Breitling is taking a different approach to watches in 2021 than it has in recent years. Now, Breitling appears to be looking to the original founders for inspiration to bring forth a trifecta of new references: a traditional handwound chronograph, a ‘rattrapante’ or split second chronograph, and a complete calendar chronograph, that together round out to make the new Premier Heritage Collection.
Purpose-built around in-house calibres and leveraging original designs with more complex, premium finishing, the Premier was positioned as a more grown-up Breitling, and this new heritage-inspired spin-off collection appears to continue to adhere to that same formula, but with a classical, mid-century twist.
We now have colorful faces, with beautifully detailed arabic numerals and a much more traditional approach to chronograph movement execution. We learn something that Breitling scholars have known all along: before the advent of the jet age, and before sport diving became mainstream, the brand enjoyed a rich period of very elegant, classical chronographs around the middle of the last century that fully embraced watchmaking’s more traditional values.
The current Breitling watch tends to be more of a sporty expression, but they have found a beautiful way to bring the two value systems of two entirely different eras together. Now the watches have slightly upsized cases (40mm for the standard handwound chronograph, and 42mm for the split second & complete calendar variants) and 100 meters of water resistance for each. It may not seem like it, but that last detail is a big deal. How many complete calendar chronographs can you name that have more than IC65 rated coverage?