waves collide against the ship, lightning crashes as if to announce yet another adventure that has you standing at the uncertain point between life and death. The deafening sound of thunder reverberates through the open seas and you realize that you are facing the fiercest elements in the world. Poseidon himself wouldn’t dare leave home in these conditions let alone venture out to sea …but, not you.
Please note: The Breitling Avenger Seawolf II collection has been phased out and had since been replaced with the Avenger Automatic 45 Seawolf collection which uses the same mechanical movement as the Avenger Seawolf II.
You put on your Breitling Avenger Seawolf watch, your raincoat and captain’s hat and look out at the raging sea with the determination of the captain of a Viking ship. You board your ship because you’re equipped with the wherewithal to show the sea who’s the real boss. You sound your horn as if to say “Look out world, I’m coming to get you!”
Your fearlessness comes from within but also from the ruggedness of your equipment. As you fasten your yellow raincoat, you grin as you notice the perfect match between the yellow hue of your Breitling Avenger II Seawolf watch dial and your captain’s storm coat.
You then realize that the watch you are wearing stands a better chance of survival than your ship with its 10,000 feet water resistance and decompression valve. It occurs to you that the watch you are wearing is like an airtight submarine vessel that just happens to tell time very accurately. Although you don’t intend to venture 3,000 meters into the water during this adventure, it is reassuring that your pressure regulated watch can bravely take that kind of plunge if it chooses to do so.
Even if you choose to join your Breitling Sea Wolf on an underwater exploration someday, you know the trip will be timed to perfection with the help of your Breitling Avenger II Seawolf’s 25 jewels, Caliber 17 automatic movement, a COSC certified chronometer with a 42-hour power reserve. Its mechanical movement is about as good as it gets. As you coast along you hear the blast of another vessel’s horn.
The hazy feeling in your head leaves you as you gaze at the luminescent filled hands of your Breitling watch and realize it’s Monday morning and you’re stuck in traffic. As the rain drips down your windshield, you drive past that billboard for the new Breitling Avenger II Seawolf Blacksteel super divers watch. You sigh and think to yourself:
“Life is the greatest adventure.”
In all seriousness though, this watch is built solid. Holding it in your hand, you physically feel that extra weight you would expect from a heavy-duty deep-sea diving watch. The crown screws down really tight and is pretty grippy. All that said, you can see how the water-resistance on this watch is superior to most other diver’s watches. It feels like you are holding a solid piece of military gear from the good old days. The kind of gear that they would drop out of an airplane from 10,000 feet. The luminescent material on the indexes and hands is bright and sized perfectly to maximize visibility. The bright yellow dial has excellent contrast and is very bright in low light conditions. The fabric “NATO” strap is thick and built solid. Even the bezel with its screws on the side looks like the hatch on top of a submarine. Everything you need to take a serious underwater plunge …and then some.
We aren’t the first to notice, but Breitling have been at the top of their game these past few years with stunning renovations of core collections and some remarkable reiterations of historic classics. Just look at their recent Chronomat line or the Superocean Heritage 57’ if you need reminding. Continuing with their hot streak, Breitling have announced their latest limited edition, the Breitling Premier Top Time Dues, a wonderfully retro piece with the appeal of 21st-century proportions designed in collaboration with Australian lifestyle brand Deus Ex Machina.
Limited to 1,500 pieces, the latest release from Breitling also commemorates the Swiss watch manufacturer as the new Official Timekeeper for the Deus Swank Rally, an epic motorcycle championship which honours vintage bikes in diverse locations all around the world. Yet despite its associations with motorcyclists, the Breitling Premier Top Time Dues is more than just a biker watch but a Breitling limited edition for adventurers of all kinds. This is embodied within Breitling’s new Dues Squad, a group of fearless explorers who have been involved with Deus Ex Machina for years. The squad includes Californian surfboarder and motorcyclist Forrest Minchinton, Hawaiian competitive surfer Sierra Lerback and French motorcycle engineer and designer Jeremy Tagand.
While modern in its proportions and mission, the new Breitling Premier Top Time Dues Limited Edition watch still upholds its heritage with a handsome vintage-inspired aesthetic inspired by the original Top Time released in 1960. The collection was, and still is, characterised by its masculine-elegance and was deliberately introduced for fulfilling the needs of young and active professionals. While other Breitling watch collections like the flagship Navitimer or Chronomat delivered a higher price point, the Breitling Top Time was the perfect entry level chronograph for young gentlemen starting their journey in the luxury watch world.
The Breitling Top Time quickly became a classic amongst watch enthusiasts and it wasn’t long before the design found itself at the centre of pop culture. Most famously, a Breitling Top Time was worn by Sean Connery as James Bond in the 1965 film Thunderball, a design so coveted it sold at auction in 2013 for a whopping £103,875. Sadly, production for the design ended nearly two decades after its original release. That was until last year, when Breitling revealed a reiteration of the Breitling Top Time model ref 2003 with a stunning steel case and ‘Zorro’ dial. It was another instant hit, speaking to fans of both vintage and contemporary watches alike, and if this previous release is anything to go by, we have high hopes for the new Breitling Premier Top Time Dues Limited Edition.
A tribute to the nomad spirit of Deus Ex Machina and a nod to Breitling’s historic Top Time collection, the Breitling Premier Top Time Dues Limited Edition delivers the perfect balance between retro and contemporary with an upsized 41mm stainless steel case resolutely faithful in form to the 60’s original. The unadorned narrow bezel sits beside slender, straight lugs and convex sapphire crystal treated with double anti-reflective coating. Also faithful to the original is its water resistance, which is rated to only 30 metres, assisted by a snapped stainless steel case back decorated with a piece of Deus artwork. The image of the retro-looking motorcyclist is designed by Deus creative director Carby Tuckwell.
The Breitling Premier Top Time Dues Limited Edition watch continues its bold aesthetic with a racing-themed brown calfskin leather strap and a panda-style chronograph dial dressed in silver and black. Squircle-shaped chronograph counters for small seconds and 30 minutes counter sit parallel to each other while a matching black tachymeter scale adorns the edge detailed with the words “In benzin veritas” translating to “In petrol we trust”. The addition of bright orange accents found on the hands and tachymeter scale is a spectacular touch, especially the shape of the chronograph hand moulded into a lightening bolt. These accents alongside the inclusion of the Dues logo at 6 o’clock mark the new partnership between Breitling and Deus Ex Machina.
As with all Breitling watches, the Replica Breitling Premier Top Time Dues is powered by a COSC certified chronometer movement, this time the Breitling Calibre 23. The Swiss manufacture movement delivers central hands for hours, minutes and chronograph seconds, two subsidiary dials for small seconds and 30 minutes and a wholesome power reserve of 48 hours. Delivering optimal legibility of these functions is Super-LumiNova coating on the hour markers and hour and minute hands.
As a limited edition of only 1,500 pieces, it’s expected that like the Breitling Top Time before it, the new Breitling Dues Limited Edition won’t be around for long. For more information on the Breitling Premier Top Time Dues watch
The Breitling Summit held in Los Angeles proved a busy landing strip for a whole squadron of Breitling Avenger releases. Fourteen new references took flight, along with the previously discussed Breitling Aviator 8 Mosquito Chronograph. These new models continue the restructuring of Breitling’s offering under the leadership of Georges Kern, joining the Aviator 8 and Classic Navitimer as part of the “air universe.” The new Avenger lineup merges the old Avenger style with that of the Breitling Colt, further streamlining the catalog. A raft of colors and an uncommonly wide range of sizes should satisfy fans of Breitling during the Schneider era, as well as those enjoying the current “heritage revisited” phase the brand is going through.Breitling is really working the versatility angle of this collection, designed to be at home on the wrists of all kinds of aviators, with a real-life astronaut, supersonic jet pilot, and drone pilot on board to market these models to different demographics.And as far as demographic diversity goes, Breitling has done a pretty good job. The “real-life astronaut” in question is none other than Scott Kelly, who has spent an amazing 520 days in Space. I’m not sure whether his resemblance to Georges Kern was deliberate or a happy accident, but it amused me nonetheless as I had to check and double-check the press release to ensure that they hadn’t just handed the boss a spacesuit and told him to do his best impression.Breitling does actually have some previous experience in space exploration; in 1962, the Cosmonaut became the first Swiss chronograph in Space when it exited the atmosphere on the wrist of American astronaut Scott Carpenter.The next real-world ambassador for this launch is Commandant Rocío González Torres, a Spanish jet pilot and the first woman to log 1,000 hours at the controls of an F-18 (wow). While Torres is less likely to be mistaken for the mastermind behind Breitling’s ongoing rebrand, she is far more likely to catch the attention of female fans for the strong and generally badass image she projects. For me, her recruitment is the highlight of this marketing drive, as it feels far more on-brand to have a genuine pilot promoting serious aviation instruments than a raft of Hollywood actors.And the high-flying triumvirate is completed by Luke Bannister, a teenage drone pilot. Bannister and a member of Xblades Racing, is something of a whiz kid when it comes to drone handling and represents the next generation of aviators and watch-edlovers, as he proudly wears the 45mm Avenger Chronograph 45 Night Mission in the press shots. One of the standout pieces in this collection, the olive green-dialed Night Mission is one of four Night Mission models available in DLC-coated titanium.The Avenger collection itself is three years older than Bannister (15), having debuted in 2001. It was due for a refresh, and its assimilation with the Colt model should make the overall collections easier to understand. It’s great to see that the eye-catching yellow dial of the Seawolf has been retained, while the stealthier models inspired by the Hurricane utilize yellow in a different way.One of the most significant things about these models is the movements inside them. Rather than using Breitling’s in-house creations, the Avenger models are powered by Breitling-branded ETA movements, meaning they are priced far more affordably and offer an easy, on-brand entry point to the collection. This is doubly wise considering how very “Breitling” these pieces are. With diameters topping out at a pretty hefty 48mm, these watches are excellent billboards ready to be strapped to the wrists of a new generation of watch fans. And for those who love the style and message of a Breitling but don’t possess the necessary wrist architecture to pull it off, several of these references are as small as 43mm. While that’s hardly petite, a 43mm-diameter Breitling, thanks to the wide rotating bezel and significant thickness, wears a lot smaller than one would expect. We will update with pricing when it’s available. To find out more about it and Breitling’s rich aviation history
Show up wearing the Breitling Avenger Chronograph 45 Night Mission, and that’s how you’ll be greeted. This chronograph is one of 14 models presented last fall as the reinvigorated and streamlined Avenger collection, including four watches that replace the former Colt collection. Such enthusiasm for our test watch!
The non-limited Breitling Avenger Chronograph 45 Night Mission is available for €5,750, priced around €1,500 less than the in-house equipped Avenger Chronographs. More about this Breitling Avenger Chronograph 45 Night Mission can be found here. More articles on Breitling Watches on Fratello can be found here.
Breitling Avenger Automatic GMT 45 Night Mission The biggest, boldest members of the new family are the 48-mm Super Avenger models, both containing self-winding COSC-certified chronograph calibers.
One of the new references launched was this duo of GMT watches, the Breitling Avenger Automatic GMT 45 (reference A32395101C1A1 or A32395101C1X1 / A32395101C1X2) and the related Breitling Avenger Automatic GMT 45 Night Mission (reference V32395101B1X1 / V32395101B1X2). First, a tangent about the brand’s activities.