Breitling’s new Premier Heritage Collection tips its hat to its multi-generational founder’s squad and its long aviation history.
To understand Breitling’s history is to know its long and storied association with aviation – the Swiss watchmaker has been an indispensable timekeeping partner in the industry since the company began in 1884.
Founded by Leon Breitling, this multi-generational family brand is known for its legacy of inventing the modern chronograph. In 1896, Leon introduced, for the first time, a chronograph with a unique reset button, which became extremely popular with aviators to measure and master their flight times. This would be the start of innovative developments around the wristwatch chronograph.
In 1915, Leon’s son Gaston created one of the first wrist-worn chronographs with an independent pusher at 2 o’clock. But it is Leon’s grandson Willy who patented the second independent chronograph pusher at 4 o’clock, and very firmly shifted Breitling’s emphasis from aesthetics to design with the launch of the original premier line in 1943.
Breitling’s Heritage, Revived
Inspired by the inventive spirit of Breitling’s very own Founder’s Squad, the new Premier Heritage Collection pays homage to three generations of men who changed the history of timekeeping.
The collection includes six watches divided into three distinctive categories: The Chronograph, The Duograph, and The Datora.
All feature Arabic numerals, vintage-inspired hands and semi-shiny alligator straps with tone-on-tone stitching. Every watch is a COSC-certified chronometer and water-resistant up to 100 meters.
The 40 mm Premier Heritage Chronograph is manually wound, just like its 1940s predecessors. It is powered by the Breitling Manufacture Caliber B09, which is based on the Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01. It comes in two variations: with an eye-catching pistachio-green dial encased in stainless steel or a stately silver-colored dial encased in 18k red gold.
With stainless-steel and 18k red gold cases measuring 42mm, the Premier Heritage Duograph comes with a blue or black dial, respectively. Its rattrapante function – one of the most elaborate in watchmaking – enables the wearer to measure two elapsed times simultaneously thanks to its two superimposed chronograph hands. This piece houses the mechanical hand-wound Breitling Manufacture Caliber B15, which is based on the Breitling Manufacture Caliber B03.
Like its 1940s predecessor, the 42mm Premier Heritage Datora also stands out for its highly visible and complex functions, namely its day, date, and moon-phase displays. It is powered by the Manufacture Caliber B25. The Datora’s copper-colored face is framed by a stainless-steel case, while its silver-colored dial comes in an 18k red gold one.
Images courtesy of Breitling, artwork by Curatedition. All rights reserved.