Breitling just unveiled a handful of new watches at a Coronavirus-friendly virtual Summit, showing the path forward for luxury watch brands in the age of social distancing. Replacing its traditional trade show debuts, Breitling presented new pieces in the Chronomat Collection along with a Superocean Heritage ’57 Capsule Collection and a new Navitimer Automatic 35 for women.
New Breitling Chronomat Watches for 2020
The Chronomat reintroduces one of Breitling’s modern classics; the original model launched in 1984 and “marked a welcome return to mechanical Swiss watches which had all but disappeared when quartz watches dominated the marketplace in the 1970s,” the brand notes.
The new Breitling Chronomat is designed to be “at home both on the red carpet and at the beach. Breitling had in fact first used the Chronomat name in the 1940s as a portmanteau of “chronograph for mathematics.” The 1984 version updated that to mean “chronograph and automatic.”
Breitling is introducing a few new references for the relaunched Chronomat, all sized at 42mm and powered by the Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01 mechanical movement with a power reserve of approximately 70 hours. The distinguishing features of the new Chronomat collection are its rotating bezel highlighted by interchangeable rider tabs at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock, which “not only protect the crystal but make the manipulation of the bezel easier,” Breitling notes; along with its stainless-steel Rouleaux bracelet fitted with a butterfly clasp.
The stainless steel Chronomat B01 42 is the entry level version, available with a choice of a silver, copper, or blue dial with black contrasting chronograph counters, as well as a black dial with silver registers. As an upgrade you can opt for a two-tone version with an 18k red gold crown and chronograph pushers, along with a bezel that has matching 18k red gold rider tabs.
The dials for the various two-tone models all feature hands and hour markers in red gold, and color options include silver with silver sub-dials, blue with blue sub-dials, and an anthracite version that has black sub-dials. Additionally, it should be noted that the new two-tone Chronomat watches with blue and anthracite dials receive matching two-tone bracelets, while the silver dial version is fitted with a stainless steel bracelet.
Then there are three rather striking special editions of the Chronomat B01 42. The first features an 18k red gold case with an anthracite dial, and a black rubber strap fitted with an 18k red gold clasp. The Chronomat Bentley, celebrating the partnership with the British automotive marque, is crafted from stainless steel and features a green dial with red accents and black contrasting chronograph counters. Lastly, the Chronomat Frecce Tricolori Limited Edition is inspired by the 1983 Frecce Tricolori watch designed for an Italian Air Force squadron that inspired the 1984 Chronomat.
The new Chronomat Frecce Tricolori edition will be limited to just 250 pieces, and is fitted with a blue dial with matching blue sub-dials and the Frecce Tricolori logo in place of Breitling’s symbol at the 12 o’clock location. “The 1984 Chronomat occupies a very important place in our modern history,” notes Breitling CEO Georges Kern. “It was the watch that boldly proclaimed Breitling was staying absolutely true to its roots…. The [new] collection is a fitting tribute to the amazing watch that, more than any other, put us back in touch with our heritage.”
New Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57 Watches
Also announced during the virtual summit, the Superocean Heritage ’57 Capsule Collection pays tribute to the “laid back lifestyle of surfers in the 1950s and 1960s,” Breitling notes. The Superocean Heritage ’57 Capsule Collection is also sized at 42mm, which seems to be what the brand has chosen as the sweet spot for case size. The new Superocean Heritage ’57 series is notable for its bidirectional concave stainless-steel bezel with a ceramic insert and a luminescent dot at 12 o’clock location.
All of the new watches in the Superocean Heritage ’57 Capsule Collection are powered by the Breitling Caliber 10 movement with a power reserve of approximately 42 hours. The watch is available in steel with the option of either a classic black dial on a black vintage-inspired leather strap, or a blue dial with a brown leather strap. Additionally, a two-tone version is also available and features a bezel in 18k red gold with a black ceramic insert. All of the new Superocean Heritage ’57 watches are also available with the option of a mesh-style Ocean Classic stainless steel bracelet with a butterfly clasp.
Lastly a Limited Edition version of the new Superocean Heritage ’57 was also announced, of which only 250 pieces will be made. It boasts a black bezel insert and dial with hour markers and hands that are coated with Super-LumiNova in a rainbow graduation of yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, red, and orange.
According to Breitling CEO Georges Kern, “The Capsule Collections let us tell some of our brand’s most in- spiring stories while we produce some remarkably unique watches for a limited amount of time. With the Superocean Heritage ’57 Capsule Collection, we’ve focused on the relaxed Southern California fun-in-the-sun culture that defined an era. The surfing itself in the 1950s and 1960s is at the heart of our storytelling here, but those times offered so much more: the great music, the amazing cars, and the almost spiritual connection to freedom found on endless sandy beaches and in the search for the perfect wave.”
*All images courtesy of Breitling