A trio of new watches from Breitling really winds the clock back to the 1940s – a period known for stellar watch designs – and creates a stunning new line-up for the brand. And it seems that our watch expert might be more than a bit smitten by them.
Referring to your own brand’s rich history and seeking inspiration or paying homage to it have long been part of the watchmaking tradition. While moving forward in terms of design and technology is vital for any watch brand’s survival, it’s only natural for a brand to rely on its rich heritage to produce new designs, given the centuries of history of watch manufacturers and watchmaking – for reference, the first known pocket watch in the world was produced over 500 years ago.
Now, I must admit that I’m not a fan of the Breitling brand for a multitude of reasons. For one, I don’t like its design ethos in general, for to me, it seems that the brand is trying too hard and not being innovative enough. But its latest Premier Heritage Collection has made me eat my words – I think that the design and the range of the new collection are simply extraordinary. Comprising three new watches – each with more variants in different metals and dial combinations – the new collection is sublime, has been beautifully designed, and is a watch enthusiast’s delight.
Premier Heritage Chronograph
The entry point to the Premier Heritage range is this gorgeously designed chronograph, with a 40mm case size. Additionally, it features a stunning looking green dial, which is quite different from the variants of green that we see in timepieces of other brands. Other design highlights design include a clean, legible dial with Arabic numerals and two sub-dials for the chrono function. I love the fact that it proudly exhibits its in-house manually wound Breitling Manufacture Caliber B09, which is based on the Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01. Oh, and apart from the green dial in steel, there is another stunning variant, featuring an 18K red gold case with dial accents in the same finish.
It was really difficult for me to decide whether the Duograph or the Datora – the third watch in this line-up – is the more attractive of the two. And even after weeks of contemplation, I couldn’t come to a definite conclusion. One look at the Duograph and you’d know why. With its 42mm case in either stainless steel or 18k red gold, the Duograph is a stunner. I’m particularly fond of the gold and black dial combo, and this is coming from someone who swears against gold watches.
Personal preferences aside, the clean design of the Duograph and the technical complication of its movement – available at a phenomenal price point – are a stellar achievement for the Breitling brand. To put it succinctly, the Duograph is a rattrapante chronograph, which allows you to measure two intervals at the same time. Needless to say, it’s is a highly sought-after complication in the watchmaking world. And the fact that Breitling achieved it with an in-house movement makes the Duograph even more special.
Now, since we follow the watchmaking world very closely, we get to see attractive watches all the time. However, a lot of the watches that we come across are, let’s say, unaffordable for most folks, especially me, which makes them even more alluring. But sometimes, you come across a watch that with its combination of beautiful design, functionality, and movement mesmerises you to such an extent that you find it impossible to take your eyes off it. For me, the Datora is one such watch. And I will tell you why.
At a very young age – I think I was six – I became obsessed with my father’s old Titan timepiece, with the moon phase function. And now, many decades later, that obsession with moon phase timepieces has not only persisted but has become more intense.
So, naturally, when I first saw the Datora I was gobsmacked not just by its salmon (Breitling refers to it as copper) dial but also by its perfectly balanced design aesthetic – the proportions of the sub-dials, the twin-registers, and the moon phase are just perfect. It was love at first sight. And what’s more, you can buy the Datora, with the annual calendar functionality, for a relatively affordable price.
Not only does the Datora refers to the history of the Breitling brand but it also offers a phenomenal value proposition for any watch enthusiast, offering a superlative product at a completely unexpected price point. And that Moon phase design absolutely makes it the perfect dream watch for me. Breitling really has done a commendable job by making a piece of its history alive in this gorgeous collection of stunning watches.
The Premier Datora is available in two variants - the copper dial version comes in stainless steel, while the 18K red gold version comes with a silver dial.