3 New Breitling Vintage-Style Watches, Including A Gorgeous Split-Seconds Chronograph, For The Premier Collection
In the world of fine Swiss watchmaking, the name Breitling is synonymous with top-notch chronographs. This is hardly surprising given that since its founding in 1884 the Grenchen-based manufacturer has been perfecting the sophisticated mechanism considered one of the most complex in watchmaking.
With the Premier collection launched in 2018, Breitling commemorates its technical pioneers: Léon, Gaston, and Willy Breitling.
A Breitling family affair
Chronographs and chronometers – the two Cs that make watch lovers’ hearts beat faster – have been integral to the history of Breitling. One stands for the mastery of short time measurement, the other for certified precision.
Today, all of the company’s chronographs boast an official chronometer certificate from the C.O.S.C., the official Swiss chronometer-testing institute. This also applies to the three chronograph models of the recently unveiled Premier Heritage collection: the Premier B09 Chronograph 40, the Premier B15 Duograph 42, and the Premier B25 Datora 42.
The trio is an homage to the generational leaders of this company, who evolved Breitling chronographs over three generations.
In 1915, Breitling presented the first chronograph with two pushers, which separated the start, stop, and reset positions from the crown. This is considered one of the most important breakthroughs in the history of the chronograph and a technical milestone.
Gaston’s son Willy followed the lead of his father and grandfather, developing an updated Breitling chronograph in 1934.
A third premiere for the Premier Collection
Under Willy Breitling’s leadership, the company launched the elegant Premier collection in the 1940s to reach a new, more style-conscious customer base.
The Premier collection was revived in 2018, encompassing refined and notably vintage-style chronographs under the Breitling and Breitling for Bentley monikers as well as a special edition designed in partnership with motorcycle company Norton. All are driven by Breitling’s flagship movement, automatic Caliber B01, which features a column wheel and vertical clutch controlling the chronograph and 70-hour power reserve.
It was this statement piece from the 1940s that inspired these new creations for 2021.
The Premier B09 Chronograph 40, Premier B15 Duograph 42, and Premier B15 Duograph 42 all sport its elegant Arabic numerals, vintage-style luminous hands, tachymeter scale around the dial, and semi-matte alligator skin straps with tone-in-tone stitching.
While the looks on the outside reflect the authenticity of the design details, the mechanics are state of the art. Each chronograph is powered by an official chronometer-certified manufacture movement, visible through a sapphire crystal case back, and offer 100-meter water resistance.
These timepieces come in either stainless steel or 18-karat red gold cases. And the good news is that none of them are limited.
Breitling Premier B09 Chronograph 40: classic chronograph beauty in pistachio green and silver
Moderately sized at 40 mm, the Premier B09 Chronograph is perhaps the most authentic variation on the theme as it is equipped with a hand-wound movement – just like the first watch from the 1940s – and has a very discreet appearance.
This is especially true for the version with silver dial and red gold case. For the steel model, Breitling opts for a color that is as expressive as the name of the shade implies: mouthwatering pistachio green.
At the heart of this timepiece beats Caliber B09, which is based on Breitling’s aforementioned manufacture chronograph movement B01.
Breitling Premier B15 Duograph 42: retro meets rattrapante
This 42 mm watch has the same distinctive vintage allure as the Premier B09 model, however it sports two chronograph hands on its blue or black dial.
Powered by manually wound Caliber B15, which is based on the automatic B03, this Breitling manufacture movement is equipped with a rare and complex split-seconds complication. Thanks to two superimposed chronograph hands, it allows the measurement of two elapsed times simultaneously.
Like the 40 mm chronograph models, the Premier B15 Duograph’s dial – blue in the stainless steel version, black with color-coordinated indices and hands in the red gold execution – displays a tachymeter scale on its periphery for measuring speed.
Premier B25 Datora 42: chronograph meets calendar
Last but certainly not least, is the Premier B25 Datora 42. Also a chronograph, this debutante comes in a 42 mm case and is available in two options: with a copper-colored dial exuding the sought-after salmon hue for the stainless steel model and a silver-colored dial for the 18-karat red gold version. Both look very distinctive.
In addition to the chronograph function, the Datora offers a complete calendar, making the watch the perfect companion throughout the year. The day of the week and the date appear in two windows, while the month and the classic moon phase are integrated into the subdial at 6 o’clock.
The Datora 42 mechanics also break from its two siblings because it is not powered by a genuine Breitling manufacture movement. Caliber B25 is instead a Concepto movement based on the Valjoux 7750, which also features a column wheel to drive the chronograph, but with a reduced power reserve of 48 hours.
For more information, please visit www.breitling.com/us-en/watches/premier.
Quick Facts Breitling Premier B09 Chronograph 40
Case: 40 x 13 mm, stainless steel or red gold
Movement: manually wound Caliber Breitling B09, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, 70-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds; chronograph
Price: $8,400 (stainless steel); $20,000 (red gold)
Quick Facts Breitling Premier B15 Duograph 42
Case: 42 x 15 mm, stainless steel or red gold
Movement: hand-wound Caliber Breitling B15, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, 70-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds; split-seconds chronograph
Price: $10,250 (stainless steel); $22,850 (red gold)
Quick Facts Breitling Premier B25 Datora 42
Case: 42 x 15.3 mm, stainless steel or red gold
Movement: automatic Caliber Breitling B25 (Concepto column wheel chrono based on ETA Valjoux 7750), 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, 48-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds; day, date, month, moon phase, chronograph
Price: $12,950 (stainless steel); $25,650 (red gold)